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Sites to See: Grammar

Grammar: The study of how words and their component parts combine to form sentences; the system of rules implicit in a language, viewed as a mechanism for generating all sentences possible in that language.

Are you looking for ways to spice up your next grammar review? Do you need supplemental materials for ESL or other students who are struggling with grammar issues? Check out the Web sites below for resources for teaching grammar to students in grades 3-12! Included: Web sites with hundreds of interactive quizzes, PowerPoint lectures, fun games, and more!

ChompChomp: Grammar Bytes!
ChompChomp: Grammar Bytes is a comprehensive guide to grammar. In fact, one teacher at a middle school has thrown away his grammar text and uses this site exclusively in his language arts classroom. The site is divided into four sections -- grammar terms, exercises, handouts, and tips and rules. Terms are defined in detail, with numerous examples, colorful (and often illustrated) explanations, and links to related terms. Five review exercises (20 questions each) are provided for each term. The exercises are interactive, allowing students to see what they got right or wrong and why, and printable handouts help students and teachers keep track of progress. Finally, the tips and rules section, with both HTML and PDF versions, gives easy-to-understand strategies for attacking grammar problems. This site is best used in grades 7-12.

Big Dog's Grammar
Big Dog's Grammar calls itself "A bare bones guide to English." Despite its narrow focus, however, the site is well written, easy-to-follow, and offers an engaging resource for middle- or high-school English classes. More than a dozen grammar terms -- including comma splices, active/passive construction, and more -- are included. Explanations are short and fun to read. The self-test portion is very short (only a few questions per concept), however, whether you choose the correct or incorrect answer, a window pops up, explaining what you did right or wrong. That is particularly helpful for a student who might guess the right answer without knowing why it is right.

Wow! Grammar! How to Master Skills to Succeed
Wow! Grammar!, the first site on this list specifically for younger (3rd-6th grade) students, also contains definitions and activities. The definitions, of parts of speech, sentence construction, clauses, and common mistakes, for example, are short and easy to read. In addition, a printable version of the grammar term page is provided for use as a handout. Rather than tests or practice quizzes, this site provides five grammar games. In "Clean Up Your Grammar," students decide if a word is a noun or verb. Students also can locate grammar mistakes (punctuation, capitalization, run-on sentences, and more) within sentences in "Edit Dan's Copy." Connecting prefixes and suffixes to their meanings is the goal of "Short Circuit," while in "Fish 'Em Up" students decide how to change spelling in words ending in ing or ies. Finally, students can learn about homophones in "Super Match Game."

Guide to Grammar and Writing
The Guide to Grammar and Writing, appropriate for high school students and above, is by far the most exhaustive grammar resource listed in this review. From its detailed explanations of grammar terms to the PowerPoint lectures, famous quotes, and more, this Web site is ideal for an AP class or for teacher use. More than 170 interactive quizzes on almost any grammar concept imaginable are available. The GrammarLog is an archive of questions asked by users -- and the answers to those questions; students and teachers alike are encouraged to submit their burning grammar questions. A search engine of the site's contents, as well as an index and FAQ section help users make sense of this enormous resource. Don't forget to check out the GrammarPoll, where students and teachers alike can voice their opinions on current issues/changes occurring in American grammar usage.

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab
The Online Writing Lab, like the Grammar Guide above, is best used in grades 9-12 --and above. Explanations are brief and easy to understand. The topics covered include parts of speech and sentence construction, with a focus on the most common mistakes writers make. Practice exercises are included, but they are not interactive; students must write answers on paper or print out a copy of the page, then check their own answers. Both printer-friendly and PDF formats of the exercises are included. What's unique about the site is the inclusion of several PowerPoint presentations related to grammar. Both slide shows, appropriate for direct instruction or self-directed learning, contain entertaining graphics as well as definitions and examples. Don't miss the many other resources on other writing topics available at this site.


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Article by Lorrie Jackson
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