So do you see the rabbit or the duck? Do you see grammar in primary language learning as the elephant in the room? Are some of your staff concerned about how they can teach grammar in primary languages with limited language knowledge themselves? Well we have seen in our network that there can be a positive shift in perspective, and one of the ways we have been helped colleagues and schools to achieve this over the last coupleof years is to take the fear out of the very word "grammar" and generate learning opportunties with "grammar" as a creative primary learning exploratory experience.
We want our young learners over four years in KS2 to feel confident in the use of target language nouns (for example for both teachers and children the words "*masculine/feminine/neuter/indefinite/definite/singular/plural2 can strike fear!). We want our young learners to recognise and be able to use adjectives and to try to accurately and more often than not successfully place them next to a noun in a phrase or a sentence. We want our young learners to build up a bank of questions and answers using verbs and to be able to access verbs as infinitives and try to accurately use the correct part of the verb with the personal pronoun from a presnet tnese paradigm of the verb in the sentences they want to say and write. The statements above in this paragraph can cause constrenation, fear or if we shift perspective a great creative problem solving learning opportunity!
Here are some of the ways we have recently created to help teachers and children enjoy exploring nouns, verbs and adjectives and limiting fear and maximising success and creativity!
Putting the learning of grammar in to a familiar game or context. Here is our game to practise how to use familoar nouns and to find and use new nouns I Spy Nouns
Putting physicality in to the learning of language ,to aid memory and to practise for instance paradigms of common useful verbs. Here is our Rugby Haka
Putting creativity in to the practise of the use of structures in sentences,r4eady to use in a communicative and performance based series of activities. Teabags full of adjectives and flavour is an activity that allows your children to practise the routine of applying adjectival agreements and to be creative too with grammar! This all leads very nicely to a "Madhatters Tea Party" and the use of grammar to build a conversation and a written menu too!
Put the learning in to the context of the primary school calendar.Here we are building descriptive sentences using Autumn leaves .to remind us of the structures we need to put in to our sentences.
Hopefully by considering grammar as the creative primary centred scaffold on which to build the language and communication activities we are helping schools and children to see how and why to develop their basic understanding of grammar.