I have broken this activity up into three folders: answer keys, with hints, and no hints. I leave it up to you to determine what will work best for your class. Personally, I like to start my classes off on grammar challenges with hints, and then slowly wean them off to get used to seeing problematic sentences and being able to correct them without hints. After much thought, I have come to the conclusion that breaking up these grammar challenges into folders will make this product more effective and versatile for teachers.
Before class, print this paper off and make one copy for every four students in the class. Make enough copies for all students, and use workroom paper cutter to cut this sheet into slips; then deliver one slip to every student.
To begin the activity, students put their names, date, and also one of their favorite things in life. I included a 'favorite' on each sheet to encourage the students who don't always start work on time to 'get going' by starting with something they find interesting. You might be surprised how effective these 'favorites' are in developing teacher-to-student and student-to-student rapport as well.
Then, students begin filling out the grammar challenges by correcting the sentences. On the grammar challenges with hints, there is a line at the top that gives a brief description of the error that can be found in each sentence. This line may say something like 'verb tense problem' or 'capitalization x 5'. Under each hint is a number that corresponds to each sentence. So if the number 1 comes below 'capitalization x 5', that means there are five words that need to be capitalized in sentence number one. On the grammar challenges with no hints, students are expected to correct the sentences without knowing specifically where the errors are. Grammar challenges with no hints may be better suited for an honors class or a class that is gearing up for a standardized exam.
This structure gives teachers the option of whether or not they want to provide students with a heads-up about the problem they need to correct. These hints, however, do not give away the answers. These hints start to familiarize students with the difficult grammar concepts such as subject-verb agreement or run-ons and fragments. The more they see these terms throughout the semester, the more comfortable they will become with identifying these problems on EOCs or other state-standard exams.
That's a grammar challenge in a nutshell. I believe this is one of the best ways to teach grammar to a middle school or high school English class. Indeed, some of the fourth graders in my after-school program enjoy tackling these grammar problems. Why is this product worth buying?
1. These grammar challenges familiarize students with common grammar problems that appear on state-standard exams.
2. They are crafted in an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand format that works really well for middle school and high school students.
3. They turn tedious grammar concepts into fun, puzzle-like activities that get students talking and discussing solutions to problems.
4. They are a great way to get class going. Build them into your routine. As soon as the bell rings, pass them out and get students started!
5. Grade them, turn them in, go over them, use for student work samples, discuss them, or throw them away! They are extremely versatile and can be used however teachers wish to use them.
Maybe you haven't covered these concepts with your students yet. That's okay. Personally, I think it's good to 'throw' these challenges at them. Practice makes permanent. If they aren't ready for these concepts, then don't grade them just yet; just start talking about these concepts with them. Throughout my experience, I noticed students need a lot of repetition and practice. One-a-day...
ONE FINAL NOTE: You may notice an abundance of fragments, run-ons, and agreement problems in these grammar challenges. I included more of these because I think these are the toughest, but also the most common problems that show up on exams. Run-ons and fragments seem to be a big challenge for many students, so I think it's important to drill them. As is evidenced on these sheets, I recommend teaching students how to correct run-ons with a comma-FANBOYS (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So), a period-capital letter, or a semicolon.
If you have any questions about how I use them, or have any suggestions for me, send me a message on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Sorry for the long description; I wanted to be as specific as possible!
Grammar Challenges 1 + 2
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