National Grammar Day is an obvious treat for English teachers and can make learning grammar fun for more than just professional lovers of grammar! Founded in 2008 by author Martha Brockenbrough, we now get to celebrate communication, writing, and the English language on March 4 every year. Students tend to take grammar for granted, but we would have a hard time living without it!
Make grammar a treat for your students by using these two classroom activities.
What’s in the Bag, Goose?
For Grades K–1
Children will play a game in which they guess an object by using describing words as clues.
What you need:
- A large bag
- Objects to put in the bag, such as toys, stuffed animals, school supplies, fruit
What to do:
- Select some objects to put in the bag, and arrange them on a table top or tray. Give the class a few minutes to look at the objects. Then hide them from view.
- Have children take turns being the Goose. The Goose gets to choose a "surprise" to put in the bag.
- Have the other children ask questions using describing words. Ask them to take turns saying, "What's in the bag, Goose? Is it something [big, small, round, square, red, green, and so on]? If children are having trouble guessing, you or the Goose can give clues one at a time.
- Once someone guesses the object, have another child take a turn as Goose.
For Grades 2–5
Students review nouns and adjectives while creating imaginative works of art.
What you need:
- Two boxes
- Index cards
- Art materials
What to do:
- Set up two boxes, one labeled NOUNS and the other ADJECTIVES.
- Take as many index cards as there are students, and write one noun on each card. The more interesting and unusual the word, the better. Some examples might be dinosaur, baobab tree, castle, centipede, or monster.
- Write a different adjective on 40 or more index cards. Choose adjectives that are interesting and visual, such as purple, tremendous, spotted, fanged, and striped.
- Put the corresponding index cards in the NOUNS and ADJECTIVES boxes from step 1.
- Have individual students choose one noun card and at least one adjective card from the boxes. Explain to students that they are to put the adjectives and nouns together and make a drawing (or a collage) of what the words describe. The picture must show something fantastic, that is, something that probably couldn't be found in real life. Note that if the adjective and noun together represent something realistic (for example, a blue box or a red dress), students will need to choose other adjectives.
- You may wish to explain the activity to students first, and then have them select the nouns and adjectives and write them on the index cards.
- Some students may be able to use a software drawing program to create their fantastic pictures.
Happy celebrating! And remember, as Winston Churchill once said, “A preposition is a terrible thing to end a sentence with.”
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