Teaching Grammar in High School

Have you ever tried marking essays with really bad grammar, syntax and non-existent punctuation? No? Right, you’re not an English teacher. For those of you who are, or at any point have to labour through the ordeal of marking any kind of writing that is painful to look at, let alone grade, you will (I am certain) agree with me when I say that grammar, nay, good grammar, is an essential ingredient to good writing. So what do you do when you have a class full of high school students who do not, I repeat, DO NOT know their grammar? Well, you teach them of course! (I mean the clue is in your title! ;))

Teaching grammar in high school is tedious, boring, daunting and let’s face it, just plain scary, but you gotta do whatchu gotta do, right? (Yes, I cringed as I typed out that line in slang). So, how do you make it fun? You use Kahoot! End of story.

Here is a link to a Kahoot! presentation I created with 25 questions that cover punctuation, grammar and sentence structure: Grammar Face-Off Kahoot! Game

This Kahoot! can work as a diagnostic at the beginning of your course to determine where students are in their grammar, or as a review class where they play the game and you stop after each question to review concepts or teach them (because many of them will have never heard of a gerund or an infinitive phrase. Really? We have those in the English language?). You can choose to play this game individually with each student answering on his/her own mobile device, or do as I did where I grouped them into teams and made them play against each other. I found this to be a more fun approach because they were competitive and participated really well!

The game itself took about 35 minutes to get through and I rounded off my class with a prepared grammar package for each student that I found online. You can use any grammar worksheets and put them into a package depending on the writing abilities of your students.

So there you are, a simple lesson to help make learning grammar fun for your students. And the best part is, you can create an ongoing competition with Grammar Face-Offs once every week. Teams can accumulate points for a final big reward of your choice at the end of the school year (I would include GRAMMAR CHAMP certificates as part of their reward ;)). By taking the time to teach your students proper grammar, you not only invest in their quality of writing, you help groom them into becoming more effective communicators (a necessary life-skill). So there! You are doing your job and making a difference in the world. Well done, you!

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