Reviewing basic grammar can be, well, boring.
Even I think reviewing basic grammar is not jazzy fun – I enjoy diving into a sentence and seeing how to make it stronger, better, more persuasive. I know, however, that without my foundation of grammar terms, I couldn’t do that. My students don’t always realize that fact and think that learning grammar terms and lists is slow torture. Old textbooks? Students really loathe those.
It’s part of Bloom’s Taxonomy – students must understand the basics before they can manipulate and analyze those basic concepts. That is why teachers rely on grammar sheets. Without that foundation, fun grammar activities wouldn’t make sense.
And while I think the Core Standards have issues, I do think they will improve the grammar situation will be better as classes advance throughout the school system. (Surely I’m not the only high school teacher who still has kids struggle to find the eight parts of speech?) I’m hopeful that students will learn those basics as they learn language at a younger age.
When I started making my middle school grammar worksheets, specifically my eighth grade activities to address all the language standards, I almost quit. I dislike copying “worksheets” for students.
BUT, and this is a big BUT, I have delved into an activity with active and passive voice, or maybe types of sentences. I’m trying not to bore students – to give them the fun. Halfway through, I needed to give a larger grammar review than what I had skimmed over at the start of the lesson.
The grammar lessons don’t need to be worksheets, though. Task cards get students moving. Grammar scrambles help visual learners. Posters can be bright and engaging.
That is why I have the Eighth Grade Grammar Bundle in my store. The bundle has four basic worksheets that cover active and passive voice, verbals, verb mood, and inappropriate shifts in mood and voice. The bundle will add to an eighth grade language arts class in several ways; it has posters covering the common core standards, task cards, and a test. You can view the task cards above. Plus, I included a “parenting blurb” for a website or classroom newsletter, to keep parents in the know about your study of language.
With my students, explaining that we have to know the basics and review with the worksheets before we get to the subjective part of grammar lessens the complaints.
Because while part of grammar lesson plans will be studying basics – addressing the knowledge/ comprehension levels, it shouldn’t be and can’t be the entire study. Students should have the opportunity to explore, analyze, and mess with their sentences. Working over a paper and making it a piece of art is what most English teachers find so engaging.
I’m excited to share that process with my students, too. Reviewing basic grammar is only the start.
UPDATE TWO: Per customer request, I have bundled the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade bundles into a middle school grammar bundle. It contains over three-hundred pages of grammar lesson plans, task cards, tests, and more – for a discounted price.