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Mind the GaP
Teaching Grammar and Punctuation
Gill Matthews & Stephanie Austwick
The Professional Literacy Company
Key principles
• Use games and kinaesthetic approaches
• Use problem solving and investigative
approaches
• Use correct terminology
• Teach across the school from YR
• Teach in context through reading and writing
Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins
YR – Y2
Sentences
• A sentence starts with a capital letter and
ends with a full stop, question mark or
exclamation mark
• A sentence contains a verb
Verbs
• The hen walked across the yard.
Verbs tell us about actions
Sentence types
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Statement : The hen walked across the yard.
Question
Command
Exclamation
Verb tenses
Past
Present
(you are here)
Future
Progressive past and present tenses
• Progressive past – The hen was walking across
the yard.
• Progressive present – The hen is walking
across the yard.
To be
Present tense
Past tense
I am
I
You are
You
He/she/it is
He/she/it
We are
We
You are
You
They are
They
Nouns
• The hen walked across the yard.
Top tip
If you can put a, an or the in front of a single
word – it’s a noun!
Adjectives and expanded noun phrases
• The little fat hen walked across the yard.
Adjectives give us more information about a
noun
Adverbs
• The little fat hen walked slowly across the
yard.
Adverbs tell us how something happens
Determiners
• The little fat hen walked slowly across the
yard.
Determiners go in front of nouns (and their
adjectives) to tell us which person or thing the
sentence is about or how much or how many of
them there are
Prepositions
• The little fat hen walked slowly across the
yard.
Prepositions link nouns to other parts of a
sentence. They often tell us about position or
direction
Conjunctions
• The little fat hen walked slowly across the yard
but she didn’t see the fox.
Conjunctions link words or groups of words
Pronouns
• The little fat hen walked slowly across the yard
but she didn’t see the fox.
Pronouns are used in place of a noun.
A model sentence
• The little fat hen walked slowly across the yard
but she didn’t see the fox.
• Determiner adjective adjective noun verb
adverb preposition determiner noun
conjunction pronoun verb verb determiner
noun.
Grammar – a whole school approach
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Oral language, modelling
Extensive exposure to written language
Shared Reading and Booktalk
Shared Writing and Booktalk
Drama and Role Play
Language Games (sentence level and vocab)
Talking about Language (metalanguage)
Regular, enjoyable, purposeful practice
Question Time
by Michaela Morgan
Y2 - 3
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Who?
What?
How?
Where?
What does a monster look like?
Well…hairy and scary,
And furry and burly,
And pimply and dimply,
And warty and naughty,
And wrinkled and crinkled ...
That’s what a monster looks like!
How does a monster move?
It oozes. It shambles.
It crawls and it ambles.
It slouches and shuffles and trudges.
It lumbers and waddles,
It creeps and it toddles…
That’s how a monster moves!
How does a monster eat?
It slurps and it burps
And gobbles and gulps
And sips and swallows and scoffs,
It nibbles and munches,
It chews and it crunches…
That’s how a monster eats.
What does a monster eat?
Slugs and bats.
And bugs and rats.
And stones and mud
And bones and blood.
And squelchy squids…
And NOSEY KIDS!
THAT’S WHAT A MONSTER EATS!
Where does a monster live?
In garden sheds,
Under beds,
In wardrobes, in plug holes, in ditches.
Beneath city streets,
Just under your feet…
That’s where a monster lives!
Grammar
through a
picture book
– in the context of a
Writing for Real Unit
Y3 - 4
Teaching Grammar
• Descriptive, not prescriptive
• Conventions, not rules
• Implicit knowledge will always be greater
than, and will always precede, explicit
knowledge
• Explicit knowledge helps when we want to talk
about language
• Should enable, not disable
The Storyteller’s Gift
Year 5 – Year 6
Teaching grammar through reading
and writing
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Reading aloud
Using Booktalk: Likes, Dislikes, Puzzles, Patterns
Text marking and highlighting
Grammar challenges
Cloze procedure
Messing about with sentences
Create a writer’s toolkit
Shadowing the text
Cloze procedure
• Leave one or more deletion free sentences at
the beginning to give reader an idea of what
passage is about
• Deletions can be according to a numerical
system
• Deletions can be particular word class(es)
• Make sure there are enough cues left in the
text
Modal verbs to show degrees of
possibility
• Each of you will give a 5 minute presentation
on your project to the rest of the class.
Each of you will give a 5 minute
presentation on your project to the rest of
the class.
will
can
may
shall
must
would
could
might
should
ought
Why use the passive voice?
• When we don’t know who did it or we want to
hide that information
• To emphasise what happened rather than who
did something
The window has been broken.
Subject and object
• A guide led the class into a room.
The subject is the person or thing doing the
action. It is the noun before the verb.
The object is the person or thing that is acted
on. It is normally the noun after the verb.
Active and passive voice
• Active
A guide led the class into a room.
(The subject is doing the action)
• Passive
The class was led into a room by the guide.
(The subject is having the action done to it)
The class was led into a room.
Messing about with sentences
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Write up a sentence
Add adjectives
Change the verb
Change the final noun
Add an adverb
Extend the sentence by using ‘because’
Move the end to the beginning
Move the adverb
Create a writer’s toolkit
• Look at the author’s techniques
• What can we borrow?
Stumbling blocks
• Less and fewer - Use less with uncountable
nouns and fewer with countable nouns e.g.
We have had less rain and fewer showers this
year.
Stumbling blocks
• I and me when talking about two people e.g.
John and me/I went to school. He gave the
sweets to John and me/I.
Take out the other person. Which pronoun
makes sense?
I went to school. John and I went to school.
He gave the sweets to me. He gave the sweets to
John and me.
Key principles
• Teach in context
• Use games and kinaesthetic approaches
• Use problem solving and investigative
approaches
• Use correct terminology
• ‘Notice’ when reading
• ‘Borrow’ when writing
Punctuation
Comma sense
• Lists – if the comma can be replaced with and
or or
• Parentheses – either side of a phrase or clause
that gives extra detail but which can be
removed leaving the sentence gramatically
correct
• Introduction to a sentence – adverbs, -ed, -ing
words, time, place, condition, frequency, fact
Commas in lists
• The little fat hen walked across the yard.
• He has spiky grey hair, piercing blue eyes, a
sharp tongue and a dry sense of humour.
• I went to the shop and bought bread, milk and
cheese.
Commas for parenthesis
• He stood, as if waiting, by the chair.
Suddenly he was falling, and his life went
past in small, square pictures, framed in
the windows of the cockpit. There were his
family; his house; his friends; his wedding;
his dog. There were pictures of the Past
and pictures of the Future, too – all the
things he had meant to do and now never
would: bridges, faces, dawns, and sunsets.
Smile by Geraldine McCaughrean
Stumbling blocks
• Its and It’s
It’s stands for IT IS or IT HAS and nothing else
• Words ending in s
That is James’ book.
• Plurals
Those are the boys’ bags.
Learning environment
The Professional Literacy Company
• E-mail: [email protected]
• Website: www.theplc.org.uk
•
@ProfLitCo

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