Updated: May 3, 2019
Lat night, instead of sleeping, my mind was filled with thoughts about school and my lessons ... as per usual. I came up with another idea which might help my kids understand and remember grammar rules. It's extremely easy. It's actually so easy that it made me feel silly that it took me this much time to come up with it 😅
Younger students at my school work with a Montessori material that we refer to as grammar drawers. They learn Polish grammar using them. It's a sorting material: students work with, lets say, "declension"; they have names of all the grammatical cases written on separate pieces of paper, all the case questions, and declined nouns. They have to sort it all into correct groups. It's simple as that.
It took me 3 years to realise its potential for learning English grammar . . . 😬
I created this for a couple of my stubborn students who just can't get their heads around "to be" and how to use it in different types of sentences. This is why there are three categories to my cards: positive statements, negative statements, and questions. There are 60 sentences which students have to match with the correct category making sets like this:
I am twelve - I'm not twelve - Am I twelve
There are no question marks and full stops for kids not to use them as help in deciding which sentence type a sentence is. I gave this "grammar drawer" to my students and told them "arrange it to make sets and tell me what is the rule that you followed". They got working and on their own realised the existence of "n't" and what it meant. They also asked why it works differently with "I'm not". They discovered inversion in questions, as well.
What's the important bit here? THEY DISCOVERED RULES ON THEIR OWN! 😃 They told me about the rules and made notes! On their own!! M-A-G-I-C!
Obviously I'm planning to create more of those "grammar drawers"! ... So watch this space and stay tuned! Gotta catch 'em all!