Grammar can seem like a complicated idea for children in KS1 – aged just 4 – 7. For teaching assistants, who are often asked to help those children who are struggling, it can be hard to know where to start. Here, our education consultant Susie Spolander outlines her top five approaches to helping children grasp the basics of grammar in the classroom.
Supporting Grammar in KS1: Five Top Tips!
1. Start with Speech: Foster grammar exploration through interactive talk. Model, practice and embed spoken grammar patterns before applying them to writing. Blend talk and writing to secure grammatical understanding.
2. Bring Words to Life: Use drama and action to breathe life into word classes. Play ‘Simon Says’ to command with bossy verbs, act out precise verbs for nuanced meanings, and explore adverbs through varied movements in PE, dance, or drama.
3. Make it Purposeful: Focus on the essence of grammar features – their purpose and impact on the reader. Explore how noun phrases ‘paint a picture’ or clarify; command sentences clearly instruct; conjunctions unite ideas with purposeful connections.
4. Move Away from the Page: When challenges arise, step away from writing and practice specific grammar features through interactive activities. Embrace speaking, acting, reading, playing and exploring to boost confidence before application to writing.
5. Read it Back: Encourage children to read their own writing aloud, assessing whether their choices fulfil the purpose: Does it make sense, evoke vivid imagery, express intended relationships, or provide clear instructions?