Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Grammar Game for Secondary Students

This game is a hit every time I use it in class. There are few ways to teach grammar and have it really stick. This is one of them. The example here is for active and passive voice, but you can adapt it for parts of speech, sentence structure (have categories for fragments, complete sentences, and run-ons), or correct/incorrect usage of punctuation marks.

1. Divide a whiteboard, chalkboard, or bulletin board into two halves. Label one side “Active” and one side “Passive.”

2.  Pass out one or two sentences to each student. Tell the students that they have three rounds to get all the words in the correct category. (I offer a small treat, prize, or bonus points to the whole class if they can accomplish this.)

3. Have the students come up to the board and place each sentence where they think it belongs.

4. When all the sentences are in place, tell the students how many are incorrect.

5. Allow the students to study the board and discuss which are incorrect. Any student can move any of the sentences from one category to the other, as long as he or she offers an explanation. As they try to sort it out, this is where the learning comes in. It's also a learning experience for me When they are satisfied, tell them how many are incorrect, and give them one more round to work it out.  The hardest part will be for you to keep a poker face!

6. You may have to set a time limit for the rounds or give a few hints, but I find it usually works out well if the students are left to their own devices.  Go over the answers at the end, and discuss any that gave them trouble.


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  2. Thanks, Laura. I'm always on the look out for a game my sixth graders would enjoy. Love the effective simplicity.

  3. Simple, nice, effective. I can also see using the same game for action vs. linking verbs, objective vs. nominative pronouns, and on and on. I love stuff that can be adapted over and over againg.

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