Human sentences

31 Dec

The syllabus requires us to engage in explicit teaching of grammar.  While I am reasonably confident integrating these skills and discussing then in relation to the texts we explore in class, I am also aware that some of my classes require additional assistance and instruction.  I am also aware that many of my classes who do need this kind of instruction are also classes that do not learn best when they are sitting on their bottoms facing the whiteboard.  As such, I am always on the lookout for interesting grammar games.

I know interesting grammar games sounds like it should be an oxymoron, but it does not have to be.  I have high hopes, for example, for grammar and punctuation bingo, and also for verbs and adverbs charades.  I am also interested in exploring an activity I discovered regarding the construction of human sentences.  In essence, this activity requires various coloured cards, each with the name of a part of speech or a visual representation of punctuation.  Using their cards to guide the audience, students begin by acting out a subject and verb combo.  The audience ‘reads’ the people.  From there, multiple subject and verb combos can be linked together using punctuation and conjunctions, allowing students to understand the relationship between clauses.

If I were using this in my class I would coordinate the colours of the cards to those students have in their pencil cases, allowing us to visually map what we embody and see on paper.  I would then use the same colour sequence as part of comprehension activities and when students are peer and self reviewing work.

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