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5th Grade Grammar Games

Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

Tired of begging, coercing, or even bribing your students to be engaged in a grammar lesson? Then you've come to the right place! Read on to get ideas for turning grammar into fun classroom games.

What Is Grammar?

How do you know someone is asking you a question? Or making a demand? Or simply sharing a thought? Verbal interactions allow these meanings to be quite clear. Body language, tone of voice, and gestures are all available to indicate the speaker's meaning. But what about in writing?

The written word is at a huge disadvantage in regards to shades of meaning in communication. Because of this, we have developed grammar, or the system and structure of language. Grammar determines how we build sentences. It involves syntax, or the set of rules for the arrangement of words in a sentence. Spelling, punctuation, parts of speech, and any other mechanical aspects of the written word are topics that must be covered in 5th grade grammar.

Grammar lessons can often seem dull to students. Memorizing rules and terms often does. In order to have engagement in your classroom, turn grammar into fun educational games. The rest of this lesson describes ideas for games relating to different aspects of grammar.

Spelling Games

Let's start with spelling games. Instead of forcing your students to memorize words for a quiz, make spelling into a competition. For instance, find an excerpt from a novel or article. Purposely misspell a number of words in the excerpt. Then group your students into teams and allow them a specific time limit to find as many misspellings as they can. Make a correct answer worth one point, and incorrect answers take away points. You can even give bonus points for providing the correct spelling for the errors.

Another idea is to design a game where students challenge each other. In teams, have students come up with three different spellings, one of which is correct, for a difficult word. Then one team challenges the others to choose the correct spelling. For struggling students, provide different lists for each team. Choose words from past spelling quizzes, vocabulary from readings, or even terms from other units like onomatopoeia or hyperbole. For advanced students, have them come up with their own words to challenge each other.

Parts of Speech Games

Knowing the eight parts of speech, and their function in sentences, is another aspect of syntax. You can create many games using parts of speech. For instance, create Part of Speech Jeopardy through online templates or a PowerPoint slideshow. You can even use questions from a test you created. Put the questions on note cards to create the jeopardy board. Categories can include nouns, pronouns, adverbs or adjectives, and many more. More difficult questions are worth more points and students can work in teams to answer the questions.

Trashketball, where a trash can stands in for a basketball hoop, is another tool to use for reviewing a unit on parts of speech. If teams get questions right, they get to shoot a tennis ball to earn points. You can create the questions, or, for advanced classes, require the teams to create questions based on class notes or other work. Then they can pose them to the other teams. This is a perfect game to use to review specific units, such as nouns, or you can do all eight parts of speech at once.

Punctuation Games

Lastly, let's discuss games to use to practice punctuation rules. Of course, before playing make sure you have covered the various types of punctuation. Then you can design some sort of competition for using correct punctuation. For instance, put a sentence on the board with no punctuation at all. Then list what is missing (2 commas, 1 apostrophe, a hyphen, and a period). Give each team 30 seconds to put the punctuation in the correct places. Keep track of points earned by correct answers.

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