A Game to Practice Grammar
Most students think that grammar is about as exciting as a trip to
the Dentist's chair. In an attempt to generate a little more enthusiasm,
I devised a game called Grammaroo, which the kids enjoy immensely.
It requires first that you prepare a stack of index cards with
grammar questions on the front and answers on the back, and a
few cards upon which you simply write one of the eight parts of
Questions for the index cards are endless. You may ask students
to state the simple subject or predicate of a sentence, choose
the phrase in which a pronoun does not agree with its antecedent,
write the correct past tense of an irregular verb, select the
object of a verb or preposition, or any of a multitude of possibilities.
Introduce the game by reading the following:
In the land of Grammaroo, the beautiful shining castle of Correctly-Used-Language
rises above the mist. The castle has been under attack for many
years by hordes of barbarians, and will soon crumble into the
sea if no one helps. It is up to you to save it!
Your mission is to bring the supplies, weapons, skill, and knowledge
which will restore the castle to its former glory. The route is
a treacherous one, but Grammaroo will fall into a Dark Age if
its language is not preserved.
Players first divide into two competing armies. Each army starts
out with 50 points.
Armies move forward by correctly answering the questions on the
cards that each player draws.
Every correctly answered question yields 10 points. Some questions
also carry potential penalties, which means that if they are incorrectly
answered, points may be taken away.
When a player draws a PARTS of SPEECH card, he or she keeps that
card but draws another card as well. (If yet another bonus PARTS
of SPEECH card is drawn, the player keeps drawing until a regular
question card comes up.)
When an army believes it has enough PARTS of SPEECH to form a
complete sentence, the players from that army hold up the parts
of speech, demonstrating how these can be arranged to form a correct
and complete sentence. This is called a coup, and yields an instant
The first team to score 250 points has reached the castle and
saved the language. But be on guard: the losing team has joined
the barbarians and will live to fight another day!