Teaching Grammar with Grammar Punk

.

Teaching Grammar

Now before your move on at breakneck speed to anything besides the subject of, gulp, GRAMMAR, hold on a minute. Grammar is cool—or should be. Grammar is fun—or can be. Grammar is easier than you think—or will be. With Grammar Punk. Grammar is all around us—no kidding.

What I’m really talking about is making the teaching of grammar fun. No, really.

We at Grammar Punk are, admittedly, geeks of the first order, and not just because we happen to love Grammar. What we really love is the language and the words we use to form the language. The letters that make the words that create the sentences that form the paragraphs that build the stories that Jack built. We warned you about the geek part.

Grammar: Rules for language; the system of rules by which words are formed and put together to make sentences. That definition pretty much says it all. Grammar is a system of rules, probably why it’s become such a deadly dull topic. The dry recitation of a bunch of rules is the great idea of very few. And it’s why it’s become a subject that can be neglected, or even, gasp, left out altogether. But it’s that important, that vital to a well-rounded education. To be even more blunt, it’s that vital to a barely functional human being. Writing, unlike, say algebra, is essential. We all have to write. Whether it’s with a keyboard, a phone pad, an i-pad, or what-have-you, writing is a must-have.

So what, you might ask, does this have to do with the teaching of grammar? Frankly not all that much with the way that grammar has been traditionally taught. Admit it, as you’re tapping away on whatever apparatus you choose the fish diagram thing you did ad nauseum in elementary school (also known as grammar school, by the way) is not front and foremost in your mind. You know how to write, we all know how to write, why? Wait for it, because we had to learn. How well we learned it is a whole different matter. Enjoying it, another subject still.

So, let’s talk about teaching grammar in a different way. Let’s talk about the purpose of the teaching grammar, which is at the end of the day, to make better writers. Good writers. Coherent writers. Even great writers. And step number one should be:

Writing is fun.

Writing is communication. Writing is how facts, thoughts, emotions, and opinions are expressed. Writing is how books that enlighten, frighten, amuse, sadden, and thrill get made. Writing is how all those television series, movies, and comic books go from someone’s imagination to the screen. 

The first tip for making the teaching and learning of grammar fun is to get realistic. Realistically, why should we care about the rote-memorization of the (many) rules pertaining to punctuation and the parts of speech if students struggle to write the simplest of sentences?

Okay, long introduction over. I, on behalf of Grammar Punk the home of “writing is fun-ville”, will be adding a weekly teaching grammar is fun sort of exercise. It will contain the rules which will be immediately followed by something fun to ease the sting of the rule thing. Play along, participate, just read, that’s cool. Whatever, if you pay the slightest bit of attention you’ll find that writing really is fun. Promise.

Lesson No. 1

We’ll start slow but sure. Periods. Kind of a duh sort of punctuation symbol, but not really. Periods after all dictate the length of sentences, whether they be simple, run-on, fragmented, complex, etc. Periods also do things like abbreviate words, create acronyms, and denote fractions and monetary incremental factors. See? And you thought periods were simple.

Okay, here we go.

Periods end declarative and most imperative sentences. Periods are also used in abbreviations, to show decimals, and denote dollars and cents in writing. Think of periods as causing a “full stop” at the end of a sentence.

We begin with periods in our Grammar Punk 4-9 Intermediate Program. Students will not only learn each and every rule by not only by reading about them, hearing from their teachers, but by using the rule in a sentence. By writing that sentence. Again and again. And because they will be doing things like rolling brightly colored dice and doing what the dice dictate, and because the words they use will be their own and also inspired by the dice, the sentence writing will be fun. The classroom (of whatever size or type it may be) will be noisy and raucous and involved. And it will be fun.

Periods end declarative and most imperative sentences. Periods are also used in abbreviations, to show decimals, and denote dollars and cents in writing. Think of periods as causing a “full stop” at the end of a sentence.

  1. Use a period at the end of a complete sentence that is a statement.

 Use a period at the end of a complete sentence that is a statement.

Grammar Punk™ 4-9 Example: S I 4 | Sylvia was quite astonished to find that she had slept through the entire dentist visit.

Learn more about us at www.grammarpunk.com