What do you think of when I say, “It’s time for grammar!”?
Are you super-excited, sitting on the edge of your seat, bouncing with anticipation?
Yeah, I didn’t think so. Most people, including a lot of your students, don’t get real jazzed up about grammar.
But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if, when you said, “Hey class, it’s grammar time!” they broke out into dance like M.C. Hammer?
Today I’m sharing three reasons your students don’t like grammar lessons, and, more importantly, what you can do about it. Spoiler alert: it’s not hard to make grammar lessons fun, effective, and even something your students look forward to.
1. You don’t like teaching grammar lessons.
If you’re like most teachers you don’t look forward to teaching grammar. You might get super-excited for a new math lesson with fun manipulatives or look forward to introducing your students to a new story in reading. But grammar lessons are just kind of, meh.
Maybe you remember endless pages of conjugating verbs or diagramming sentences and feel a headache coming on. You hated learning grammar as a kid and you hate teaching it now. Or you may feel like you never really mastered grammar. What is a participle again? Is it ever okay to end a sentence with a preposition?
There are so many rules and so many exceptions, it’s easy for grammar lessons to make you groan. But if you don’t like teaching grammar, there’s no way your students are going to like learning it.
When we don’t like teaching something or we feel we aren’t good at it, we put it off. We don’t plan interesting lessons. We rush through it or skip it whenever possible. It doesn’t take long for students to figure out that grammar is not a priority.
And if you don’t bring the same sense of enthusiasm to your grammar lessons as you do to other subjects your students will pick up on this.
2. You are confusing writing lessons and grammar lessons.
Often, when I ask teachers what they are teaching in writing I get answers like compound sentences, prepositions, or linking verbs. But these things aren’t writing lessons. They are grammar lessons.
So, if you say it’s time for writing and then launch into a ten minute lecture about pronouns your kids are probably going to get pretty bored. If they were excited about working on their writing piece, the unexpected grammar lesson will dampen their creativity. And they won’t be very focused on what you’re teaching because they’ll be thinking about what they had planned on writing.
Also, if the only thing you are focusing on during writing is mechanics, your students are going to get discouraged. I know it’s important that students know how to write a sentence complete with capital letters, punctuation marks, subjects, and predicates. (And I know it can take all year to teach this one seemingly simple skill).
But there’s a lot more to writing than grammar. If students spend weeks working on a piece they’re proud of and the only thing you focus on is their grammatical error, chances are they aren’t going to be big fans of grammar.
3. You don’t have a grammar routine.
Grammar is hard. If students are going to master the standards (and grammar is in the standards) they need dedicated grammar lessons that break difficult concepts into very small pieces.
You can’t just rush through the topics or jump around from nouns to verbs to adjectives to fragments and expect kids to pick up all the confusing grammar rules.
Students need an entire week to learn about nouns. Then they need additional weeks to learn about pronouns and plural nouns (both regular and irregular) and proper nouns. In total, I spent about eight weeks just teaching students about nouns.
But no one wants to spend a week (or eight) just doing worksheets about nouns. You need a dedicated grammar routine that breaks down challenging grammar concepts in a fun, easy, and engaging way.
A simple grammar routine will make your grammar lessons more fun and more effective. And all you need is ten minutes a day. Click here to read about my grammar routine.
How to Make Grammar Fun for You and Your Students
The good news is that it’s not hard to take your grammar lessons from ho-hum to super fun. All you need are a few simple tips and activities to help your kids master the grammar standards in an engaging and effective way.
And I’ve got just the resources you need to make this transformation super simple.
Ready to Use Grammar Lessons
If you are ready to try a grammar routine in your classroom, you will love my grammar bundles. I’ve created all your grammar lessons for the entire year. My grammar bundles are available for grades 2-5 and include 32 weeks of done-for-you lessons.
They follow the same routine each week:
- Monday: Powerpoint mini lesson
- Tuesday: Interactive notebook activity
- Wednesday: Grammar writing lesson
- Thursday: Task card review
- Friday: Assessment
This saves class time because you don’t have to give new directions each week. Kids also thrive on routine. They love knowing what to expect. And they look forward to interactive notebook activities and task card scoors every week.
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FREE Grammar Training to Help You Get Started
Grammar is hard for everyone, even teachers. If you’d like a little more guidance about how to use your grammar curriculum in the classroom, you’re in luck! My team and I have created a FREE professional development to help you out.
In this grammar professional development, you will learn:
- how to keep students engaged when you’re introducing a new lesson or skill
- my secrets for using grammar interactive notebooks so they don’t take too much time
- a quick way to integrate grammar into writing
- my favorite ways to use task cards for reviewing grammar
- my simple strategies for differentiating grammar for learners of all levels.
The videos in this mini-course are short and easy for you to get through whenever you have time. So you can do it whenever you want!
Have a Not So Wimpy Day,