Lessons in Teaching Grammar
A Message from the Authors:
We are both passionate about the teaching of grammar and how it can be used successfully to enhance writing and engage readers. The desire to produce this book was driven by the belief that understanding grammar is not separate but is integral to effective communication. Knowing how to teach grammar effectively requires thorough subject knowledge; however, this is not always an area in which teachers feel confident. Our book aims to explore how explicit knowledge of grammatical concepts as set out in the National Curriculum will develop your own confidence when teaching writing in the classroom. In other words, instead of presenting theoretical perspectives and assuming the reader will make the link with practice we have endeavoured to make the relationship explicit throughout the text.
The lesson examples included in our book have all been tried and tested in the classroom and have successfully contributed to children’s knowledge and understanding of grammatical concepts. A key feature of the lesson examples is that they build upon children’s prior knowledge and their interests. They are not intended to be seen as a ‘quick fix’ to meet the requirements of English in the National Curriculum. Knowledge about grammar usage should lead to greater understanding of how we can manipulate words and sentences to create particular effects that will touch the heart of the reader. The intention is not to produce a generation of grammar pedants who apply rules and dissect texts in such a way as to destroy its very essence. By teaching grammar within meaningful contexts your lessons will motivate, engage and inspire your pupils to use grammar not only accurately but also creatively to produce writing that is fluid, cohesive and purposeful.
We have provided a great deal of background information so that you are able to situate the learning within a contextual framework; however, our ideas and examples can be easily adapted to suit the needs of your learners. The pedagogies associated with the teaching of grammar remain consistent but the suggested games and activities used to consolidate and apply learning are easily transferable. Whilst reading, you might identify ways in which you can adapt the lessons to teach other aspects of grammar or change the focus of the learning objective to reflect the demands of your class. In the same way that we expect children to use grammar creatively to address their purpose, we would anticipate that you use the guidance contained in this book to address your purpose.
We hope that you will enjoy reading this book and trying out some of the lessons with your own class. We have certainly enjoyed writing the book and exploring activities that can develop children’s understanding of grammatical concepts within a meaningful and purposeful context.
About the Book
If you are a primary trainee you will be learning about teaching grammar. As well as subject knowledge, you need to know what effective teaching of grammar in primary schools actually looks like. As many teachers themselves express a lack of confidence in their own knowledge of grammar, where do you find exemplar lessons? This book provides them, written by ITT tutors. It offers exemplar lessons alongside detailed exploration of what makes them good, and the theory behind them. The text encourages you to consider grammar teaching critically and to envisage how you can shape lessons for your own teaching.
About the Authors
Suzanne Horton, Worcester University, UK
Branwen Bingle, Worcester University, UK