It’s been a while since I talked about grammar, so I thought I’d revisit it now. It might be because I’m smack in the middle of trying to run through topics my 8th graders should already know like subjects and predicates, but it’s also something that some teachers struggle to get into their plans. Maybe I can help.
All of this grammar stuff I’m about to share with you comes from need. Plain and simple. When you figure out that your 8th graders need refreshers (or complete lessons) on the parts of speech, you have to come up with something quick. TpT isn’t always a great resource because, let’s face it, who expects to be teaching parts of speech in the 8th grade? Well, they need the practice, let me tell you, and I don’t want to insult them with elementary school lessons. So, need is the mother of invention, right? It definitely is in my case.
I started by looking up all the grammar standards for K-8 and writing them down. This way I was educated on what they SHOULD already know. That doesn’t mean they know it. In Texas, writing is tested in 4th, 7th, 9th, and 10th grades. This means a lot of grammar gets passed over in favor of reading lessons in many grades. Hence the need for my lessons. Moving forward, I knew I needed notes on all the different grammar pieces, so I compiled grammar notes over all the standards for middle school. These are printed out and included in the ELA Handbook we give the kids at the beginning of the year to use for reference.
I started by reviewing each part of speech. From nouns to verbs and prepositions to conjunctions, I covered them all. Eventually I ended up with an entire line up of grammar lessons, games, and reviews to use this year, and I’m so excited to implement all of it. So far we’ve gotten through the parts of speech and subjects and predicates. Next, we tackle direct and indirect objects and predicate nominatives and adjectives.
After that, we’ll continue to the stuff I actually need to teach them like appositives and adjectival and adverbial phrases. These more obscure standards require the foundation of all the other stuff, and that’s why I take the time to review them.
I get asked why grammar is important, and I think it boils down to this- You need to be able to use the English language to effectively communicate in every aspect of your life. Understanding the structure of English is an essential part of communicating effectively, and your word processing program, your email, or your predictive texting can’t always save you when you’re screwing it up. Believe me, I’m speaking from experience !