Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Grammar Ideas

Nouns: I was introducing my first-grade daughter to the concept of nouns (she already understood the concept of verbs) and the following idea seemed to do the trick. I explained that a noun is a word for a person, place or thing. I had her draw ten pictures whose names would be nouns. She proceeded to start drawing a town (thinking primarily of places at first I think). We talked a little as she went along and she added a person and a car. Finally I asked her the zinger question, "Is there anything you can draw which would not be a noun?" The light of understanding came over her as she realized that everything she had drawn - trees, grass, sky, etc. all fit under the category of noun. Ah, success! (Now don't forget that there are some nouns that can't be drawn - abstract nouns like 'truth', 'justice' and 'virtue'). (Alicia from WI)


Sentences: This idea helped my first grader better understand what a sentence is, as well as give her a little practice in capitalization and punctuation. I wrote several sets of two simple sentences (appropriate to her reading level) with no capitalization or punctuation. For example: "the girl walked to the store she saw an apple". My daughter circled the letters which should be capitalized and filled in the appropriate punctuation. This of course requires a certain amount of explanation and supervision, but I think the exercise was very helpful in understanding the concept since she already had a logical sense of the structure from her basic experiences of language. (Alicia from WI)

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