Quite awhile back, I posted a list of some of the resources we used for first grade grammar. Now that we’re up to grade three, I felt the need to be a little more focused, though I’m still in the gentle grammar camp. Here’s what we’ve been doing.
Copywork and Dictation Lessons
Following in the style of Bravewriter’s The Arrow, this has been our primary means of teaching grammar and punctuation. I’ve been choosing passages from the books we read with an eye toward introducing comma and capitalization rules and the like. Before doing the passage, we discuss it and talk about the structure of the sentence a little. I feel like this has been a good basic way to introduce most concepts.
Grammarland by M.L. Nesbit
Oh my goodness! I can’t believe what an excellent book this is! I wish so much that we had read it last year. I resisted it for a little while because I thought the whole concept and presentation seemed a bit old-fashioned. I love many older books, but others make me wary. However, this story of Judge Grammar and all the Parts-of-Speech is one worth embracing, especially since you can find it free here. A kind homeschooler has also turned the homework Judge Grammar assigned the Schoolroomshire children at the end of most chapters into a set of worksheets that you can find here (though you can also use a notebook if you like). The kids are enjoying this read aloud greatly and find it very funny.
You can never have enough Mad Libs, especially when you find a giant Mad Libs omnibus at the thrift store never touched for only 69 cents.
I decided to get a couple of dollar deals things from Scholastic awhile back and this one has worked well for helping the kids practice and reinforce some of the concepts I’ve taught. The worksheets are mostly cheesy or punny fairy tales, but cheesy isn’t necessarily bad when you’re eight. Scholastic has several others in this vein, such as the No More Boring Practice, Please! series. I had considered briefly getting Critical Thinking Company’s Editor in Chief workbook, but decided against it because I wanted something a bit more fun and less serious. We do one of these here and there when it seems like the right time.
Caught Ya! Grammar with a Giggle
I used the middle school version of this program when I taught school and really liked it. I didn’t bother buying the elementary version (the third grade story didn’t sound great), but just adapted the idea of having a daily (silly) sentence to correct as part of a story since it takes just a couple of minutes but can really have big dividends. Ours hasn’t quite been daily, but I’m trying to work it into our routine. When we’ve done this, the kids have really shown how much they’re able to bring their learning into focus and remember things I was worried they hadn’t really learned.