Student motivation is a constant problem for teachers of all levels. For me, teaching high school English at the Junior level, grammar review has always represented a particular challenge. Grammar review is inherently boring, but it's also incredibly important, not only for strong writing skills but also for standardized tests like the ACT.
In an effort to make grammar review more appealing to my students, I often use ridiculous, immature sentences as my examples, and I try to write lessons and worksheets that will generally interest the students. In addition to the immature and bizarre example sentences, the notes also often contain pictures and pop-culture references.
This particular lesson tackles the comma-splice error a run-on sentences, a constant problem in student writing. The handout explains the material, using example sentences such as:
I tried to stab the demonic baby. It was too swift.
I tried to stab the demonic baby, but it was too swift
I go the gym. I walk around talking in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice for hours.
After I go to the gym, I walk around talking in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice for hours.
The accompanying worksheet assesses student understanding through roughly thirty practice exercises. These exercises are all tied to the popular HUNGER GAMES series of books and films. The students who are familiar with the series will enjoy all of the inside jokes on the worksheet, but an understanding of the stories is not at all necessary in order to complete the worksheet.
The final section of the worksheet provides students with a fake Amazon review for the books that is filled with comma splice and run-on errors. The students are asked to re-write the review and correct all of the errors.
Please Note: This packet also contains an ANSWER KEY.