Question Detail

Grammar integration

Feb 10, 2013 8:29am

What are some creative/useful ways to incorporate grammar/language instruction in to regular lesson plans. I see many teachers focusing on reading primarily, but my students are struggling with grammar/writing mechanics.

  • English Language Arts
  • 6-8
  • Common Core


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    • Feb 13, 2013 10:33pm

      PART 1 of response:
      One cool idea from Dr. Carol Booth Olson at the University of California, Irvine (adapted from English teacher Kathleen McDaniel of the Santa Ana Unified School District in Santa Ana, CA) is to ask students to write a "Dada poem." Students "find" a poem in a book excerpt (typically teacher's choice) by color-coding the parts of speech in the text and turning those words into a verbal collage (like the magnetic poetry that one arranges on a refrigerator). Students then manipulate the words to form a pattern or theme, using all 21 words (give students a 7 x 3 grid in which they can write the words and then cut them out to be arranged and pasted to a paper or poster). The teacher might require the following: 8 verbs (green), 2 adverb (brown), 5 nouns (blue), 2 pronoun (light blue), 4 adjectives (red, including articles), 2 preposition, and 1 conjunction. After creating the found poem and illustrating it, students might also write a learning log reflection.

      • Feb 10, 2013 9:34am

        With my high school students, especially 9th & 10th, I find that before I can discuss sentence structures and subordinating conjunctions, I need to ensure that they have a strong foundation of the parts of speech. Although it can be painstaking at times, I spend time review the main 8-9 parts of speech.

        "theme writing days" on Fridays - students select a theme notebook (from about 35 different themes) and write to that theme for 20 minutes (themes range anywhere from "Travel" to "Poetry" to "Song Lyrics" to "Action/Adventure" to "Trapped on an Island" ...etc) . Students have to not only only write to that particular theme, but students also have to incoporate our grammar skill that week - use 5 mental action verbs and circle. Use 3 verb phrases, bracket the phrase & classify the auxiliary verb & main verb. Star 3 adjectives. Use 1 complex sentence and 1 compound-complex sentence.

        • Feb 13, 2013 10:34pm

          PART 2 of response:
          Criteria for a grading rubric for the Dada poem could include:
          -poem uses all 21 words
          -words are used correctly in terms of part of speech and are correctly color-coded for P.O.S.
          -poem conveys a clear theme, impression, or message
          -learning log reflection demonstrates a careful analysis of the student's own writing

          This grammar exercise connects to a work of literature by taking the words directly from the text and manipulating them to convey a theme or other interpretation of the text.

          Again, all credit goes to Ms. Kathleen McDaniel and Dr. Carol Booth Olson (whom you might have seen at this year's NCTE National Convention in Las Vegas).