By middle school, kids should begin obtaining a firm grasp on the English language and proper grammar. Students are preparing to enter high school, where they will be expected to have developed these skills. Using games and activities will make it entertaining to practice proper grammar during middle school.
Pick A Verb
Action Verbs is simple activity that will help students learn and participate in the writing process. You will use the chalkboard, large index cards and some tape.
Write an action verb on the board and identify which part of the sentence is the action verb. Once the class has the hang of it, ask them to come up with other words that are action verbs. Write these verbs on the index cards in large letters so the students can see them from their seats.
Write sentences on the board that the various action verbs could fit into, but leave blanks where they go. The blanks should be about the size of the large cards. Tape the cards on the board next to the sentences and ask kids to come up and choose a verb and place it in a sentence that makes sense. The results can be funny and will hold students' attention.
Collective Noun Trivia
Middle school students will find it humorous and interesting to learn about collective nouns by playing Collective Noun Trivia. This game is simple to set up, but knowing the answers may prove to be more difficult. Divide the class into two or more teams and write an unusual collective noun on the board. Each team must guess what object the noun relates to. The game can be made into multiple choice by writing three incorrect answers on the board and one correct one.
Most people are aware that the collective noun for cattle is "herd." "A herd of cattle moved across the prairie." However, far fewer people are aware that the collective noun for hedgehogs is "prickle." "A prickle of hedgehogs lives in this area." It's kind of funny, and the students will think so too.
Look up other collective nouns in the Dictionary of Collective Nouns, Webster's New Dictionary and Thesaurus, concise edition or the book "Group Terms" by Ivan G. Sparkes. A long list of these collective nouns also appears on the annexed.net website listed in the resource links below.
Grammar Blast is an online quiz published on eduplace.com that allows a classroom to compete for high scores individually or in teams, or it can be done at home for free. All you need is a connection to the Internet and a computer.
The object of the game is to answer 10 multiple-choice questions and score up to the maximum 100 points. Missing an answer and taking a second guess cuts the point value in half.
The game menu is divided into three grade levels--sixth, seventh and eighth--and has specific quizzes that relate to different parts of lesson plans. Quiz topics include the use of verbs, capitalization and punctuation and prepositional phrases and complex sentences, to name a few.
Divide the class into teams or let them compete one on one. Parents can use the game at home to help their children become more acquainted with proper grammar.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.