My personal children are young, and I often create elementary grammar lessons for them.
When students have materials that relates to their interests, they are more involved in the lesson. My personal children do grammar lessons at school (I do not teach in their district), but they often need review and extra practice at home. Plus, since I teach grammar with older children, I naturally weave grammatical discussions into their homework and independent reading.
Sometimes I struggle to find activities that resonate with my kids, and because I teach older students who often grumble about grammar, I’m aware that I can make life easier for my own children as well as others. My children inspire my elementary grammar lessons, and they have NO qualms about giving their mom honest feedback.
Plus, I’ve learned that hands-on grammar means more to kiddos than a worksheet. I now apply that knowledge to activities with my older students in the classroom.
Here are a few of the elementary grammar lessons I have created with the help of my personal editors.
Connection to literature
My son obsesses over *Minecraft. He plays the games, builds with the figurines, and wears Minecraft themed clothing. When he started reading the Minecraft books, I knew I wanted to make a few Minecraft lesson plans because I can’t be the only parent or teacher with a child who loves this phenomenon!
I decided to pull parts of speech and create a mentor sentence activity. So, I pulled 48 adjectives and 48 nouns from Ty’s Minecraft: Construction Handbook. I gave the answer sheet’s background a pixelated look and added dotted lines for cutting apart the adjectives and nouns.
Ty is in second grade so he has studied some of the parts of speech. His teachers have done fun activities like making a “noun town” and describing other students with adjectives. He knows the terms.
As we read, we had an interesting discussion about using words as both nouns and adjectives. Some of the nouns are minerals—diamond and gold. Those can also be describing words, words that describe types of tools. I specified that those words would be referencing the minerals, not describing the tools. He glued them in the noun category.
He completed half of the noun and adjective sort, leaving 24 of each for another day.
In the classroom, this would work as a Minecraft station or scoot activity. For us, it worked as a nice extension activity at home. I created the noun and adjective sort, noun and verb sort, and character sentences. Since I would not consider my son a writer, I was thrilled to get his participation with writing.
Glue? Yes, my children will eagerly glue and cut! I created a noun and verb sort that had a school theme, thinking that it tied to what Ty knows. He then asked for a nature sort, and I think he enjoyed that one more. With older students, I avoid lots of clipart, but my son enjoyed the bright pictures to help with the words.
Grammar sorts add depth to grammar conversations. Students should understand from a young age that grammar includes the ability to talk about language. When Ty and I work on a sort, we talk about different ways words can be used. I don’t present this fact as a way to confuse him; rather, I present the differences in words as a fun and analytical activity.
My favorite part of sorts is when Ty adds more nouns or verbs to the columns. Grammar sorts can provide room for analytical conversations.
At home, task cards work well because I can complete four or six with my son at a time, and then we can save the rest for another day. I know that at school, I use task cards for review and with stations. When I taught middle school, I separated task cards into different plastic boxes and used them to differentiate lessons.
We reviewed coordinating and correlative conjunctions. When we read together, we spy the different conjunctions in use. Direct instruction, review, application. I don’t make the discussions a huge deal! We simply notice the concepts in what we read.
I stress to my students that grammar is everywhere, in literature, nonfiction, speeches. When I’m with my personal children, I encourage that type of thinking, just as I show them that letters and numbers are in our world. I can easily squeeze elementary grammar topics into discussions with picture books.
From a young age, I ask Ty to see that grammar is part of writing. Sometimes when we write, I’ll ask Ty to “dig” and “dump” a sentence. (He loves construction and trucks and basically all vehicles!) I allow him to choose what sentence he thinks should be better, and we work to improve it with one of our construction-themed writing activities. With those sheets, I ask him to choose a sentence. Then we rearrange and play with the sentences. He loves the vehicles and the metaphor of “building” sentences. Elementary grammar can be easily connected to writing. Let me know if you have any ideas for exploring elementary grammar topics.
As a teacher, I want to problem-solve with my own children. I’ve created elementary grammar lessons based on their interests, and my hope is that they engage your children or students.
* I am in no way affiliated with Minecraft Handbooks or the video game.