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Dicing with Grammar

Average Rating4.65
(based on 175 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.
expanded noun phrases, science fiction writing, KS2, short burst, sci-fi
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expanded noun phrases, science fiction writing, KS2, short burst, sci-fi

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I couldn't find much out there on KS2 noun phrases. Lots of stuff for KS1, but I feel it still needs pushing in KS2. On top of that, I couldn't find any decent short texts for sci-fi writing... So here is a very exciting - but also brief - sci-fi text. Children have to expand the noun phrases. There are 6 suggested ways they can expand nouns and a detailed word bank to support them. The text could also be used as a model for writing - it would be easy to play with it create something entirely new. Worked for my class.
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
dashes,  parentheses, resourced lesson, extra activities
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dashes, parentheses, resourced lesson, extra activities

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There are two useful resources here: 1. A carefully planned lesson about dashes, exploring how different types of extra information can be added to a sentence. This includes a detailed lesson plan and 3 activities (the final one is a team game, with clear differentiation). All resources are included. The lesson covers these Year 5/Year 6 objectives: I understand the terms dash and parenthesis/parentheses I can explain some uses for dashes I can use dashes creatively for lots of different purposes This is perfect for a demonstration lesson or an observed session. There is minimal ‘teacher talk’ and lots of active pupil engagement. 2. I have also included a further punctuation game: ‘Punctuation show-offs’. I can use brackets, dashes (parentheses) and semi-colons in my sentences. Would you like the writers in your class to be ‘punctuation show-offs’? Me too. I created this dice activity to encourage children to add extra information to sentences using parentheses (brackets and dashes) and also to separate closely related main clauses using semi-colons. I have also provided teacher and - more importantly - child friendly explanations and examples of all concepts. Children may incidentally find out about Usain Bolt, Picasso, Stephen Hawking and a 1000kg bowl of cereal. Have I caught your interest yet? This whole activity has a ‘show-off’ theme and it’s fun. After playing this, you can remind your class to be ‘punctuation show-offs’ in their own writing. Finally, I have added a ‘Victorian’ version of the same game, to show how it can be adapted to different themes.
Apostrophe Catastrophe!
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Apostrophe Catastrophe!

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Fully differentaited dice game! Identify and correct apostrophe catastrophes. This game is differentiated into three versions to include all learners. Apostrophes are first introduced to children in Year 2 (UK National Curriculum). By the end of Year 4, children are expected to use apostrophes accurately to show possession, omission and to mark plural possession. This game provides an opportunity to practise all three types of apostrophe use mentioned above and would also be very useful to revise the use of apostrophes in Years 5 and 6. The 'support' version of the game could be used with younger children as it just focuses on apostrophes of possession and omission. The game includes instructions on how to play (with ideas about how to finish the game), differentiated versions, and resources to support and challenge pupils. There are also 'time-saver' versions of the game cards that don't need to be cut out! ***I prefer to use the game 'landscape', and I blow the pupil recording sheets up to A3 so that they have lots of space to write. I have added a landscape version of the game.***
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
Whole school fluency map, fluency grids for year groups, fluency grids for parents, other resources
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Whole school fluency map, fluency grids for year groups, fluency grids for parents, other resources

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These resources are designed to promote the teaching and learning of basic number facts across primary school. If children are fluent they do not need to keep going back to inefficient counting methods! Many of the fluency skills promoted here may be the same in Key Stage 1 as they are in Key Stage 2. This is because for many children it is just as important to learn root addition and subtraction facts in Year 6 as it is in Year 1. These number facts will support children when facing the very large numbers they have to deal with at primary school, so it is well worth promoting fluency across your school…and I’m not just talking multiplication tables! Everything is fully editable, so adapt it to make it work for your school. Resources included: A whole school fluency map, showing the number facts that must be learned from Y1 to Y6 ( a lot of skills are repeated across every year group. This is intentional! Fluency guides for each year group, linked to the whole school map Fluency guides for parents (please make sure you send out with the ‘addition and subtraction roots on one page’ document copied onto the back of the sheet) Addition root facts Subtraction root facts Optional reward chart for parents to use at home, linked to parent guides Multiplication facts pre and post assessment sheet Division facts pre and post assessment sheet In the zip folder: Multiplication and division - bronze, silver and gold timed challenges, including medal chart and medals. We give out a times tables wristband anytime a child gets a gold medal - this has proved a big hit. Bronze - times table in order, 30 seconds Silver - times table out of sequence, 40 seconds Gold - times table with division facts, 80 seconds Good luck! I hope your fluency work has a positive impact on mathematics teaching and learning at your school. And remember explicit teaching of fluency skills is just as important as practising and rapid recall.
Amulet by Ted Hughes, poetry with patterns
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Amulet by Ted Hughes, poetry with patterns

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KS2 poetry with patterns - 4 lessons - fully resourced I love using ‘Amulet’ by the amazing Ted Hughes as a model for children’s poetry writing. Here are four sessions that explore this rich and powerful poem in creative ways. By the end of session 4, children will have created powerful poems of their own. Objectives covered: Part 1 Understanding a poem I can discuss a poem in a group, listen carefully to others and build on my own ideas. I can explore the meaning of tricky words and phrases. I can infer what the poet may have been thinking. Part 2 Reciting a poem I can read using intonation to add meaning I can visualise a poem I can recite a poem from memory Part 3 Exploring nouns and noun phrases and gathering ideas I understand the terms noun and noun phrase I can use precise nouns and rich descriptive language Part 4 Creating poems of our own I can create a magical poem with patterns Your class will love creating poems in the style of Ted Hughes!
Persuasion, argument, discussion, debate MEGA BUNDLE
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Persuasion, argument, discussion, debate MEGA BUNDLE

4 Resources
Everything you need to get your KS2/KS3 class using the language of argument, persuasion, discussion or debate. This set of resources includes games to develop vocabulary and resources that lead to extended writing. You'll love these - I use them often in year 5 and year 6!
explanation writing, cause and effect
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explanation writing, cause and effect

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Do you want your class to learn about the language of explanation whilst also learning how to host parties and start fires in the wild? Try the dice activity ‘Cause and effect’. Assessment focus: I can use causal connectives to extend a sentence or begin a new sentence. When writing explanations, many children find it difficult to discern between conjunctions that join sentences (eg because, so) and adverbs/adverbials that begin a new, closely related sentence or at the very least follow a semi-colon (eg however, as a result of). This activity gives children lots of opportunities to use causal connectives (because, so, so that, however, consequently, this means, this will, this may, as a result of this) orally and in sentences. Most importantly, it helps them to think about whether they are extending a sentence or beginning a new one. This could be used before my other popular resource for explanation writing: ‘Explain yourself’. That activity enables children to develop a full explanation, whereas this narrows the focus to sentence skills.
list sentences
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list sentences

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Sweet shop lists! A fun way to generate list sentences Assessment focus I can use a comma (or ‘and’) to separate things in a list You will need: a dice guide (included), a tick chart (included), a 1-6 dice Support: Reduce the number of items on the tick list. Use a 1-3 dice and reduce the number of rows on the dice guide. Challenge: For each item in your list add an adjective to extend the noun phrase. There are some helpful words in the ‘Yum word bank’. Example: We shared our chewy fudge, sour laces and delicious lollipops.
parentheses, dashes, fully planned and resourced lesson, brackets, semi-colons, games, US version
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parentheses, dashes, fully planned and resourced lesson, brackets, semi-colons, games, US version

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There are two useful resources here: 1. A carefully planned lesson about parentheses using dashes, exploring how different types of extra information can be added to a sentence. This includes a detailed lesson plan and 3 activities (the final one is a team game, with clear differentiation). All resources are included. The lesson covers these Year 5/Year 6 objectives: I understand the terms dash and parenthesis/parentheses; I can explain some uses for parentheses; I can use parentheses creatively for lots of different purposes. This is perfect for a demonstration lesson or an observed session. There is minimal ‘teacher talk’ and lots of active pupil engagement. 2. I have also included a further punctuation game: ‘Punctuation show-offs’. I can use brackets, dashes (parentheses) and semi-colons in my sentences. Would you like the writers in your class to be ‘punctuation show-offs’? Me too. I created this dice activity to encourage children to add extra information to sentences using parentheses (brackets and dashes) and also to separate closely related main clauses using semi-colons. I have also provided teacher and - more importantly - child friendly explanations and examples of all concepts. Children may incidentally find out about Usain Bolt, Picasso, Stephen Hawking and a 1000kg bowl of cereal. Have I caught your interest yet? This whole activity has a ‘show-off’ theme and it’s fun. After playing this, you can remind your class to be ‘punctuation show-offs’ in their own writing. Finally, I have added a ‘Victorian’ version of the same game, to show how it can be adapted to different themes.
3D shape quiz quiz trade cards
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3D shape quiz quiz trade cards

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Learning about 3D shapes? Why not kick off the lesson with a quiz quiz trade to get everyone moving and using mathematical vocabulary. Just print off enough cards for one per child or get adults involved too.
expanded noun phrases, dice activity
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expanded noun phrases, dice activity

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There are lots of resources already available for expanded noun phrases, but none that really challenge children to develop their vocabulary and make really adventurous or precise choices. This dice activity encourages children to try out new word choices from extensive word banks, and it is fully differentiated into three versions. In its simplest form, children add adjectives and pairs of adjectives to noun phrases. In its most challenging form, children may have to add two compound adjectives and a preposition phrase - this can result in some wonderfully descriptive sentences. It all depends on the roll of a dice. Of course, teachers that love using my games will have guessed that already! Try it with your class and then ask them to apply the skill in their next composition. Fully editable so that you can easily adapt it to the unit you are working on by changing the single clause sentences that the children will be developing. *The main version here works well with myth, legend and adventure, but I have added a sci-fi version to show how it can be adapted for use with any fiction.
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.
Science fiction model for Y5 or Y6
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Science fiction model for Y5 or Y6

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Here is a short science fiction/suspense model for Year 5 or Year 6. I have also included an annotated version with teacher notes showing all of the key grammatical features, the way the text is structured and some suggested activities. How is this text organised? Are you good at hiding? Do you ever keep secrets? Can you keep secrets from your reader? This story is all about keeping secrets, and causing confusion, uncertainty and suspense! Can you keep the identity of your man character (a cat in the model text) hidden until the end and let the reader try and work out what they are? Can you keep the danger unknown until right at the end? Can you finish on a cliff hanger? So many questions… Build your own story from here. Scatter clues about the identity of your main character and keep the danger hidden. Here are the themes of each part of the story: Setting, fear, an unknown thing coming Flashback 1: unclear warnings and rhetorical questions Sustaining injuries: main character stops what she is doing and runs for home, but it is treacherous Home and family: How is the character motivated to survive? Her den and cubs! Flashback 2: she remembers more warnings, but the threat remains uncertain and confusing Main character finds a familiar place – nearly home? – nearly safe? A mysterious object finally appears – everything scatters – character’s identity revealed Fear changes to hunger – prey becomes predator… cliff hanger!
Battle of the Complex Sentences
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Battle of the Complex Sentences

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This lively whole class game involves stealing words and wearing blindfolds - it causes a real buzz of excitement around creating complex sentences. It is one of my most involved games, but very easy to get the hang of. You’ll need a full lesson to play it. A fun whole class grammar game promoting the use of subordinating conjunctions in complex sentences. My class loved it - I hope yours will too.
27 editing stations
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27 editing stations

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27 ways to for KS2 writers to edit and improve their own writing. This project was written by Fiona Keeling and Maurice Leahy and has been loosely inspired by Brighton Train Station (bear with us). We put it together to help children develop writing further at the editing stage. The PowerPoint explains how it works, but we are sure you’ll find your own ways to use this. Fiona brings it to life in her classroom with a cap, whistle and realistic train tickets! It was a lot of work, so if you spot the odd error, please let us know and we will put it right. We hope it saves you some precious time. Please leave a review. Happy editing!
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.
Goodnight Mr. Tom, three drama activities leading into diary writing
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Goodnight Mr. Tom, three drama activities leading into diary writing

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If you are reading Goodnight Mr. Tom here are three very short drama activities for children to try in pairs. They could be used just to help children engage with the story. I asked children to use these three short pieces of drama to support them in writing a diary entry and they produced some wonderful writing. If you like this creative and active approach to teaching, you will love my pack of 40 grammar games - available to buy in my TES shop. Hope they are of use to someone out there in teacherland. If you use it, please review it! *2200 downloads…2 reviews