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Dicing with Grammar

Average Rating4.65
(based on 177 reviews)

It's simple really: English grammar can be a very dry subject, but this need not be the case. For a few years now, I have been developing a games-based approach to teaching important grammar concepts. It is amazing how the introduction of dice takes the learning into a new place - the element of chance making it seem less like work and more like play. Because I test my games extensively in the classroom, I get a feel for what works. Dump your boring worksheets and start dicing with grammar.

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It's simple really: English grammar can be a very dry subject, but this need not be the case. For a few years now, I have been developing a games-based approach to teaching important grammar concepts. It is amazing how the introduction of dice takes the learning into a new place - the element of chance making it seem less like work and more like play. Because I test my games extensively in the classroom, I get a feel for what works. Dump your boring worksheets and start dicing with grammar.
Bog Baby, three week writing unit
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Bog Baby, three week writing unit

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Talk! Drama! Reading skills! Sentence skills! Making and drawing! Spelling skills! Writing a narrative! This is a creatively planned and fully resourced three week writing unit. It is aimed at year 1, or the beginning of year 2. The planning and activities have been carefully differentiated and there are plenty of opportunities for greater depth writing. If you buy this, please use the zip folder. It is organised into folders, lesson by lesson. The following objectives are covered across the three week unit (many are covered more than once): Drama • I can explore a story through improvisation and role play. I can act out a story I know using voices for characters. Spelling • Suffixes that can be added to verbs) with a focus on -ed endings: I can add the –ed suffix to verbs. Sentence/Punctuation • How words can combine to make sentences: I can show what I already know about sentences. I can talk in sentences. I can spot sentences. • Introduction to capital letters, full stops demarcate sentences: I can add full stops to the end of a sentence. • Joining words and joining clauses using and: I can join my ideas together using ‘and’. • Capital letters for names: I can use capital letters for names. Composition • Sequencing sentences to form short narratives: I can put sentences in a sensible order. I can use the skills I have learned to write a story. • Similes: I can write a simile. **Reading: ** • Vocabulary: I can fix meaning breakdowns. • Inference: I can tell you about why a character does or says things. **Terminology: ** • letter, capital letter, word, sentence, punctuation, full stop
Theseus and the Minotaur, 3 week writing unit
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Theseus and the Minotaur, 3 week writing unit

(2)
Massive 3 week writing unit, planned in detail and fully resourced and differentiated. It is pitched at Year 4, but would work equally well in Year 5 or 6 (please see the key skills covered below). For most sessions, there are resources to extend high attainers and resources to support SEN learners. This unit is ready to go! Three weeks of differentiated resources is a lot of files, so you can’t see it all in the preview. When you buy, please use the zip folder. The contents of the zip are organised into weeks and then into individual lessons (the other files are only there so that people can preview the unit!) . The zip will enable you to navigate your way through the plan and related resources with ease. All resources are PowerPoint and Word, so you will have no issues opening anything - and you can edit to suit your own needs - no PDFs! There are many, many resources included. Here are a few key examples: model text (short and long versions); a story map; drama activities; story boards; cold task/assessment task; reading comprehension activities; conjunctions activities; scavenger hunt; paragraphing activities; pronoun activities; noun phrase activities; fronted adverbial activities; tool kits; idea gathering resources; planning grids; peer assessment resources; and many more! The key objectives covered repeatedly throughout the unit are: Reading: • increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books, including myths and legends, and retelling some of these orally • asking questions to improve their understanding of a text • drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence Vocab/grammar/punctuation • I can use a wide range of subordinating conjunctions (when, if, because, although) • I understand the term ‘adverbial’ and I can use fronted adverbials (with a comma) • I can choose a variety of nouns and pronouns (to avoid repetition) Composition • discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar • organising paragraphs around a theme Evaluate and edit by: • assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements These have been broken down and written in ‘child speak’ within the planning.
Stone Age
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Stone Age

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Three writing unit for Year 3/Year 4. A fully resourced and differentiated unit including all slides and activities. Drama! Talk! Reading skills! Grammar skills! Organising information in fun and inviting ways! It’s all ready to pick up and use. I have included the full unit in a zip folder (if you buy, just use the zip!), as you cannot see it all in the preview. The children begin with an assessment task (a cold task) and then spend a week exploring a model text about the Stone Age and learning some key grammar skills for year 3 and 4. They go on to learn about structure and organisation whilst also learning about mammoths! Finally they use all of their new skills to create their own information text about the Iron Age. The whole 15 lesson unit is full of games and activities focused on these skills: I can show what I already know about writing an information text I can ask questions to improve my understanding of the text I can quickly find information in non-fiction texts I can use conjunctions (when, before, after, while) to explain when things happen I can use prepositions (in, on, inside, at, by, during, before, after) to explain when and where I can spot the key features of information texts I can use paragraphs to group information I can use headings and sub-headings to organise an information text I can present (show) information in different ways I can use glossaries to check the meaning of words (repair ‘meaning breakdowns’)
The Tear Thief, 3 weeks of planning
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The Tear Thief, 3 weeks of planning

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Three weeks of creative and fully resourced Year 2 Talk for Writing planning involving drama, reading skills (information retrieval and then inference), poetry, grammar skills, drawing, diary writing and story writing. Each lesson is fully resourced and differentiated - there is also a focus on greater depth opportunities. To get the most from this writing project, it would be useful if the class had access to a copy of ‘The Tear Thief’ by Carol Ann Duffy - a magical picture book. If you buy this unit, PLEASE USE THE ZIP FOLDER - everything you need is in there. Each session is organised into a separate folder. The other files are simply there as a preview to show some of the resources included. Over the three weeks, the following Y2 objectives are thoroughly covered: Grammar • I can say and write a sentences with a capital letter and a full stop • I can use different joining words (conjunctions) to join my ideas • I can use carefully chosen adjectives/expanded noun phrases • I can use an apostrophe to show ownership Reading • I can spot meaning breakdowns • I can visualise a character from a story • I can find information in a story • I can read like a detective (inference) Composition • I can retell a story in sentences • I can add a new part to a story I know • I can create a character • I understand how a story can be organised • In my own writing, I can use words and ideas from a story I have read • I can write a story (using the skills I have been learning) This unit could be easily adapted for use in other year groups.
Beowulf, 3 week writing unit
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Beowulf, 3 week writing unit

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Here is my most successful unit! Every year, children produce fantastic writing. I have used it in Year 5, but it could be easily adapted for use in any Key Stage 2 class. Although Morpurgo’s version of the classic poem is fantastic, this unit is based on a very short, simplified version of Beowulf (written as a story), which can be read quickly and used as a model for children’s writing. There is still plenty of rich vocabulary and figurative language to explore. I have included two versions of the model: a 500 word version and a more detailed 900 word version. This carefully planned unit is three weeks long. Firtsly, children learn the story through a series of drama activities. Later on in the unit, they change the story, and retell it from the monster’s perspective - great fun! Finally, they create a legend of their own, using the pattern of Beowulf - a ‘defeating the monster’ pattern. Of course, there is plenty of grammar, comprehension and vocabulary work included throughout (all in the ZIP folder). Many sessions and writing tasks (including the final outcome) are differentiated, for mixed ability classes. I have also given suggested passages for whole class shared writing - an essential part of teaching writing. This unit is ready to go. Creative teachers (and children!) will enjoy getting stuck-in to this one. Please also check out my new unit ‘Theseus and the Minotaur’. It’s my most comprehensively resourced unit to date, with every lesson creatively planned in detail and many sessions resourced for SEN, EXP and GDS. https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/theseus-and-the-minotaur-3-weeks-of-detailed-planning-fully-resourced-and-differentiated-11914692
The Kraken, poetry unit
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The Kraken, poetry unit

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Drama! Talk! Poetry map! Scavenger hunt! Reading skills! Team work! Creative writing! 13 resources included! This is a seven day poetry unit exploring Alfred Lord Tennyson’s ‘The Kraken’. It has been planned in a lot of detail and is fully resourced. There is clear guidance all the way through, so if you’re in a rush, you can pick it up and use it! There is also a one-symbol-per-line story map to help children learn the poem off-by-heart with help from picture cues. All of the tricky words are also defined. The unit begins with children performing and learning the poem through drama and then moves on to explore the imagery in the poem, including comprehension questions. Children then begin to use imagery of their own. They work collaboratively (using a’ jig-saw’ approach, explained in the plan), use language playfully and finally write their own poem. It is a very enjoyable unit, which inspired some superb writing in my class. It could work with Year 4, Year 5 or Year 6. Sessions cover these objectives: 1. I can recite one line of a poem from memory. (Drama) I can recite a whole poem from memory. I can find meaning within the puzzle of a poem. 2. I can understand wide range of imaginative and ambitious vocabulary. (Definitions scavenger hunt included) I use a wide range of imaginative and ambitious vocabulary accurately and precisely. 3. I understand the term imagery. (14 comprehension questions included) I can find examples of imagery in poem. I can suggest reasons why a poet has used certain imagery. 4. I know what the terms metaphor and simile mean. (Group work activities creating new Kraken imagery) I can use simile and metaphor (imagery) and magic! I can play with the order of words to add impact. 5. I can draft a poem and develop my ideas by ‘magpie-ing’ from other writers and drawing on poems that I am reading. (Supportive writing frame included) 6. I can evaluate, edit and improve my own writing. I hope your class love it and create some incredible poems.
The Present, short film
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The Present, short film

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This is a KS2 sentence intervention for the whole class based on the brilliant short film ‘The Present’! It is made up of 12 carefully planned and fully resourced sessions, complete with PowerPoint slides. Everything is editable and it’s all ready to use with no additional preparation. For one reason or another, many children arrive in Year 4, 5 or 6 with significant gaps in their understanding of basic sentence grammar. Often we are asking them to repeatedly take part in extended writing tasks when they can’t tell us what a sentence is or write accurately. Use these 12 lively sessions with your class and you will quickly see an impact on sentence accuracy. Soon, children will be engaging with grammar and you’ll here: “Is this a run-on?” or “Does this sentence make sense?” Music to any teacher’s ears! Allow about an hour for each workshop and adapt it to suit your own needs. Let’s give children the knowledge and skills to start talking about sentences. If you purchase this unit, please use the zip. Each lesson is resourced in its own sub-folder for ease of use. All planning (Word) and slides (PowerPoint) are included too. The images are just to enable previewing of the unit. Overview of the unit Workshop 1 (slides 1-3) Sentence assessment task Workshop 2 (slides 4-14) I can tell the difference between a sentence, a fragment and run-on I can change fragments and run-ons into sentences Workshop 3 (slides 15-19) I can tell the difference between a sentence, a fragment and run-on I can change fragments and run-ons into sentences Workshop 4 (slides 20-28) I can start a sentence with How? When? or Where? Workshop 5 (slides 29 – 39) I can use these conjunctions: ‘because’, ‘but’, ‘so’ Workshop 6 (slides 40-45) I can tell the difference between statements, questions and exclamations I can write statements, questions and exclamations Workshop 7 (slide 46 – 52) I can identify a run-on I can correct a run-on Workshop 8 I can punctuate direct speech (slide 53-59) Workshop 9 (slides 60-64) I can start a sentence with How? When? or Where? (2) Workshop 10 (slide 65-69) I can peer assess writing and set a target I can plan a story Workshop 11 (slides 70 – 74) I can use accurate sentences in my story writing Workshop 12 (slide 75-84) I can edit my work and improve it for my readers
Stone Age model text
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Stone Age model text

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Fully resourced 3 week unit for this text also available in my store! I wrote this model text for year 3/4 children learning about the Stone Age (Bronze Age and Iron Age models are also included in your download). Important year 3/4 conjunctions, prepositions and adverbs are shown in red. The model has been written so that the children can easily use it to help them structure their own reports on the Bronze Age or the Iron Age. There is one image and it is from PIXABAY. I have also included some teacher notes about the text. If you are a talk for writing school, I have included the ‘story map’ for the first 4 paragraphs - that’s the amount we ‘talk’ off-by-heart. I have included Bronze Age and Iron Age versions of the Stone Age model. This is to show how the model can easily adapted to new subjects, and to give ideas for outcomes that the children could research and write. Finally, there are two activities related to the Iron Age version of the model that may be handy. One involves adding prepositions to information sentences. The other involves organising information in a sensible way (sub headings, captions etc).
Explanation writing, causal connectives
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Explanation writing, causal connectives

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Fun dice activity exploring causal connectives, also warm-ups and model texts Explanation writing is one of the trickier non-fiction genres in the primary curriculum. Although we rarely explain sequences using formal language, we often explain things in every day terms. How do you complete that level of the game? How do you do that magic trick? How did you solve that problem? There is a group of words and phrases that can help explain cause and effect more precisely. These can be called ‘causal connectives’. This is not a strictly defined group of words – more collection of conjunctions, adverbs and other cohesive devices that can be useful for this genre of writing. Try the dice activity ‘Explain yourself’ and watch your class get comfortable using these connectives aloud as they explain diverse subjects including ‘how to take the perfect selfie’ and ‘how the digestive system works’. When they are ready, they can write some of their favourite explanations, using causal connectives with accuracy. I have added 4 simple oral warm up activities. These encourage to children to rehearse useful vocabulary (consequently, as a result of this, so, so that, therefore, however) and add brackets to explanation sentences. Try that tricky language aloud before you get into any writing! I have added an ‘eco-explanations’ activity. I have also added 9 model explanations to give some ideas of things to write about.
SPAG 78 English Grammar Dice Games
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SPAG 78 English Grammar Dice Games

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This is now the original 40 grammar dice games (a 145 page word document containing 40 fun grammar games) and also 38 more grammar games (included in a zip folder). Unlike a lot of sellers, my work is a Word document, so you can edit-and-adapt to make it work in your classroom. All of these games have been tested in class and adjusted if needed. They have a real impact on learning. For each grammar skill there is: a child friendly explanation of the concept; printable rules and resources for a lively dice game; suggestions to challenge or support learners; suggestions for application of the skill in written work. For some grammar games there is also a lesson plan and a presentation. Some of the games included are: 1. Mission Control - Write commands, questions and statements 2. Mythical Six 3. Simple or Compound 4. Adverb Sea Monsters 5. How many proper nouns? - Use proper nouns in a sentence 6. Castle of Nouns - Classify different types of nouns 7. The Memory Test – contractions 8. Apostrophe abductions - Identify possessive apostrophes and contractions 9. Synonym racers (adjectives) - Use more adventurous adjectives 10. Unplanned Story - Use sentence variety 11. Whose side are you on? - Learn the language of argument 12. Whose side are you on? (advanced) - Use extended arguments in a balanced discussion 13. Sentence Extenders - Extend simple sentences in a variety of ways 14. Battle of the complex sentences - Create complex sentences 15. Simple, compound or complex - Create simple, compound or complex sentences 16. Explanation game - Use causal connectives 17. Fronted adverbials - Use a variety of fronted adverbials 18. Warrior swords - Vary the length of fronted adverbials 19. Score my speech - Punctuate direct speech accurately 20. Score my interrupted speech - Interrupt direct speech by dropping a reporting clause in 21. The relative clause team game - Drop a relative clause into a sentence 22. Will you or won’t you? - Use modal verbs in sentences 23. ‘Time’ or ‘Place’ - Classify prepositions into two groups 24. Add a prepositional phrase - Add a prepositional phrase to a main clause 25. Punctuation show-offs - Use dashes, brackets and semi-colons 26. Plural planets - Explore 6 rules for making plurals 27. Battle words - Use this for any spelling rule! 28. Determiners ‘Point or show quantity’ - Learn all about determiners 29. Determiners ‘Introduce the noun’ - Classify and use determiners 30. Unstressed vowel race - spell unstressed vowels 31. Follow the rule/break the rule - spell ‘ie’ and ‘ei’ words 32. Creepy crawly colon sentences - Colons to explain 33. Colons to introduce lists ...and more!!!
Persuasive writing and balanced discussion
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Persuasive writing and balanced discussion

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Orally rehearse the language of persuasive writing and balanced discussion before writing using these dice games, model texts, planning frames and toolkits. Throughout Key Stage 2, children are expected to take part in debates and compose one-sided arguments or balanced discussions. To be successful at this, children need plenty of opportunities to use the language of argument. Connecting phrases such as ‘it is obvious that’, ‘other people claim that’ and ‘opponents of’ need to be orally rehearsed as children do not encounter them regularly in their daily lives. This fully planned session, complete with a presentation and a fun dice game, will give children the experience of using the language of argument in a purposeful way. Use this session prior to any ‘argument’ style writing and it will give children the tools to be successful. *I have now added ‘Whose side are you on? Advanced’. This version is for 4 players and enables children to create full balanced discussions orally. The patterns they use exactly mirror the structure of a written balanced discussion. **I have also added a model text, a planning frame and a self assessment sheet for persuasive writing and a model text, a planning frame and a self assessment sheet for discussion writing. ***I have also added: a one sided model text in favour of Victorian style child punishment (for children to argue against!) a one sided model against mobile phones in school for children to argue ‘for’ a mobile phone fact or opinion sorting activity a one sided model for animals in circuses for children to argue against a one sided argument against computer games for children to argue ‘for’ a computer games counter argument activity a computer games fact or opinion sorting activity a for and against sorting activity linked with space a for and against sorting activity linked with aliens
varjak paw diary unit
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varjak paw diary unit

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This is a 3 week KS2 writing unit based on an extract from ‘Varjak Paw’. Each of the 16 sessions has a clear and detailed lesson plan, presentation slides and differentiated activities (greater depth, on track and support) complete with resources. It’s all here! For a large chunk of this unit, children explore a wonderful extract from chapter 21: Varjak discovers a toy shop and meets a toy cat. Using this passage for inspiration, children create short bursts of writing whilst learning and applying new skills. These short bursts are eventually combined to create a diary entry. When you open the zip, you will find a folder for each session - everything is organised in a user-friendly way. As with all of my resources, all files have been created using PowerPoint and Word, so you can edit and adapt as you wish. I have aimed this unit at Year 4, but it could be used in any KS2 setting - I would happily do this project with Year 6 pupils. This unit has been very carefully sequenced and builds towards quality writing outcomes. It is packed with talk, reading, vocabulary, grammar and composition skills. Unit Overview Session 1 Prewriting activity – I can visualise a story setting Session 2 Cold task – What do you already know about diary writing? Session 3 I can notice and define adventurous words and phrases Session 4 I can reuse adventurous words and phrases Session 5 Reading activity: I can read like a detective Session 6 I can use prepositions to show where something is (in relation to something else) Session 7 I can use preposition phrases to organise a paragraph Session 8 I can describe how a character is feeling using their body language Session 9 I can punctuate direct speech correctly (sentence level) Session 10 I can punctuate direct speech correctly (text level) Session 11 I can use ‘but’ to change direction in an unexpected way Session 12 I can write sentences using adventurous vocabulary and prepositions Session 13 I can pick out the key features of diary writing Session 14 I can use the key features of diary writing Session 15 I can plan a diary entry independently Session 16 Independent diary writing. Children have the opportunity to demonstrate their new skills and knowledge.
Talk for Writing planning frame
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Talk for Writing planning frame

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Many teachers love the Talk for Writing approach but do not find it easy to organise all of Pie’s brilliant ideas into a unit of work. It is a challenge! I have been following the TfW approach for many years, and I have spoken at a few of Pie’s national conferences. Over the years, I have organised Pie’s ideas into a three week planning grid. The planning frame attached is not supposed to be prescriptive; it is designed to ‘hold your hand’ while you put a unit together. It is invaluable for teachers new to this approach, but even old-timers like me find the prompts helpful. This planner has been taken on in many schools and you may adapt it for your own use. This work is designed to support teachers using the TfW approach.
The Tin Forest
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The Tin Forest

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This resource is six activities linked to the text. They are ready for children to pick up and use independently. Defining and reusing tricky words from the text Picking out the key features of a fable from the text (and from ‘The Promise’) Adding fronted adverbials to sentences from the text Grouping synonyms to create a word bank for fable writing I can plan a fable of my own I can write a fable of my own
Determiners, two dice games, presentation
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Determiners, two dice games, presentation

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Two dice games for KS2: ‘Point or show quantity’ pupils explore the two basic functions of determiners. ‘Introduce the noun’ pupils add determiners to noun phrases and sort determiners into groups. Both games have a competitive element but are tightly focused on the following objectives: I know that determiners have two jobs: ‘pointing’ or ‘showing quantity’ I can use determiners accurately in sentences I can use a wide variety of determiners to introduce nouns I can sort determiners into groups Determiners can get a little confusing for primary school aged children when you get beyond simple ‘a’ or ‘an’ activities. How far you go with your class is best judged by you (of course!). Through the presentation (which you may wish to simplify, depending on how far you wish to go with determiners) and engaging dice games, children will use lots of talk, and really engage with this tricky-to-define but important group of words.
Fronted adverbials, dice games, presentation
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Fronted adverbials, dice games, presentation

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This one works a treat! ***This game and 39 others are included in ‘40 Grammar Dice Games’ available from my TES shop*** ’More Grammar Dice Games’ is also now available Fronted adverbials should now be taught from Year 3 upwards and this is a useful way in - it will also stretch talented KS2 writers. This dice-based activity encourages children to add a wide variety of fronted adverbials to a main clause. The game is differentiated into three different versions. In its simplest version, less confident writers can pick appropriate adverbs to open sentences. In the most challenging version writers must elaborate and include more than one adverbial before the main clause. This can produce some stunning sentence work. My class have been able to apply this skill in their own writing and I’m sure yours will too. There is a presentation to provide your class (or any less confident teachers) with the knowledge needed to use the activity creatively. NEW! I have added a new game ‘Warrior Swords!’ to develop the skill of varying the length of fronted adverbials. It is more challenging than the other 3 versions attached. I hope you find the games as useful as I have. ***This game and 39 others are included in ‘40 Grammar Dice Games’ available from my TES shop*** ’More Grammar Dice Games’ is also now available
Poetry,  What I love about school
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Poetry, What I love about school

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Hi teachers of the world! I love using Roger Mcgough’s fantastic ‘What I love about school’ to motivate pupils to write poetry with patterns. I’ve used it several times, and the children often come up with brilliant poems of their own, once they have had time explore the patterns. A shortened version of the poem, some comprehension activities and planning sheet are included. Have fun! If you like this activity, you may like my grammar games and units of work.