There are many grammar games that teachers can use in their classroom to reinforce learning and build vocabulary. They're a great way to expand the learning experience beyond more typical lesson plans, making the process much more fun for students of all ages. Following are explanations of three great grammar games for kids.
This game is good practice for adjectives. Divide the class into two teams and each team takes turns answering. Tell them they are to use an adjective to describe grandmother’s cat, starting with the letter A. The other team then has to provide an adjective starting with the letter B, and so on going through the rest of the alphabet. There needs to be a time limit for each response.
For example, Team 1 says, “Grandmother’s cat is awesome.” Team 2 says, “Grandmother’s cat is black” and so forth. If a player cannot think of an appropriate answer or takes too long, then he or she is eliminated, and the other team gets the same letter.
The game continues until you reach Z or until all players on one team are eliminated. Alternatively, the game can cycle through the whole alphabet again, being sure not to repeat any of the adjectives that were already used.
Another version has the class divided into small teams and they work together to make a complete list. You can choose to leave out certain letters, like Q and X, if you feel that it would be too difficult or impossible to come up with an adjective for that letter. You can give a small prize or special privilege to the teams who complete the list.
This grammar game is more visual in its approach. The steps are easy to follow, even for the youngest of learners. You'll need to start with a list of words for this game, and that list can come from anywhere. Just make sure it is suitable for the age group. Spooky words could be perfect for Halloween, for example.
- Draw two stick figures on the board, each with at least ten parts: head, eyes, nose, mouth, body, arms, legs, and a few more if you wish.
- Divide the students into two teams.
- Read the word to the first player and he will say it, spell it, and use it in a sentence correctly.
- If he is correct, he erases one part of the other team’s grammar guy from the board.
- If the word is spelled wrong, or the sentence isn't correct, nothing gets erased and you move on to the next team.
- Keep going until one of the two grammar guys is completely "invisible."
The same fundamental framework can be applied to many different aspects of grammar too. You could read a word aloud and the player needs to name the part of speech. Or you could ask the student to conjugate irregular verbs.
Sometimes also known by its generic name 4 in a Row, Connect Four is a wildly popular game that has been around for decades. You can usually find one at thrift stores or online for $20 or less.
As you might recall, the objective is to form a line of four discs of the same color, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. The discs are dropped from the top and fall to the bottom of the corresponding column. Introducing the grammar element is easy.
- Set up the Connect Four game as normal.
- Divide the class into two teams.
- Teams must then "earn" a colored disc by answering grammar questions correctly. You might ask them to conjugate a verb, identify a direct object, or fix an incorrect sentence.
- If they're right, they get a disc to drop where they'd like. If they're wrong, the turn goes to the other team.
- The first team to get four discs in a row wins.
While more traditional lessons and worksheets, like those used to learn quotation marks or to practice subject-verb agreement, will also serve a role, it's fun to mix things up with some grammar games every now and then too. Kids learn best when they're having a good time, and these games introduce a whole new dynamic to the classroom.