30 May 2008Add to My Folder
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A boring grammar activity sheet can turn off even the most enthusiastic writer. Try out these fun games and activities instead – and see children’s interest in sentence-level work soar!
Children very often practise sentence-level work on activity sheets. However, this rarely helps them to retain grammatical knowledge or gain understanding. This article considers a better alternative – investigating and playing games to improve sentence construction. Sentences always make more sense if they are firmly rooted in a familiar context. If you use a class book, a well-known story, or subjects related to the school to create sentences, the children do not have to struggle to think of content. This allows them to concentrate on the new grammar and puts the emphasis firmly on the learning objective.
Playing games also makes it possible to tap into different learning styles. In recent years there has been a great deal written about VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic) and the need to consider different approaches when planning lessons. Games offer movement, colour and sound, and therefore have something for everyone. It is important to play sentence games in different ways. For example, a new grammatical structure might be introduced with an active game involving cards, but then you should move on to a whiteboard and oral work.
ACTIVITIES Ages 7-11
1. Making connections
Learning objective: to develop the use of a greater range of connectives in compound sentences.
Investigate a range of connectives by highlighting them in a piece of text and asking the children what ‘job’ they do in the sentence. If the children find this difficult, prepare some examples for them to compare: two simple sentences and one compound sentence linked by a connective. The use of colours will help to make the point. For example: