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Grammar Project Ideas for Middle School

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

The following ideas are designed to help you find new and creative ways to get your middle school students engaged in learning grammar and using it correctly.

Middle School Grammar

By middle school, students have been exposed to the basic rules of grammar and are ready to approach this at a higher level. One way to do this is by assigning projects that require time and work beyond a single class period, letting students dedicate themselves more seriously to a topic. The following ideas can help you bring grammar projects into your curriculum and expand your students' interest in grammar.

Middle School Grammar Projects

Field Guide to Grammar

Talk to students about how people use field guides to help them identify birds or flowers in the wild. Following that logic, students can create field guides to help them identify different forms of grammar wherever they go. Provide students with a list of grammatical ideas and topics they've been studying or about which you want them to expand their knowledge. Students will read through the list and ensure that they understand each idea. This does not have to be done in isolation; they should be able to use each other as resources.

When they're ready, students will create a field guide on index cards, compiled using a three-hole-punch and binders or snap clips. On each index card, students will write the grammatical term on one side, and the reverse side will define it and provide context clues to look for and to help identify it. Ask students to consider the organization of their index cards, providing a table of contents, chapters, and organizing similar or related terms to make the field guide easy to use.

If you'd like to incorporate a little more creative writing, encourage students to write about each grammatical idea as if it were a bird or animal, describing its natural behaviors and habitat (for example, 'wild dependent clauses are found living with independent clauses').

  • Materials: List of grammar terms, index cards, writing supplies, art and craft supplies if desired, binding tools as desired

Grammar Police Comic

For this project, students are going to write a story about two detectives who are part of the grammar police and solve grammar crimes. This story should have a plot, conflict, and climax. While you can ask students to write this as a traditional short story, asking them to make a comic book requires the same amount of story planning but can force students to be more economical with word choice, force them to think about how to use grammar, and engages creative parts of the brain in different ways.

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