Is it really possible to teach spelling, punctuation and grammar as a set of games?
It can be argued that when children have an explicit knowledge of grammar, they will automatically become better writers.
And yet that argument hasn’t been proven – or at least hasn’t been proven in all cases. Which is why it can be a good idea to have creative writing activities designed to work around each element in the spelling, punctuation and grammar agendas.
“Creative” here is used in the sense of playing with and manipulating the language to see what can be done with it and where it can be taken.
Which is, of course, what writers do each day, whether they are composing an email, writing a newspaper article, or reporting back on the day’s activities.
The point is that children need to practice using spelling, punctuation and grammar not just in a series of serious activities or exercises but in a set of adventures in which the language can be played with.
The idea therefore is that children can explore the language, and indeed play with it, while making use of it in informative ways.
And indeed, what child is not going to be rather excited by a part of their English coursework that is titled “How to be rude – like William Shakespeare” (which teaches expanded noun phrases) or “A Martian is learning English” (which looks at compound nouns and the second person)?
As for “Making nonsense out of sense” that surely is an invitation that no child can turn down (even when they realise that they are learning about anagrams and word classes).
In fact, just reading through the content list of the book “Cracking English Grammar in Key Stage 2” reveals exactly how much enjoyment can be had from a subject that is not normally considered a bundle of laughs.
You can read more about the book and see its complete contents list through that link above, where you will also find the three parts of the book already mentioned to download and explore.
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