Let me be perfectly honest, grammar seems quite useless to elementary level students. Pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, and the like have no purpose or meaning to most students.
Why must we learn these terms, definitions, proper placement, and then diagram everything to death? When will we use this when we grow up?
To ease the pain of monotonous workbook pages and labeling parts of speech I have turned to Mad Libs.
Again, I must confess, I had never "played" Mad Libs. I am not even sure it's correct to say "play' because I don't think it's a game. All I know is they're really fun.
The kids had received a few different kinds of these books as gifts. I looked at them, thumbed through them, put'em away, took'em back out. I couldn't see how these could be fun?
I asked the kids if they wanted to try one story out. They agreed.
The object is to complete a given story by filling in the missing blanks throughout the story. You are given a separate sheet of paper that lists the type of word you will need in order. For example, give a noun, then a pronoun, adjective, exclamation, verb, noun again, and so on till all blanks are filled. Then you take those words and in the order given fill in the blanks throughout the story to complete it. Now read the story out loud.
I could not believe the laughter! Rolling on the floor, holding their stomachs kind of laughter.
This is not the grammar they detested so much just yesterday, is it? Can it be that we have stumbled upon a fun and exciting way to make parts of speech meaningful?
Indeed we have. Adverbs have never been so fun. Even the younger ones are asking what's a noun, verb etc. so they can participate too! There are simpler words to put in the story such as, give a number, a body part, a color etc. which make it easy for little ones to participate. This makes it fun for every one. I delegate those "blanks" to the ones who have not yet been introduced to the world of grammar. I will say however that this has been the least frightening way that I have found to introduce grammar.
I actually had to tell them we were going to have to pick up where we left off tomorrow. They were so disappointed!
I am getting over my shock of how much fun they had with parts of speech and how much learning actually took place. Which is why I am telling you to check out Mad Libs if you have yet to do so. It's a great activity for families to do together. It takes the dread out of grammar if your students are prone to baulk at it.
"Show me thy ways, oh Lord: teach me thy paths." Psalm 25:4