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6th Grade Grammar Games

Instructor: Clio Stearns

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

Sixth graders are ready to do some pretty advanced grammar work, but they can also be pretty resistant to doing it! These games will get your sixth grade students more excited about grammar.

Why Grammar Games?

Grammar is important; this is indisputable. Without good grammar, people tend to sound less educated when they speak, and in written language, good grammar can be the key to getting the meaning across without undue distraction or difficulty. Yet students can also be very resistant to studying grammar, in large part because if taught incorrectly, it can seem downright dull. This is why one of the best ways to have students practice grammar is by letting them play games. Games can help students internalize good grammatical habits and remember how rules work without simply drilling or practicing the same things again and again. Games can motivate students to learn more and simultaneously enjoy themselves. The games in this lesson are designed to get your sixth grade students motivated and enthusiastic about learning and fixing their grammar. After engaging students with these activities, you can use grammar worksheets to check for understanding.

Parts of Speech

  • Mad Libs

Mad Libs is one of the best ways for sixth graders to practice their parts of speech. You can create your own Mad Libs by photocopying a very short story or passage and whiting out one word every line or two. Where the word was, draw a blank and write the part of speech under it. Pair students up in partnerships. Partner A reads out the parts of speech one at a time, and Partner B supplies a word from that part of speech. Partner A writes the words in the blanks until the story is complete. The students can then enjoy the likely hilarious story they have created together.

  • Pronoun Madness

Pair your students up, and give each partnership a stack of about 20 cards. Each card should have a noun written on one side. Partner A holds up a card and says a category of pronoun, such as subject, object, or possessive. Partner B must then say the pronoun that fits that category and corresponds to that noun. For instance, if the card says 'man' and Partner A says 'possessive,' Partner B should say 'his.' The Partners then switch off.

  • Verb Tenses

Give your students copies of a short story or a nonfiction passage. Challenge them to change every verb in the passage into a different tense, like past or present perfect, as quickly as they can. Give points to students who finish speedily and accurately.

Editing

  • Fix the Teacher

Sixth graders love to prove that they know more than you do! Write a letter or message on the board with 10-15 grammatical errors. Give students two minutes to find and correct as many of your errors as they can. Debrief what they have found as a whole class.

  • Stretch It Out

Pair your students up, and give each partnership a story that has no adjectives or adverbs. Ask them to stretch the story out by adding in at least 10 adjectives or adverbs that make sense, are in grammatically appropriate places, and make the story more interesting. Give students the chance to share their new stories with their classmates.

  • Say It Formally

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