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Grammar Instruction Can Be Fun!

Grammar puzzles many kids. There are a myriad of reasons for this, which can range from being an English Language Learner to having a lack of direct instruction with regard to the teaching of grammar. (Don’t worry! I’m not proposing that we go back to the days of teaching kids how to diagram sentences. In my opinion, that would be plain awful! Plus, I’ve blogged about that before. Click here to read my thoughts on diagramming sentences if you’re new to this blog.)

However, grammar can be taught in the classroom without making it feel like skill-and-drill. There are many professional resources out there about teaching grammar. Two I like are The Power of Grammar: Unconventional Approaches to the Conventions of Language and Grammar Lessons and Strategies That Strengthen Students’ Writing, which were both written for upper elementary and middle school teachers. There are even funny books, like the three Lynne Truss has written, that can help you teach grammar in a ‘fun’ way.

My Scholastic Book Order arrived on Friday. Inside I received three bonus books. One of those books was Woe is I Jr.: The Younger Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. I began reading it and found the tone conversational and the instruction (it provided) as easy-to-understand. The book teaches kids how to pick the correct homophone, the right verb, and when to use an apostrophe. It even has a section on cliches. It’s definitely worth a read, if you haven’t seen it, since there are sections of it you might want to use during writing conferences, as mid-workshop interruptions, or even as the demonstration in a minilesson.



grammar, GUMS

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

3 thoughts on “Grammar Instruction Can Be Fun! Leave a comment

  1. Thanks for the info on the Scholastic book, Stacey! I noticed that it will be included in my order but didn’t know much about it.

    I have started using Sentence Composing (ala Don and Jenny Killgallon) and it is working really well so far! This wee we just learned how to chunk sentences, imitate them, and unscramble them. This week we will being learning the names of the tools that authors use. I am already seeing a difference! It’s just more “real” (and fun!) that the drill and kill. No more “what is a noun, verb, adjective” from 1st grade through high school!



  2. I just heard Jeff Anderson speak. He wrote Mechanically Inclined. He has some awesome strategies for teaching grammar and he does it within the writing process. He taught 4th, 5th and 6th grades. Check out his book! I think you will like it!!


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