If you're teaching grammar, as with any teaching, it's important to establish what the children already know and what needs to be taught. Use the never-heard-the-word grid with your class in order to establish which of the key grammar terms need teaching, or which the children have understood from previous grammar lessons. Download a PDF version of the resource here.
Click below to download a PDF of an apostrophe sorting game created by Julia Strong and referenced in the Jumpstart! Grammar book. Download the file below, cut it up and then ask the children to sort the different uses of the apostrophe into their different categories. Download a PDF version of the game here.
Noughts and crosses – subordinating conjunction style This is a great game to play once the children understand subordinating conjunctions and it will really build their confidence while being an entertaining challenge. It’s also a good game to play at a staff meeting to help build staff confidence with the rather obscure need in the 2016 grammar test in England for children to be able to spot the difference between a word like before when it functions as a subordinating conjunction, as opposed to when it functions as a preposition. Find an entertaining picture. Just Google “Mouse in a helmet” and grand images of a mouse in a crash hat approaching a mouse trap loaded with cheese appear. Provide the class with a noughts-and-crosses grid of subordinating conjunctions. If you want to provide more help, you could highlight the words that could also function as prepositions, as illustrated below: The ultimate challenge is to see if they can use all three words as subordinating conjunctions in one coherent sentence. Warm up with the easy version of the game. The children should work in pairs. Each child in turn selects a conjunction and creates a complex sentence using that subordinating conjunction to describe the picture in some way. (The child who starts the game, if wise, will pick as for their starter word.) The first child to achieve a diagonal, horizontal or vertical row of correctly structured sentences wins. Now the real game begins. Challenge the whole class to see if they can come up with one multi-clause sentence that contains all the three words in any of the rows. Their sentence has to make complete sense and describe the picture in some way. They have [...]
Rehana and Rashida from Yew Tree Community School in Birmingham, one of the Talk for Writing Training Schools, have kindly shared their toolkit showing how sentence structure progresses across the years. Download the PDF document here
Those of you who have looked at the 2016 sample test paper will know that, unfortunately, the naming of parts (and some of them very obscure) is gaining ground and additional terminology has been added. To help teachers confidently rise to this challenge while integrating the grammar into model texts and engaging the children, we have provided a free training PowerPoint plus related resources. This PowerPoint supplements Jumpstart! Grammar which, if you haven’t purchased already, we suggest you buy here. Before using this resource for training all staff, we suggest that you try out the ideas with a small group of staff so you can build up your confidence and understanding of some of the trickier aspects. Please be aware that this is large PowerPoint file containing 57 slides. It may therefore take some time to download. Download the PDF document here
Please find below grammar resources including all the sorting activities that weren't included in Jumpstart Grammar for lack of space. Looking at the exemplar grammar tests for 2016, it is obvious that they are going to become increasingly difficult with more emphasis on the naming of obscure parts, for example the past progressive. Pie and Julia will keep an eye out and add additional resources to this page to provide fun activities for any of the additional terms if they haven’t already been well covered by Jumpstart! Grammar. 1. This document is a downloadable printable sheet of punctuation sorting cards. It is referenced in the Jumpstart! Grammar book. 1. Download the Word version of the document here . . 2. The Text Ingredients Game is a great game for building older pupils’ confidence in understanding the typical key ingredients of the different text types. It can be adapted to reflect the terminology that your class should be familiar with. 2. Download the Word version of the document here . . 3. Matching activities are much more fun and more effective than grammar exercises because they involve the pupils in discussing the best fit. This document contains examples of matching grammar activities to embed understanding once classes have been taught the features referred to. 3. Download the Word version of the document here . . 4. Word dominoes can be an excellent way of consolidating the pupils’ confidence with using the key vocabulary of any unit and is great for grammatical terms. The aim of this game is to be able to link all the dominoes in a line. 4. Download the Word version of the document here
'Shared writing phrases' is a two-page document for use by teachers. It provides a range of phrases that it might be useful for teachers to use in order to get the most out of their class when doing a shared writing activity. Download as a Word document
'Teaching English Creatively' is a 25-page document written by Pie Corbett. It is a key Talk4Writing resource in which Pie explains what is important when teaching English and also suggests a range of activities for teachers to use in the classroom. Download as a Word document.