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Grammar Made Interesting

Posted in all posts, books, story by coleman yee on August 28, 2007

I’ve been interested in how grammar can be taught in an interesting and engaging way, and I sometimes use manufactured fairy tales as a teaching technique (for other concepts), so I was quite pleased to find a grammar fairy tale, The Grammarian’s Five Daughters by Eleanor Arnason.

Once there was a grammarian who lived in a great city that no longer exists, so we don’t have to name it.

It first introduces nouns:

The oldest daughter thought a while, then opened her bag. Out came the nouns, sharp and definite. Sky leaped up and filled the grayness overhead. Sun leaped up and lit the sky. Grass spread over the dim gray ground. Oak and elm and poplar rose from grass. House followed, along with town and castle and king.

Then it goes on to cover verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions.

I can’t really tell how effective this is, but it’s certainly a great effort, and might be worth trying on schoolkids.

Since we’re on the topic of grammar made interesting, The Deluxe Transitive Vampire by Karen Elizabeth Gordon is probably the best (and most humorous) I’ve read (and owned).

Gerunds as Objects of Prepositions:

By being so pregnant with meaning, her announcement went over like a lead balloon.

Through sporting a cudgel, the Neanderthal made a rude but necessary start.

By dunking her crumpet in the marmalade, Melissa committed a midafternoon faux pas.

In finding the chink in his armor, she found herself shown to the door.

It’s been years since I’ve read it. I’m tempted to read it again.

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