Adapt your lessons to every learning style with these ideas to differentiate grammar activities in your classroom!
Ways to Differentiate Grammar
Grammar lessons and activities can be a little tricky to differentiate sometimes. You want to make sure that all of your students are engaged and actively learning these critical skills, but grammar isn’t always the most exciting concept covered in the classroom!
With a little creative thinking, though, you can differentiate grammar lessons easily and get all your little learners mastering skills. Keep reading to get some new and fun ideas for grammar differentiation in your classroom!
Incorporating movement into your lessons is always an excellent option when you’re trying to differentiate grammar activities. Many kids need opportunities for motion in order to process and learn!
There are little things you can add into grammar activities to help students get up and moving. For instance, have students stand up as you read a group of words. Tell them to jump when they hear you read the target skill for the week.
Another opportunity for movement when you differentiate grammar is to use task cards. In my grammar units, there are task cards for each grammar skill. Post the task cards around the room and have students “roam the room” and record their answers on a recording sheet.
Manipulatives give students a concrete example and are helpful when differentiating grammar activities. Depending on the skill you’re working on, you can create grammar manipulatives fairly easily.
Any type of punctuation makes for a great manipulative. If you’re working on using commas, draw and cut paper in the shape of a comma and have students place the comma manipulatives where they belong in a sentence.
When teaching contractions, create large apostrophes for students to correctly place. If you have the time, you could prepare some bulletin board letters that will form contractions and use those as manipulatives as well.
Many students will benefit from the incorporation of visual aids and reference sheets, so it’s another great option to differentiate grammar activities in your classroom.
If there’s a certain acronym that goes along with the grammar skill you’re teaching, create a quick anchor chart for students to easily see. Bonus points if you incorporate a fun drawing to go with it!
Many of our grammar units, include a reference sheet that they can be projected in front of the classroom. It’s a ready to use anchor chart for each grammar skill. A printable reference sheet/anchor chart for several grammar skills are also included so that students can keep them in a folder or add them to an interactive notebook.
You can easily differentiate grammar by having students color code grammar skills on worksheets, during lessons, or in interactive notebooks. If you’re working on parts of speech, have students highlight or trace nouns in one color, adjectives in another, and verbs in another. If you’re practicing with sentence types, have students highlight or trace different ending punctuation or underline different sentence types in different colors.
Having students color code certain grammar skills can help them visualize the skills more clearly. Also, my students always love getting to use pens or markers in our lessons!
On my grammar teaching slides, I like to color code certain parts for my grammar minilessons. That way, my students can see an example of how to color code and they can see how it helps us visualize grammar skills.
Make it interactive
When you’re working on differentiating your grammar activities, you’ll want to make sure that you have opportunities for students to interact with the material and with each other.
One easy way to do this is to include use of whiteboards in your whole group lessons and activities. Ask quick questions throughout your lessons and have students answer on whiteboards and hold them up.
In my grammar units, I have included interactive whole group practice slides for each grammar skill. There are movable parts to allow students to come up to the board and be a part of the lesson. I also always include partner discussion opportunities to ensure students are able to share knowledge and discuss concepts in our lessons.
Include online games
Online games can be a fun and engaging addition to your grammar lessons and activities. You can find all kinds of games online to suit the needs of your lessons.
Education.com is one site that has several online grammar games to help reinforce skills. Fun Brain and ABCya have some options as well. There are also some games and some videos available at Word Game Time.
You could opt to have students play these games independently, or you could use them as an exciting whole group practice!
Providing choice and options for writing activities is awesome for increasing student engagement when you differentiate grammar activities. Allow students to choose the topic they write about when they are applying grammar skills to their own writing.
In my grammar units, part of the weekly grammar routine is the “Grammar Gazette” day. I give students a picture and allow them to come up with a news story about the picture. You can easily differentiate this activity by choosing from three different formats for students to:
- Write a newspaper story using the words in the target skill.
- Use the word bank version to help write the newspaper story.
- Read the news article, then circle and write the words in the target grammar skill.
Provide a word bank
If you have students who struggle with generating ideas when they apply grammar skills in their writing, try providing a word bank. Students will still be able to demonstrate knowledge, but they’ll have some words to start off their thought process.
If you’re looking for no-prep, easily differentiated grammar resources with ready to use lesson plans, check out these 2nd grade grammar units. Each unit targets a second grade grammar skill through activities designed to take only 15 minutes a day. The units include everything you need to easily teach, practice, and assess core grammar skills.
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