Grammar game

19th September 2003 at 01:00
Your forum for practical tips and ideas

To remind pupils of the importance of writing descriptive sentences, I use an activity based on the game of consequences. It works well from Year 5 up to Year 8.

Give the children an A4 piece of paper with six columns on the long side and four rows on the other. The columns are headed Adjective, Noun, Verb, Adverb, Adjective, Noun. Make sure they know the meaning of these words.

The pupils then put their names on their sheets before filling in the four spaces in the first column with a range of adjectives.

When everyone has done this, the sheets are folded over between columns 1 and 2 so the adjectives can no longer be seen. Sheets are then passed clockwise or anti-clockwise. Each pupil will now fill the noun column of the sheet they have just received, before folding and passing again. This is repeated until all boxes are filled, when sheets are returned to original owners.

The pupils now add connectives to their sheets to make grammatically correct sentences out of what's returned to them. For example, "Blue-London-Swam-Nervously-Weird-David Beckham" could eventually become:

"The blue-eyed girl from London jumped into the pool and swam nervously across to the weird David Beckham fan." I would then ask pupils to copy their finished sentences neatly, colour-coding the nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs.

I like to complement this activity with the adverb game. A volunteer steps out of the room while the rest of the class nominates an activity (eg, swimming, reading). I then give the volunteer an adverb - "nervously", perhaps - and he or she then performs the activity in the style of the chosen adverb. Whoever guesses the adverb becomes the next volunteer.

Mike Price, key stage 2 teacher, Knockhall Community Primary School, Greenhithe, Kent

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