5 Ways to Improve Teaching High School Grammar
It is no secret that teaching high school grammar is not the easiest task. Sure, there are the few select students who live for adverbs and conjunctions, but the rest of the students are simply taking a grammar class to meet the requirements for graduation. For this reason, teaching high school grammar is particularly challenging.
If grammar teachers simply try to teach grammar rules in a boring, traditional way, chances are the students will zone out. Instead of finishing the class being excellent writers, they will barely pass and poor grammar will haunt them into the future. Luckily, teaching high school grammar does not have to be boring. Here are five simple ways that high school grammar teachers can engage their students, and help them to retain the information as they enter the outside world.
Get the students “involved”
Learning sentence structure and word use with boring textbook examples is just that, boring. Instead, teachers should use real-life examples to draw the students in. Use the students’ actual names and pair them with objects around the classroom. It is also a good idea to bring in popular local hangouts to get the students even more involved. For example, instead of “Tom and Jill went to the park to play.” use “Morgan and Olivia went to Herfy’s Burgers to get lunch.” It can also help for a teacher to point out real-life situations in which the students will need the grammar skills they are learning, like on a job resume or project proposal.
Another way to make grammar lessons more entertaining is to make them humorous. A teacher can do this by using jokes for examples or by creating a funny story about someone the students know, such as the school principal. When students are laughing, they are paying attention.
Teach in color
Identifying the parts of a sentence simply by labeling them is very tedious. Instead, create a color code for the students to use. For example, they can label all of the nouns red, the verbs green and the adjectives blue. Of course, this is just using basic sentence parts, but the concept can be integrated into any advanced grammar lesson. By color coding the sentences, teachers are not only making the lesson more fun, they are also helping the visual learners in the classroom.
Make it a contest
Most people are competitive by nature, especially high school students. Teachers should take advantage of this trait by creating games that help the students learn the different grammar rules. Some ideas are to create a Jeopardy-type game, with simple questions and answers. Another idea is to have chalkboard races, where the class is divided into two teams that race each other to properly write out sentence diagrams. Teachers could also have sentences prepared that do not have any punctuation in them, and the students have to compete against each other to see who can properly punctuate the sentences the fastest. Each contest should have a prize of some sort to make it more motivating for the students. This can be something tangible, such as candy or soda, or it can simply be extra credit points or a pass to get out of a homework assignment.
After all of the fun and games going on while teaching high school grammar, students are sure to react positively. They will love coming to class, and therefore, will perform better on assignments and tests. These achievements should be recognized. Most students do not require much to feel affirmed; they simply need to know that their efforts have been noticed. Teachers can choose to have a reward ceremony at the end of every quarter, or they can simply verbally acknowledge the hard work the students are putting in.
Teaching high school grammar can be very challenging. However, if teachers are committed to making the experience relevant and rewarding for the students, they will see amazing results. Students will look forward to coming to class, they will behave better and they will achieve higher grades. Plus, the teacher will have a lot more fun teaching. What teacher doesn’t want that?