Friday, September 16, 2016

Make Grammar Easier, Make it Visual

Grammar is easier for students to grasp and remember if you make it visual for them. It’s even easier if they make something visual themselves. It’s hard to forget a rule if you have interacted with it, or see it every day.

I made it super simple for students to remember the Question Words in German and French by having each student make a depiction of the word. I showed them an example on the board; they went home and made their own on regular notebook paper.

Some students, however, went above and beyond the assignment. They used their computers or/or drew something stunning. This made the next step simple. Each row picked the image they liked the best for each question word. Then we voted as a class.

This procedure was repeated in all my first year classes until we had the best of the best for a final vote. I took the winners to a copy center, made color copies and laminated them. We displayed the posters on the wall for the remainder of the school year. The students, however, put up the ones they made in their bedrooms.

These visual representations of question words made them come alive. We never translated the words into English, but students knew what they meant and how to use them. You can adapt this assignment to other items that are difficult for students to either grasp or remember. It works, and it’s fun. 

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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Wallace

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