Grammar Game Makes English Easy Whether You Have Dyslexia or are GiftedJuly 9th, 2009
Parents often ask me what they can do to help their children improve their writing and grammar skills. Some of these parents have children that are gifted, some are average students, some are falling through the cracks, some have dyslexia, and some are even autistic. Even though the range of children runs from dyslexia to gifted, I typically suggest they do the same thing to help them improve their writing.
Learning writing skills is relatively easy when you use graphic organizers as an aid such as those in Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills. Then, to improve on their rough drafts, I suggest they use a variety of sentence types in their writing. Remember, good writers use a variety of sentence types in their writing. That is what makes their writing interesting.
So, how do you learn how to write good interesting sentences that are different types? An easy way to learn about the different types of sentences we have in the English language is to play the game The Sentence Zone. While playing the game you actually learn the 6 basic sentence types we have as well as how to punctuate them.
One of the really neat things about it is the different ways it can be played. For instance, 1st graders can play it to learn how to write a sentence. Middle school students can play it to start learning more complex sentence writing and grammar such as the difference between a direct object and a predicate nominative. High school students can play it to prepare for the grammar portion of the SAT test. (It includes advanced vocabulary for older students.)
The Sentence Zone is a grammar game that can be played at multiple levels as your children grow, so it never just sits ‘on the shelf’. It is one that helps your children:
- Write sentences with their spelling words.
- Understand grammar as well as their English homework.
- Prepare for the grammar portion of the SAT test.
The game is a fast fun way to cement in that nitty-gritty grammar. I have a video here showing you several ofThe Sentence Zone‘s uses. I start off with 1st, 3rd, and 4th graders playing and then move on to a 9th grader playingThe Sentence Zone. Hope you enjoy it.
Remember, whether your children are gifted or have dyslexia, playing educational games helps to cement concepts into their brain. Playing educational games does this because your brain is in a more relaxed state while game playing. This relaxed state frees the brain to retain more information. The game is color-coded and studies have shown that using color improves retention by 25%.
IMO nice idea too complicated. At their age I couldn’t read. I still don’t know the parts of a sentence… but wow I can write this. why? I think modeling is a better. Listening to her makes my brain hemorrhage. Hmm I need to play the game!
Thanks for your comment. I start playing this when my younger students have a basic site vocabulary. The game contains the 200 most frequently used words and extra ones for interest. It also comes with advanced vocabulary for older students. With my younger students, we use the basic vocabulary and use the color-coding of the cards to help them out. For instance for round one I would say, “You need a blue card, a red card, a capital letter, and punctuation and you’ll have a sentence. And, you get points for every card you’ve used.” This makes it very simple. They also learn a lot from the modeling of other students, which, as you pointed out, is a beautiful way to teach writing. The color-coding is one of the things that makes the modeling sink in more deeply. Color-coding actually improves retention by 25%.
Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET
we like this article. thanks for sharing.