Let’s face it… teaching grammar can be pretty boring… LOL
With that said though, Grammar Walls are becoming a necessary item in most classrooms today, so let’s help both you and your students get excited for grammar time!!
This post is going to give you a quick rundown on how to set up your grammar walls, with some easy ideas to make your Grammar Wall INTERACTIVE, and a glimpse at some of the grammar products we have to offer!!!
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Grammar Wall Set-Up
You want an area that is large enough to post each piece of your grammar wall. Placing your parts of speech posters/charts in correct sentence structure is also extremely important. (Article, Adjective, Noun/Pronoun, Verb, Adverb, Preposition, Conjunction, Interjection) This way, students are able to use the grammar wall to construct grammatically correct sentences.
We also color-code the grammar wall. It allows students to easily recognize certain parts of speech and be able to use the coding system to create a variety of sentence types. Our color-coded grammar wall kit is as follows…
Articles (white), Adjectives (Dark Blue), Nouns (Yellow), Pronouns (Pink), Adverbs (Green), Verbs (Orange), Prepositions (Light Blue), Conjunctions (Red), Interjections (Purple)
EX. The tiny kitten quickly ran up the tree, but fell down. Ouch!
Within this kit, you get headings for each part of speech (with definitions), word cards with/without pictures (blank cards included, so you can continue to add to your wall to meet the needs of your classroom), and other materials to help you organize your grammar wall. There are also some bonus materials in the kit (grammar wall games and types of words).
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Teaching Order and Activity Ideas
A noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea.
- Nouns Around the School – Before school starts, take pictures of a variety of “school-related” nouns (principal, nurse, custodian, cafeteria, playground, library, scissors, pencils, crayons, etc.). You can print them out, or create a slideshow using the pictures. Introduce the definition of a noun and tell your students they will be playing a game. If using printed pictures, give each student a picture. They will partner share stating who/what their picture is and which type of noun it is. EX. “My picture is a crayon. A crayon names a thing.” If using the slideshow, show the pictures one at a time and have your students group share which type of noun each photograph is. You may want to record their responses on a separate chart.
- Find a Noun – Separate your class into groups of 3 or 4. Give each group a familiar story book. They are to go “searching” for nouns that name people, places, and things. You can add a fourth category of “animals” if you would like for this activity. They record their nouns on a large piece of chart paper and then share their findings with the class, or have a gallery walk of their posters.
- Common/Proper Nouns – Create a power point with a variety of common nouns. (ex. doll, restaurant, store, game, movie, play place, etc.) Students create their own chart (fold paper in half), by writing down the common noun on one half of their paper and then coming up with a proper noun on the other half.
A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun.
- Which Pronoun? – Create a power point with a variety of different noun pictures. (Label the pictures with an article/noun phrase. – ex. picture of a boy, label “the boy”) Give your students 3 note cards and have them write “he”, “she” and “it” on them. As students are shown the noun pictures, they will hold up the note card with the pronoun that can replace it. As a check for understanding, give students a couple of sentences at the end of the activity and have them rewrite those, replacing the nouns with pronouns.
- Replace It – Write a variety of simple sentences on sentence strips and place them around the classroom. Give each of your students a post-it note and ask them to find a sentence, identify the noun, decide which pronoun replaces that noun, write it on the post-it, and cover the noun in the sentence. They then bring their sentence to the group and share with the class. Check for correct pronoun/noun agreement.
A verb is a word that shows action (either physical or mental).
- Charades – Students think of a verb and either whole group or in smaller groups (3-4 students), they will act out the verb while their classmates try to guess it. If you play the game in whole group, record the verbs on a piece of chart paper or on the whiteboard.
- Is/Are Game – Create a power point with a variety of noun pictures (singular and plural nouns). Underneath each picture, have a sentence frame that includes the noun and a verb. EX. “The boys ____ running.” Students have one note card. On one side they need to write “is”, on the other side they need to write “are”. As you show them a picture, they decide which form of “to be” is correct in the sentence. (noun/verb agreement) You can then have them orally read the sentence together, or share the correct sentence with a partner.
- Past/Present/Future – Write a variety of sentences on sentence strips (verbs in past, present, and future tenses). For each sentence give it a number (hopefully you have at least 10-12 sentences). Each of your students need a recording sheet with corresponding numbers on it. Students will “read the room”, finding each sentence and identifying whether the verb is past, present, or future and record the answer on their paper.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (person, place, or thing).
- What’s In the Bag? – Place a variety of classroom objects in brown paper bags. Put your students into small groups. They will put their hands into the bag (no peeking) and describe what they are feeling. They will record their adjectives on a piece of paper or whiteboard. Once they are done producing adjectives, they will try and guess the object in the bag. Finally they can check to see if their guess was accurate or not.
- What Am I? – Put students into partners or groups of 3-4. As a team, they will come up with an object, but keep it a secret. On their poster paper, they write down adjectives that describe their object. (EX. red, sweet, crunchy, round, smooth, shiny) They put up their posters and the whole class takes a gallery walk, reading the adjectives of other groups and trying to guess their objects. They can write down their guesses on a piece of scratch paper. Once the gallery walk is done, each group reveals their object.
- Adjective Categories – Playing either “musical partners” or “inside/outside circle”, students will have to pair up at certain intervals and share a “type of adjective” with their partner. Categories of adjectives include… color, shape, size, number, touch, taste, etc. Students move about the classroom, or in their circle until the music stops. When the music stops, they find a partner and wait for you to call out the adjective category. Lastly, they share an adjective that fits into that category and the process starts all over with a new partner.
- Accordion Person – Taking a piece of paper, fold it into 5 sections. Open the paper and on the top portion, draw a picture of your face. On the bottom portion, draw a pair of shoes. The middle 3 portions are three different adjectives that describe yourself. They are to write the adjective in the top part of each section and then use that adjective in a sentence about themselves.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb (action word – physical or mental).
- How can We…? – To begin this activity, have your class generate about 10 different verbs. (Try to steer them towards verbs that you can do in different ways. EX. walk, talk) Then the students spread out around the classroom. Call out a verb and ask students how they can do that verb. (EX. “walk” – slowly, quickly) Have the class model how they would walk slowly, quickly, etc.
- Adjective or Adverb – Create a power point that has slides with adjectives or adverbs written on them. Give each of your students a dark blue and green card. As they see each word, your students will hold up either dark blue (adjective) or green (adverb). To increase the rigor, have them partner share a sentence containing each word.
- PE Adverbs – One day when students return to class from PE, have them create a list of all of the verbs they did while in PE. Then have them choose adverbs that describe those verbs.
A preposition is a word that shows the relationship between two nouns.
- Model It – Give each of your students two objects (ex. Dixie cup and goldfish). Have the prepositions that you want to add to the grammar wall already written on cards. Pull a preposition from the pile and have students model that using their items. Once all prepositions have been modeled, have students write a sentence or two using a preposition from the grammar wall.
- Find My Partner – Create two sets of note cards. On one set write different prepositions. On another set, have pictures of items that model that preposition. Allow students to walk around and find their partner. Once all students are paired up, they need to create a sentence that corresponds with their picture using the corresponding preposition.
A conjunction is a word used to connect two simple sentences or ideas.
- Linking Cards – I refer to conjunctions as “linking words”. On sentence strips, write multiple sets of conjunctions (and, or, but). Hole punch both ends of the cards and give each small group of students two binder rings. Give blank sentence strips to the group and ask them to write two simple sentences and “link” them with a conjunction that makes sense. I’ve also seen this done with clothespins taped to the back of the conjunction card and students “clip” the sentences together.
An interjection is an abrupt remark that shows emotion.
- Automatic Interjections – Create a slideshow with slides that evoke immediate reactions. (ex. kitten/puppy, falling off of a bike, fireworks, etc.) Have an interjection chart ready and show the slides to your students. Record what they say when they see each picture. (ex. Ah! Ouch! Wow!, etc.)
- Interjections Posters – Put your students into small groups. Have them choose an interjection and create a variety of illustrations that would evoke that emotion/response from someone. Hang the posters up and allow your students to gallery walk.
Our Interactive Notebooks really help give students a hands-on experience with parts of speech. All they need is a blank notebook, scissors and glue. Just print and allow your students to manipulate the materials as they identify and produce various parts of speech. This resource is great, especially for English Language Learners.
Check back next week for Part 2 of this grammar blog… Grammar Wall Games! The new blog will offer quick and easy to implement games/activities to make your grammar wall fun and interactive.
-Written by Janessa Fletcher
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