Grammar activities gr 6-8


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Grammar activities gr 6-8

  1. 1. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources That Really Grades 6–8 SARAH GLASSCOCK SARAH GLASSCOCK New York  •  Toronto  •  London  •  Auckland  •  Sydney Mexico City  •  New Delhi  •  Hong Kong  •  Buenos Aires
  2. 2. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching ResourcesScholastic Inc. grants teachers permission to photocopy the reproducible pages from this book for classroom use. No other part of thispublication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher. For information regarding permission,write to Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.Editor: Sarah LonghiCopy editor: Jeannie HutchinsCover design: Maria LiljaInterior design: Melinda BelterIllustrations: Mike MoranISBN-13: 978-0-545-11264-2ISBN-10: 0-545-11264-8Copyright © 2010 by Sarah Glasscock.All rights reserved. Published by Scholastic.Printed in the U.S.A.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 40 16 15 14 13 12 11 10
  3. 3. Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 All About Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 All About Pronouns and Antecedents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 All About Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources All About Adjectives and Adverbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 All About Prepositions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 All About Subject-Predicate Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 All About Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 All About Phrases and Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 All About Specificity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 All About Sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
  4. 4. IntroductionIt may be hard to convince students that grammar is a living, breathing thing that reflectsnot only the history of our language but also how language and its rules change in ourcontemporary lives. For example, today we try to use language more precisely to reflect thechanges in our society by replacing policeman or fireman with police officer or firefighter. (We’restill grappling with the wordiness of pairing everyone with the possessive pronouns his and her.)Grammar is simply a set of rules that help us write and speak clearly so people can understandwhat we mean. The aim of this book is to present an overview of major topics that will giveyour students tools become better writers and speakers.How to Use This BookThe book contains a mini-lesson for each of the following ten major grammar topics: Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • Nouns • Subject-Predicate Agreement • Pronouns and Antecedents • Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives • Verbs • Phrases and Clauses • Adjectives and Adverbs • Specificity • Prepositions • SentencesEach mini-lesson contains the following elements to support your teaching: 4 A teaching page focuses on introducing and defining the topic, teaching it in conjunction with a model passage, and applying it. A quote related to the topic begins each lesson. In some lessons, the quote is used as a springboard for introducing, discussing, or applying the grammar topic. 4 A short model passage shows important aspects of the grammar topic in action. Important points about the grammar topic are identified in the passage and briefly discussed. You may want to display the passage onscreen to introduce or review the featured grammar points. Students can also keep this page in their notebooks or writing portfolios to guide them in their own writing. 4 Two writing prompts encourage students to write and share their work. You can photocopy the prompts on card stock and then cut them apart for students, write the prompts on the board, or display them onscreen. With the Rest of the Class tips help students extend their thinking by sharing their work with their peers. 4 Three activities for the whole class, small group, pairs, or individuals give students hands- on practice with the grammar topic. These activities require minimal preparation and appeal to a variety of learning styles; for example, students may play games, chant, or write ads and plays. Use the discussion tip, With the Class, to invite students to discuss the topic further. 4 A reproducible activity sheet goes with the activity featured in the Apply section of each teaching page. You’ll find that there is some overlapping of topics. It’s impossible to talk about subjects andpredicates without talking about nouns, pronouns, and verbs, and it’s impossible to talk aboutsentences without talking about all the other grammar topics in the book. Immerse your students in an overview of each grammar topic or dive more deeply into oneaspect of it. I hope this book encourages your students to see the powerful effect that grammarhas on our words­ and the effect we all have on our language. — 4
  5. 5. All About Nouns ] All nouns are abbreviations. Instead of saying cold, sharp, burning, unbreakable, shining, pointy, we utter “dagger”; for the receding sun and oncoming darkness, we say “twilight.” —Jorge Luis Borges Nouns ground a sentence. Without nouns, there is nobody or nothing to spark the action. This mini-lesson focuses on the following aspects of nouns: • nouns and noun phrasesGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • subject-verb agreement • possessive nouns • descriptive nouns Introduction Begin a mini-lesson on nouns by writing a short definition of this part of Just exactly what is junk should you —trash, do with it— garbage, litter, deb Texas, has recycle it, ris, useless toss it, sell things, rub created a Cathedral it, or turn 1 bish—and of Junk in it into a wor what been wiri speech on the board. Here’s an example: “A noun names a person, place, ng and wel his backya k of art? ding and rd. Since A man in stringing 2 1988, Vin Austin, growing!— and stacking ce Hannem structure. ann, has Like man junk into has towers, y other cath an immens vaulted ceil edrals, this e, 60-ton ings, and one —and still animal, thing, or idea: After experiencing freedom from gravity when these arch trusses. Inst itectural ead of ston details are e, bicycle whe made out els, dolls, of discard and other ed anymore. things nob A wind chim ody wan e made of ts he somersaulted over the moon, James landed in his front yard again, music in CDs provide the cathedr 3 s al. The loca for Vince l artists’ nick Hannem name ann is “ya 4 Some of rdist.” Grammar Hannem 5 ann’s neig which surprised his Dalmatian.” Austin aren hbors and ’t so hap the City 6 py about of Activities 6 They thin the Cathed k it’s ugly ral of Jun and unsafe. k. city has insp But over That Really ected the the years, structure the down a pyr and declare amid mad d that it’s Grab ‘Em!, e of cast sturdy. On only a pile -off TVs. ce, Vince . “Well, wha The city’s did have engineer to take Teach 8 t kind of declared The Cathed pile expert 7 that the Grades 6–8 ral of Jun are you?” pyramid k is a pop Vince ask was really and musicia ular spot ed. ns have thro to visit in wn CD rele Austin. Cou © 2010 by kids wan ase parties ples have der through inside it, been mar the Cathed too. Som ried there, recogniz ral of Jun etimes, gro e things k on field ups of sch Sarah Glass they use trips. Vin ool trash wou d to own ce says tha ld end up. but threw t some visit away. The ors even y probab Distribute copies of the model passage “The Cathedral of Junk” on ly never cock, Schol imagined where the ir astic Teach page 7 to students. Allow time for them to read it on their own, or ing Resou rces ask them to follow along as you read it aloud. Then use the teaching guide on page 6 to discuss general notes on nouns and how the writer used them in the passage. Name ___ ______ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ (Also see the lessons on pronouns and antecedents on pages 11­ 16,– _______ Date ___ ______ ________ subject-verb agreement on pages 35–40, gerunds, participles, and infinitives on page 41–46, and phrases and clauses, pages 47–52.) Read the above quo te. Then write a nou Apply words and phrases tha n in the cen t your nou ter of the n stands web. Com as an abb plete the reviation web with for. On the board or a chart, make a list of nouns such as cactus, freedom, rces ing Resou astic Teach computer, adult, and pencil. Then hand out the Abbreviate! ock, Schol Sarah Glassc reproducible on page 10 and go over the directions. Encourage © 2010 by Grades 6–8 students to let their minds roam widely as they think about the Grab ‘Em!, That Really noun they have chosen. You may want to begin by assigning the Activities Grammar same noun to students. Encourage pairs of students to share their abbreviations with each other and try to identify the original noun or noun phrase. Record students’ responses to get a comprehensive definition of the noun. 5
  6. 6. Nouns and Noun PhrasesA noun phrase is a group of words that begins with a noun or a pronoun and functionsas a noun.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE• emind students that nouns name people, R 1 The noun junk names a thing. The nouns animals, places, things, and ideas. between the dashes are synonyms for junk.• noun phrase contains a noun and the words A 2 In the noun phrase work of art, the prepositional that modify the noun. phrase of art modifies the noun work. It tells what• he closest noun to the verb may not be the T kind of work it is. subject but a part of a noun phrase. Subject-Verb AgreementSubjects and verbs must always agree. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching ResourcesKEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE• complete sentence needs a subject and a A 3 The subject in the noun phrase A wind chime verb. The subject and verb may be singular made of CDs, is chime. The verb must agree with or plural, but they must always agree with the singular noun chime, not the plural noun CDs. each other. 6 This compound subject, neighbors and the City of• subject may be a single noun or a A Austin takes the plural verb, aren’t. noun phrase. Possessive NounsPossessive nouns indicate who or what possesses or owns something.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE• An apostrophe indicates possession. 4 Because the original noun artists is plural,• n the case of a regular singular noun, an –s is I you form the plural possessive by adding an added after the apostrophe: gravity’s. apostrophe.• n the case of a regular plural noun, the I 7 The singular possessive of city is city’s. apostrophe is added after the final –s: horses’.• here are different schools of thought on how T to form the possessive of a noun ending in –s: Borges’ or Borges’s. The most important thing is to be consistent. Choose one of the styles and stick to it.Descriptive NounsOne descriptive noun can help you understand and visualize a writer’s message.One descriptive noun can be worth a thousand words.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE• s the Borges quotation at the top of page 5 A 5 The nouns yard and artist have been combined indicates, one descriptive noun can take the to form a new noun that exactly describes what place of a string of words—including adjectives Hannemann is—a yardist. and noun phrases—and be more effective. 8 In Hannemann’s view, he had carefully stacked the TVs in a pyramid. In the city engineer’s eyes, there was nothing carefully done—or shapely— about the stack. In the inspector’s view, it was a pile. 6
  7. 7. MODEL PASSAGE Nouns The Cathedral of Junk Just exactly what is junk—trash, garbage, litter, debris, useless things, rubbish—and what 1 should you do with it—recycle it, toss it, sell it, or turn it into a work of art? A man in Austin, 2 Texas, has created a Cathedral of Junk in his backyard. Since 1988, Vince Hannemann, has been wiring and welding and stringing and stacking junk into an immense, 60-ton—and still growing!—structure. Like many other cathedrals, this oneGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources has towers, vaulted ceilings, and trusses. Instead of stone, these architectural details are made out of discarded bicycle wheels, dolls, and other things nobody wants anymore. A wind chime made of CDs provides 3 music in the cathedral. The local artists’ nickname 4 for Vince Hannemann is “yardist.” 5 Some of Hannemann’s neighbors and the City of 6 Austin aren’t so happy about the Cathedral of Junk. 6 They think it’s ugly and unsafe. But over the years, the city has inspected the structure and declared that it’s sturdy. Once, Vince did have to take down a pyramid made of cast-off TVs. The city’s engineer declared that the pyramid was really 7 only a pile. “Well, what kind of pile expert are you?” Vince asked. 8 The Cathedral of Junk is a popular spot to visit in Austin. Couples have been married there, and musicians have thrown CD release parties inside it, too. Sometimes, groups of school kids wander through the Cathedral of Junk on field trips. Vince says that some visitors even recognize things they used to own but threw away. They probably never imagined where their trash would end up. In this passage, you’ll see examples of the following: • nouns and noun phrases • subject-verb agreement • possessive nouns • descriptive nouns 7
  8. 8. WRITING PROMPTS Nouns Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen. $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ Who’s Responsible? Write! Who should be responsible for keeping your classroom neat— Wr ite yo ur not clean or organized, but neat? Should it be the responsibility of the ful l resp on se on a sepa ra te teacher, the students, or the entire classroom? Explain your reasons. sh eet of pa per. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Be sure to use possessive nouns in your response. Before you hand in your assignment, take another look at the possessive nouns you used. Did you use the correct form for each singular and possessive noun? If you’re not sure whether you used the correct possessive form, circle the noun. Try rephrasing the possessive noun like this: the city’s engineer/the engineer of the city, Hannemann’s neighbors/the neighbors of Hannemann, the local artists’ nickname/ nickname of the local artists. If you can rephrase it, the noun should be possessive. With the Rest of the Class: After sharing your ideas about who should be responsible for keeping your classroom neat, talk about any possessive pronouns you used.$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ Alone and With Others Write! What are your favorite things to do when you’re by yourself? Wr ite yo ur What do you like to do when you’re with family or friends? Describe ful l resp on se on a sepa ra te each set of activities in a few sentences. sh eet of pa per. Exchange work with a partner. As you read the work, think about how the writer used nouns. Do all the subjects and verbs agree? Are the nouns as precise as they could be? With the Rest of the Class: If you’d like to, share your work with the rest of the class. Even if you don’t read your work aloud, talk about how your partner helped you strengthen your use of nouns. 8
  9. 9. Activities: Nouns Turning a Picture Into Words Materials: computer with Internet access Help students locate images of the Cathedral of Junk that was described in the passage. You can find videos on YouTube and/or visit the Web site www. for photos (search for “Cathedral of Junk”). After students closely ex­ mine a the details in the images, challenge them to write their own descriptions of the Cathedral of Junk. Tell them to stretch their descriptive powers by using nouns as precisely as they can. Encou­­ rage students to use nouns the way Hannemann uses junk to create something unexpected and beautiful. With the Class: Discuss the descriptions. Ask: What did you notice about how other writers used descriptive nouns in their work?Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six Materials: number cube Have pairs work together to write a short, short story about one of the following: • a spaceship landing in your school yard • a lifeboat floating in the sea • the world’s longest skateboard (hint: It’s 30 feet, 1 inch long!) They should begin by rolling a number cube to find out how many characters will be in the spaceship or lifeboat or on the skateboard. With the Class: Let students take turns reading aloud their stories, or have one partner read it while the other pantomimes the action. Ask the other students if all the subjects and verbs in the story agree. Let Me Rephrase That Materials: examples of fine art (from posters, CD covers, postcards, and so on) that show one key subject; drawings supplies—colored pencils, markers, paints, drawing paper Write the following sentences on the board and explain that noun phrases can take different forms: • Six sneakers dangled from the limbs of the tree. • I spotted her red sneakers. • The sneakers that girl is wearing are too tight. • The sneakers sold in that store are too expensive. • Selena wants the red sneakers in the store window. Then display the art you selected and have groups choose one piece. Tell them to use noun phrases to describe the person, place, thing, or idea their piece of art shows. Then challenge groups to think of their own noun phrase to illustrate. With the Class: Display the illustrations. Can the other students guess the noun phrase each group has drawn? Write down their guesses, and ask the group to discuss how similar to and different from the original noun phrase the guesses are. 9
  10. 10. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ Nouns Abbreviate! All nouns are abbreviations. Instead of saying cold, sharp, burning, unbreakable, shining, pointy, we utter “dagger”; for the receding sun and Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources oncoming darkness, we say “‘twilight.” __ Jorge Luis Borges Read the above quote. Then write a noun in the center of the web. Complete the web with words and phrases that your noun stands as an abbreviation for. 10