Not many teachers light up when they hear the word grammar. Maybe you recall your own days of diagramming sentences under the watchful eye of your high school English teacher.
Or you feel slightly anxious as you worry about past participles, dangling prepositions, and plural possessives.
Most students don’t exactly get excited by nouns, verbs and conjunctions either. And grammar lessons can feel so tedious.
But grammar doesn’t have to be boring. Over the years I’ve come up with lots of strategies to make grammar practice more fun. And one of my favorites is using task cards to teach grammar.
What Are Task Cards?
Task cards have become very popular in the last few years. They are a set of cards about a given topic that have a single task or problem written on each card. This is a great way for students to focus on a particular skill.
Task cards are versatile. They can be used for all subject areas and can contain a variety of questions types. Most task cards have multiple choice, true/false or short answer questions.
Why Use Task Cards in the Classroom?
Task cards are a great alternative to another boring worksheet. They provide an interactive way for students to practice and review skills. They are also helpful for sensory learners who benefit from holding the card in their hands.
Task cards also help students focus on one thing at a time. If you have students who rush through worksheets to get to the end, task cards will force them to slow down and take their time.
They can also help motivate students. Instead of being faced with a full page of questions, students only have to tackle one at a time. When they finish one problem, they get to move on to the next card. This can be much less overwhelming than contemplating twenty problems at once.
Students can get up and move around the room when you use task cards in your lessons. One popular way to use task cards is a Scoot. The task cards are spread throughout the room and students physically move from one to the next recording answers to each question on an answer sheet.
How Can I Use Them?
There are many other ways to use tasks cards. You can place a set of task cards in your centers (just be sure to include materials so that students can answer the questions themselves). Task cards are also great for morning work or fast finishers. And you can use them to differentiate instruction by assigning different cards to different students.
Students can work independently or with a partner to complete task cards.
If you laminate them, you can use task cards over and over again each year. You can also wipe them off easily to keep germs at bay.
What Kinds of Grammar Can Your Practice with Task Cards?
All of it!
Pretty much any lesson can be practiced using task cards. Nouns, adjectives, irregular verbs, types of sentences and much, much more. If you teach a grammar concept, it can be practiced with task cards.
And the best part is I’ve already created these task cards for you! You can find task cards in all of our grammar lessons. We’ve also conveniently bundled our individual lessons into units, and year-long bundles, available for grades 3, 4 and 5, that include task cards for every lesson you teach. There is also a digital bundle available for third grade.
Do They Work with Distance Learning?
Yes! You can can use task cards to teach grammar even if you are teaching online.
If you already have printed task cards you can use them during a whole class lesson in a variety of way.
Because task cards only have one question per card, they make it easy to practice concepts you just introduced. You can show one card on a shared screen and model how to select the correct answer. For instance, during a lesson on subject/verb agreement, you could have a student read the sentence with a missing noun and try it out with both the singular and plural choices before selecting the correct word. Then you could point out that since the verb has an “s” on the end, you know you need to select the singular noun.
To use tasks cards as practice or review during digital learning you can show cards one at a time and give students a chance to select the correct answer. Students can record answers on a response sheet you’ve sent home or that they’ve downloaded. Or they can show answers by using sign language or typing their answer in the chat box.
You can also have students complete task cards independently. Our digital grammar lessons all include task cards as google forms. This makes the task cards interactive. Students complete each activity right on their screen and responses are sent automatically to you. You can see an example of how this works here.
FREE Grammar Mini Course
Looking for more tips on teaching grammar? I’ve got a FREE mini-course that shows you how to teach grammar in 10-15 minutes a day. You can learn more here. This course includes strategies for differentiating instruction for all learners and tips for teaching online. It comes with a year long pacing guide and a one-hour PD certificate.
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Have a Not So Wimpy Day,