How can you make learning about grammar both effective and engaging? Use a cooperative learning structure like Mix-Freeze-Group and some goofy sentences! The longer I teach, the more I’m convinced that grammar is a very abstract set of concepts to kids. Even a lot of adults are intimidated by commas (where do those darn things go exactly?!) and prepositional phrases. Spend even a few minutes on social media, and it quickly becomes apparent that correct grammar is a skill many adults lack as evidenced by their comments and status updates. Just sayin’.
Grammar Fun – Yes, It Exists!
I’ve long been a fan of the Kagan cooperative learning structures. They are simple to use, fun for kids, and (if done correctly) really promote thinking and learning. At the start of the school year, our very first grammar concept is identifying and writing declarative or interrogative sentences. To help my students (and to have a little fun), I created a Mix-Freeze-Group activity that we used in our classroom a little while ago.
If you’re not familiar with the Mix-Freeze-Group structure, here it is…
- Mix – Students mix around the room.
- Freeze – Call out, “Freeze!” Students stop and become like statues.
- Group – Show a sentence on your whiteboard. If the sentence is a declarative, students form groups of 2. If it is an interrogative, students form groups of 3.
Simple, right? I like to have students turn-and-talk to their group about why a sentence is declarative or interrogative. Then I call on a few to share before we mix around the room again. Looking for more details about this structure? Check out this website.
Declarative or Interrogative?
Here are some of the sentences I made to show my students when we played Declarative or Interrogative?
Want this resource for yourself? It’s FREE at my TpT store – The Reflective Educator. Click HERE to get it. There are many concepts in any curriculum that could be practiced with this activity, and not just in grammar. What about…
- prime or composite numbers
- reptile, bird, or mammal
- primary or secondary sources
I hope your school year is off to a great start!