Grammar Games: The Fun Way to Learn Grammar

By Keren Perles

Simply mention the word grammar, and your students start to snore. But grammar doesn't have to be boring! Try out these grammar games to motivate your students to practice their grammar skills.

If you're looking for a great way to get your students interested in grammar, then playing grammar games is the trick. These games are interactive and fun ways to practice grammar concepts that you've already taught your students.

The Sentence Matching Game

Some of the best grammar games are the easiest to put together.

For example, this first game requires nothing more than some index cards and a permanent marker. On each index card, write a subject, a verb, or a prepositional phrase, so that there is an equal number of each type of index card and enough cards for each student to have one. Then, distribute the cards to the students and instruct them to get into groups of three when you blow your whistle, with one subject, one verb, and one prepositional phrase in each group. Then, blow your whistle and watch students race to get into their groups.

When all of the students have found a group, they write the sentence that their index cards make on the board. For example, a group with the subject "porcupine," the verb "wiggle," and the prepositional phrase "on the floor" would write up the phrase "The porcupine wiggled on the floor."

This activity helps students identify parts of a sentence, especially subjects and verbs, and practice how to put them together.

Parts of Speech Competition

Rev up your engines and challenge your students to a parts of speech race!

You'll need enough books so that each student in the class receives one, although they can use their textbooks if necessary.

Call out the name of a part of speech and give students five minutes to find a sentence in their books with the most instances of that part of speech. For example, if you call out "Preposition!" they find the sentence with the most prepositions in it that they can find.

At the end of the five minutes, figure out whose sentences has the most instances of that part of speech and give three points to that student, two points to the student with the next most instances, and one point to the student with the third most instances.

This parts of speech grammar game gives students plenty of practice identifying parts of speech in a sentence at a rapid pace. Also, discuss the results at the end and use a variety of books so the students discover that Hemmingway's writings are constructed very differently than, say, a typical textbook.

Peculiar Paragraph

Have each student write one sentence on absolutely any subject. Have students write their sentences on sentence strips to make the sentences easier to manipulate. Then, divide students into groups of ten, and let each group combine their sentences together to form a paragraph. They will need to insert conjunctions -- both coordination and correlative -- to create these paragraphs, but they should not include any other pieces of information. When they finish, let them read their peculiar paragraphs aloud.

Round Robin Sentence Building

Divide a stack of index cards into thirds. On each card in the first pile, write "clause"; on each card in the second pile, write "prepositional phrase"; on each card in the third pile, write "period." Students take turns drawing cards and adding a clause or a phrase to a class story.

For example, if the first four students draw "prepositional phrase," "prepositional phrase," "clause," and "period," they might come up with the sentence, "In a tree near the baseball field, a bird chirped." In this round robin game, students will practice the uses of phrases and clauses, and will understand how these grammatical structures combine to create sentences. They will also enjoy writing an interesting class story.

Fun Grammar Links for Practice

As much as your students will benefit from grammar games that you can do in the classroom, some students may enjoy practicing their grammar skills with games online. Luckily, there are several free online grammar games available for students and teachers to play. Here are some of our favorites:

  • The Grammar of Doom - This grammar game is a complex adventure game that will intrigue most students. It reviews all aspects of grammar and usage, including word choice, conjugations, and commonly misused words. Why is this one of our favorites? The adventure game takes place in the Temple of Doomed Grammar, and the goal is to get through the temple to obtain the secret password. What could be more engaging for your students than that?

  • The Grammar Gorillas - This grammar game is the perfect review for identifying parts of speech. There's a beginners version that includes only nouns and verbs, as well as an advanced version that reviews additional parts of speech.

  • Grammar Ninja - A more visually appealing version of "The Grammar Gorillas," this game allows you to choose from three levels. You will be asked to identify parts of speech as well as other grammar categories (such as articles) using ninja powers.

Parts-of-Speech Specific Grammar Games

If you've recently learned about a specific part of speech, you can play a game geared solely towards reviewing that part of speech. Noun games, verb games, and adjective games are particularly helpful in reviewing the concept of these basic parts of speech, and they can usually be adapted for various levels.

These grammar games, both those that are online and those that can be played in the classroom, will improve students' attitudes toward grammar study as a whole. Not only that, but you'll find that you and your students are both having a lot of fun in the process!

Source: Author's expertise