Easily Incorporate Grammar Into Your Day
Are you unsure of how to incorporate grammar into your classroom schedule? The day always goes by so fast, and it seems like there is never enough time to teach everything. If your classroom is like a lot of classrooms, grammar is usually what gets cut.
It is so hard for most teachers to incorporate grammar into their days because they don’t have a clear grammar program. Most school districts don’t use textbooks for teaching writing anymore, so it is hard to stay on schedule with things like grammar.
Plus, many teachers are using programs like Daily 5 to teach reading and writing. Grammar has a place in Daily 5 too, but teachers need the right resources to consistently include grammar in the schedule.
One of my favorite ways to practice grammar concepts is to have students find examples in the texts they are reading. This is such as easy way to practice any concept in grammar from nouns to compound sentences. Here is how it works. The teacher writes the concept of the day on the board or on a piece of butcher paper. For example: nouns. Then, students add interesting examples they find while reading under the heading. You will want to emphasize the interesting part or else you will end up with cat, dog, girl, boy, etc… You could also limit students to one example each, so they will be motivated to share the best example they find instead of 20 examples that clutter the board.
This activity is great for practicing identifying grammatical concepts, but they also have to be introduced. Here is a suggested sequence for grammar for an upper elementary classroom. I planned for one topic per week for the entire school year. Some of these topics will be important review for your students while other topics will be introduced, but will not expected to be mastered in elementary school. My sequence gets to complete sentences as quickly as possible because I believe that writing complete sentences is more important than any other grammatical concept. Feel free to use this list and adapt it to fit your classroom needs.
Week 1: nouns (people, places, things, and ideas)
Week 2: common and proper nouns
Week 3: pronouns
Week 4: action verbs
Week 5: simple verb tenses
Week 6: complex verb tenses
Week 7: to be verbs
Week 8: helping verbs
Week 9: simple subject and simple predicate
Week 10: subject/verb agreement
Week 11: adjectives
Week 12: adverbs that tell how
Week 13: complete subject and complete predicate
Week 14: complete sentences and ending punctuation
Week 15: adverbs that tell where
Week 16: adverbs that tell when
Week 17: adverbs that tell how much
Week 18: preposition and articles
Week 19: compound sentences using FANBOYS (coordinating conjunctions)
Week 20: compound sentences using semicolons
Week 21: complex sentences using subordinating conjunctions
Week 22: stretching sentences
Week 23: comma rules
Week 24: comma rules
Week 25: apostrophes for possession
Week 26: apostrophes for contractions
Week 27: dialogue
Week 28: reflexive pronouns
Week 29: irregular plural nouns
Week 30: collective nounds
Week 31: adjectives: comparatives and superlatives
Week 32: demonstratives: these, those, this, that, etc…
Week 33: defining words: which, whose
Week 34: countable and uncountable nouns
I have created over 20 grammar topic units to introduce individual grammatical concepts to your students. Each unit comes with a mini-book sharing the details of the concept. There is a fully complete version and a version that requires students to fill in the blank. Units also include worksheets or sorting activities to give students explicit exposure to the concept.
Sorting activities are perfect for Daily 5 because students can do them independently or with a partner, they are easy to set up, and they don’t require copies. Plus, our brains love to sort. It is a task that is enjoyable for your highest kids and accessible for your lowest kids.
There are also assessments in the units, so you can track student growth.