About a year ago, I wrote about using an interactive notebook at home with my son. Since that time, I’ve seen an explosion of tools for interactive notebooks, and I have branched into making more tools. As grammar is my love, I focused on creating an interactive grammar notebook. Today I’m marking the interactive notebook for seventh and eighth grades officially completed!
I wanted to give my readers a special peak inside the notebook for older students because you can only see so much with thumbnails. The finished product has 160 pages covering basic concepts to more difficult ones – types of sentences, verbals, phrases, connotation/ denotation, and language terms.
I’m aware that the eight parts of speech and the parts of a sentence are “supposed” to be taught in lower grades; however, some students may not grasp those concepts or may have never been taught them. Before moving onto higher thinking with grammar, students will need to review:
Because older students want freedom and because every class is different, I created varying pieces for the same topic. Teachers can choose what option best fits a class, or students can pick what works for them.
For instance, “phrases” have three options. You may not need to print all of them – choose your favorite. Another option is to have one piece as the introduction and another at the end for a summary.
The “grunge” or “rough” pieces are not interactive – they don’t have flaps (top right in the picture above). I wanted to provide that option as a time-saving tool, or for students who need differentiated instruction (who maybe cannot work scissors well).
One benefit of an interactive notebook is that students can visualize and manipulate the information. While covering potential grammar errors – misplaced modifiers, dangling modifiers, commas with coordinating adjectives – I brainstormed what would give student that visual to remember the content:
Confusing terms and concepts (such as gerunds, participles, infinitives and types of sentences) have pieces which clearly separate the definitions.
Moods in verbs is always a difficult concept for me to teach (students find that concept confusing!) so I spent time working on an interactive piece for moods. The pieces are illustrated. They can be used one per page, or assembled in a mini-book.
A goal throughout the making of this interactive notebook was to make adaptable for various teachers and students. It’s a fine line between making pieces that have meaning and are open-ended for numerous students. “Less is more” works for older students, because they can write examples, rules, answers, or whatever they need to remember for pieces:
As I searched for graphics to speak to students, I resorted to real pictures for connotation and denotation.
Finally, as grammar is language and much of the “language” standards brush with literary and language terms, I included pieces addressing common terms. Each piece is an open book, with a bookshelf for organizing them. A blank sheet of open books is included.
Creating an interactive notebook was difficult. Ultimately I found it rewarding.
I had lots of feedback and constructive criticism online and in person; I want to thank those people. It was a labor of love because I feel so strongly that students grow as ELA learners once they understand grammar.
Want to see the grammar interactive notebook for seventh and eighth grades? It is listed in my TpT store.