Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Grammar Lesson My Way

I have been researching ways to teach grammar and mechanics to my students; ways that would not include multitude of worksheets. Here are my musings while reading and studying English grammar on a snowy day:

You need a subject and verb.
If you want details
try adding an adjective or two;
but if you do, don't forget the order:
interesting, small, ancient, round, green, Asian, wooden Jade.
You wan to sound smart, don't you.
And if time or frequency is what you need,
try an adverb;
they are your friends.
But determine which one it is
as their place in a sentence is often different.
Are you still with me?
Maybe you feel adventurous, and want to combine two sentences;
check the FANBOYS; they will always help you.
Argh! Couldn't there be just one simple rule to follow?
No, because you need a correct place 
even for the interjections.
Now that your sentence is mostly done,
think about punctuation.
Did you ask? command? or just make a statement.
Did you quote, "my teacher always taught us this way?"
And remember to put the end punctuation before the quotation mark?
What about the dashes and hyphens?
Wonder if even your teacher has mastered them......
Maybe, maybe not, but my teacher sure knows
how to use those editing marks! 
They must be her best friends, as she sure spends a lot of time with them.
Hmm, maybe I need some new friends??


  1. Love your ending!

  2. You are the grammar goddess. I need to think about this more often. Now I will refer to your poem and Warriner's when I get the itch. XO

  3. Oh yes, how to teach grammar without all the worksheets! Your poem is on point. Have you read Jeff Anderson's books? They are my grammar resources. I wish I'd been in his class, then maybe some of it would have stayed with me.

    1. I was actually reading one of Jeff's books this weekend! I, too, wish that I could have been in his class!

  4. Grammar is difficult. Especially if it isn't completely universal. Learning punctuation and sentence structure in one language doesn't transfer easily to another language. I like that you played with the subject and formed it into a poem.

    1. You said it Terje!!!! I really like Chinese grammar because it is so easy! Wish that English would be that way as well.....

  5. Like Elsie, Jeff Anderson is my grammar guru....and your poem reminds me of his lessons- grammar CAN be fun!

    1. Tara, Jeff and Kelly Gallagher kept me company this past weekend via their books. Trying to put into practice what I am learning, and doing it in a way that students can remember. Perhaps I will share my poem with my students also.....

    2. So much better than the PROGRAM to teach grammar we are using....this is a great way to put practice into poetic form!

  6. How about diagramming, Jaana?

    JUST KIDDING! (That was the bane of my existence in jr. high!)

    Have you dissected texts to look at the way authors craft picture books with conventions? I have a few craft tables on TWT that might help.

  7. The poem is so clever, & might give you the jumpstart in interest you'll need to teach some of what you need. Takes time to re-create lessons, I know. Good luck with the study & creation.

    1. Thanks Linda! Study continues this weekend...but it is really cold outside, so inside work is okay:-)

  8. Oh so clever! Have spent the past two weeks trying to teach fourth and fifth graders how to punctuate dialogue. Which is enough to drive a person to consider adult beverages, even though one class does go from 8-9 every morning. YIKES!

    1. I feel for you Carol! I have been trying to make my students understand that using textual evidence does not mean that you just put a bunch of quotes on the paper!!!! Then I make coffee (without the adult beverage included), drink it, and teach a new group. Life is good!


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