“Conjunction junction, what’s your function?” gets me moving every time! Teaching elementary grammar can be tricky. It’s hard to know what to teach and how to keep students actively engaged. Have no fear, I have six tips here for teaching elementary grammar.
#1 Begin with the Basics
Whenever you start with anything, you want to make sure you start with the basics. This is especially true when teaching elementary grammar. You should always take your time to truly form a foundation of those essential parts of speech even at the basic level.
For example, your students might not need to know an adverb can modify a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Start with the idea that an adverb modifies a verb. You can do this by focusing on one idea, nouns, and have students go on a scavenger hunt in books and newspapers. This can either be an individual activity during silent reading or something students can collaborate on.
#2 Revisit and Review
One of the best things you can do when teaching grammar, is revisiting the basic ideas as often as possible. This will help solidify the basics of grammar which will develop into mastery making the rest of grammar easy to teach. You can do this with a spiral review, a game like squares your brain, or in your literary centers.
Literary centers are a fun way to use grammar throughout the year from the basics to punctuation. When teaching elementary grammar, you can review in your centers while you work on other subjects or you can coordinate your centers with the season! You can find great yearlong bundles for first, second, and third grade that will make your literacy centers really rock!
#3 Use an Elementary Grammar Journal
Just like you can use math journals to help your students have a resource to turn to, you can use reading or grammar journals to teach elementary grammar. In this grammar journal, you can have your students write down basic notes, complete practices, as well as activities.
By making this into a binder, students can put assignment and tests in there to use as a reference later. Additionally, another option would be to make this into a digital journal so it’s always available. If you choose to use grammar journals, they can also be used in your literacy centers as well.
#4 Bring Back the Oldies (But Goodies!)
Another basic we have haven’t talked about much is punctuation. Teaching students the different types of punctuation, especially end marks, can be very essential to their overall learning. One thing you can do to help teach not only parts of speech but also various punctuation marks is Schoolhouse Rock.
This older teaching tool plays catchy songs that students enjoy. Because they are so catchy, students tend to remember them due to the tune. If you’re using Good Classroom, you can put the videos online for your students to go back to as well!
#5 Guided Writing
When you're teaching elementary grammar, you want to do some writing to show how it is used. In the students’ writing assignment, tell them what you expect them to use. For example, you can tell them they need to have so many sentences that are questions, end with an exclamation point, contain an adjective, and contain an adverb.
Remind students all students are going to have nouns and verbs because we need those to create a sentence. When you apply your grammar to writing, it has more meaning and students will remember it more. To help your students more you can use Google Classrooms. With this tool, you can put their writing in a Google Doc and turn this into a digital skill!
#6 Have Fun Teaching Elementary Grammar!
Whenever you are doing anything new you want to make sure you have fun with it. Use the knowledge wherever you can, but add some color. For example, you can have all your sight words that are nouns be one color, the verbs another, and so on and so forth.
You can even play fun games like Mad Libs to help students practice their grammar skills. These games are something you can do online as well by making your word wall virtual and by creating digital Mad Libs.
Elementary grammar can be really difficult to teach for a variety of reasons. By starting with the basics, using the knowledge and having some fun, you can turn this difficult subject into something to look forward to.
Until Next Time…
Keep Being Educational Rock Stars!