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4th Grade Grammar Games

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Grammar is important for both speaking and writing, but some children resist it or consider it boring. The games in this lesson will help you bring grammar to life for your fourth grade students.

Why Grammar Games?

Learning grammar, or rules about the underlying structure of language, is an important part of developing as a literate individual. Fourth graders often know more grammar than they give themselves credit for, since they are often independent readers and even sophisticated writers. Yet, it is by internalizing the rules of grammar that students will be able to stretch their literacy skills and also become more ready to learn other languages. For a variety of reasons, many students think of grammar as boring or irrelevant, so games can be a great way to bring grammar instruction to life. The games in this lesson are designed to motivate and engage students while teaching them grammar rules and giving them practice using what they already know. After involving students in these activities, you can use grammar worksheets to check for understanding.

Reading and Writing Games

Much of grammar takes place in the context of reading and writing. These games will allow your students to put their skills as literate individuals to use while having fun and working on their grammar.

Mad Libs

Mad Libs can be a great way for students to practice parts of speech. You can create your own Mad Libs by taking a story or passage and deleting one word in every sentence or two. Write a blank where the word was, and under the line, write the part of speech. Ask students to work with partners. Partner A reads the part of speech aloud and Partner B supplies a word that is in that part of speech; Partner A writes these words in the blanks. Students will end up with a funny nonsensical story that still teaches them about how words work in sentences.

Correct Your Teacher

Write a story or morning message on the board or on a worksheet, and make several different grammar mistakes. Distribute your story to children and have them correct you, then give them the opportunity to sort your mistakes into different categories. Students love the idea that teachers can make mistakes, and this game also gives you a chance to teach students about techniques for editing as well as to teach them why exactly it is important to write with proper grammar.

Word Order Scrambles

One part of grammar has to do with syntax, or the way different sentences are structured in order to make sense. Write complex sentences on sentence strips, then cut them up into separate words and give them to teams of students. Each team must try to put their sentence back together in a way that makes sense. When you reflect on this game with your class, you will want to prompt them to consider the different meanings sentences may have had if the words were ordered differently.

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