How to Dazzle at Grammar contains 42 photocopiable sheets for use with secondary school pupils. The sheets use simple language, lively illustrations and use parts of speech and punctuation.
In this work, the activities are presented in an age-appropriate manner and provide a flexible but structured resource for teaching pupils to understand and use parts of speech and punctuation. Because the concepts of syntax and punctuation are quite abstract, they are often difficult for pupils with special needs to assimilate. The concepts require reinforcement many times before they are understood. It is only when those concepts are understood that they become part of the pupils’ own communication abilities. It is now widely believed that many children, particularly boys, who find English difficult to understand, actually have greater success with deconstructing and fragmenting language and learning how it ‘works’ in an analytical way with constant reinforcement than they do using it in a functional mode, through talking and writing. Learning about grammar in this way gives the pupils the tools to be able to talk about and understand language development.Hopefully they then go on to make the knowledge they have acquired functional in their own communications but, of course, there is always the memory factor to take into account. Part of the disaffection of pupils with special needs is the misery of failing time after time.
The sheets are designed, with information and questioning, to help those pupils to experience success and achievement. The expectation that the pupil will achieve will help to build confidence and competence. The tasks in this book are kept fairly short to facilitate concentration. The text on the pages is kept to a minimum, and the content of the pages is applied to contexts that the pupils will find motivating. In many cases there is an element of puzzle or competition to the activities to provide greater motivation. The extra task at the end of each activity provides reinforcement and enables pupils to use their skills in another way.The activity pages are designed to supplement any English language activities you pursue in the classroom. They are intended to add to your pupils’ knowledge of how the English language works. They can be used with individual pupils, pairs or very small groups, as the need arises. The text on the pages has been kept as short as possible, so that reluctant or poorer readers will not feel swamped by ‘words on the page’. For the same reason we have used white space and boxes, to help the pupils to understand the sheets easily, and to give them a measure of independence in working through them. In many instances, a pair of scissors and encouragement to ‘cut and paste’ will further help the pupils to work through the sheets. Many of the sheets can be modified and extended in very simple ways. The Add-ons can provide a good vehicle for discussion of what has been learned and how it can be applied.