I switched to being an English Education major when I was a sophomore in college. I was apprehensive to join, well, because I hate grammar and mechanics. Anything else associated–well wait, I dislike phonetics too– with Communications Art and Literature I really enjoy. When it came to my grammar classes in college, let’s say I did not do well. I made it through, but I struggled.
This is the same torture I know my students are going through when I teach grammar to them. I know it is not their favorite thing to learn and I know I can lose them quickly during instruction. I will be honest about my dislike for grammar because of the way I learned about grammar and parts of speech, or maybe how I didn’t learn it? To mix things up a bit, this year I thought I would try teaching sentence diagramming. However, before we started the 2 week unit, we went over the parts of speech using quite a bit of visual aids.
ME TRYING TO MAKE GRAMMAR FUN AND MEMORABLE:
Instead of having my students identify the different parts of speech in sentences on a black and white sheet of paper for three to four weeks, I chose a different method. We still did identify the different nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, etc. To begin learning a new part of speech. After we became semifamiliar with the part of speech and examples of it, I had my students take their iPads and take pictures. Once they had multiple pictures I would tell them to identify the specific part of speech we were working on that week(btw, I split this up so that every Friday was grammar day, so the first Friday we did this I started with nouns, then the second Friday was probouns, and so on). For an example, I showed the students a picture of my cat sitting on an ottoman. They named as many different types of nouns that they could. I required them to have at least one picture of the various types of nouns like common, proper, abstracr, etc.
This went on for quite a few Fridays until I felt they were strong enough to move to diagramming. We did a Part of Speech final too. I will attach pictures and the assignment requirements to show what I mean.
I will get more into diagramming information with my next post, but my point of this one is that I don’t think my students would have been ready for diagramming if it wasn’t for the time we spent on the different parts of speech. Giving them a healthy background, or given a review if they have been previously taught the parts of speech, would be helpful. My colleague chose to teach parts of speech at the same time as diagramming and she says that it got to be overwhelming this year with her younger students.
During this time of me becoming better at identifying the different parts of speech, because I was teaching them so often, I was able to catch on to diagramming quickly as well. Trust me, I still had questions and would need to check to make sure I was correct with my colleagues that have been teaching it for years.
One thing I did realize though… my diagramming unit needs something fun and personal like my grammar unit.
More to come! Thanks for reading!
Here’s my proposal. The new page will be up and running soon!