Shepparton Literacy Leaders

February 2014

Speed Grammar Chatting
 We will build an understanding of some of the
grammatical tools which we can understand,
talk about, and use to improve our writing.

 We will use our understandings to assist
students in using language to express ideas,
to connect ideas and in using language to
interact with others.

 We will develop deeper understandings of the
functions of language and the ability to be
successful in using language for a range of
 purposes.

 We will build a toolbox of grammar
concepts and skills which will be a
practical resource we can use to help
improve our writing.

 We will link our understandings to
learning outcomes in the Australian
Curriculum.

- the language we use and the
description of language as a system

 In describing language, attention is paid to
both structure ( form) and meaning
( function) at the level of the word, the
sentence and the text.

AusVELS English Glossary
We know more
than we think
we know
Most researchers now agree that grammar
instruction can improve student writing if the
grammar is taught “in context” (Goode, 2000;
Sams, 2003; Sedgwick, 1989).

Instead of teaching grammar only with
worksheets filled with drill and practice
exercises, contextualized grammar instruction
uses authentic and longer texts to teach
grammatical rules and sentence structure.
 „most beneficial way of helping students
improve their command of grammar in
writing is to use students' writing as the basis
for discussing grammatical concepts.

 more effective to teach punctuation, sentence
variety, and usage in the context of writing
than to approach the topic by teaching
isolated skills (Calkins, 1980; DiStefano and
Killion, 1984; Harris, 1962).

Mode_Scope_and_Sequence_English.pdf


Language.docx

 Dialect – „a particular form of a language which is peculiar to
a specific region or social group‟ Oxford Dictionary


 Dialects often vary based on an individual‟s
regional, ethnic or social background. Variations
may include vocabulary used and sentence
structure.

 People may use different dialects in different
situations. Refer Speaking and Listening AusVELS







 Conversational language is usually oral but
also used in social media.
 It is generally used between families and
friends.
 Standard grammar and sentence structure are
not generallyfollowe d.
 Vocabulary is generally simple and related to
topic and speakers – tier one words.
 That there are differences between
spoken and written language
 That people speak in different ways
according to place or region and social
situation
 That people speak differently in
different situations, with different
audiences to achieve specific purposes.
Conversational Standard
Informal tone Formal tone
Expressions eg „What‟s up?‟ Does not use slang or expressions
Slang
Not full sentences Follows all grammar rules
Conversational Standard
Talking with friends and some
family members
Writing for school
Speaking to the principal
Facebook, twitter Giving a talk in class
Uses
Role plays.docx


Sparklebox







http://www.childdrama.com/less
ons.html



 sec_y7_tch_speak_listn_sch_a.mov



 Extract from book.pd

Toolbox handout
 Teach only critical grammatical concepts needed,
and teach through reading and writing, through
mini-lessons and conferences.

 Explore writing style by considering effective
examples and experiment using these models as
mentors.

 Have students experiment with sentence
combining, expanding and manipulating ( Strong
1986,Lilgallon 1987)
1 Teach concepts of sentence, verb, clause, phrase
and related concepts for creating and editing
sentences.
2Teach style for sentence generating and sentence
combining.
3 Teach sentence sense through manipulating
elements.
4 Teach punctuation and mechanics for clarity,
convention and style.
5 Teach the power of dialects and the dialects of
power.

Constance Weaver 1998 Handout
1 Engage students in writing across the
curriculum.
2 Read a range of literature.
3 Teach grammar in context using a minimum
of terminology.
4 Offer grammar electives.
5 Teach mini-lessons with whole class and
with students who exhibit need and readiness
for a particular skill.
1 Give a student-friendly definition of
the tool.
2 Find and discuss clear examples in
written texts (mentor texts.)
3 Play with some example, eg change
or create own examples.
4 Apply this knowledge to own writing.
5 Add to student‟s own tool boxes.








Think back to a day in the holidays that you
really enjoyed. Zoom in on a special moment in
that day? Where are you? What is the weather
like? What are you doing? What can you see and
hear? How do you feel?

Write a short paragraph.
Some Important Tools

Clauses and Sentences
Verb and Noun groups
Simple, Compound and Complex
sentences

Instructions for use
Playing with sentences – using frames,
expanding, combining
Using the mentor texts:

Find a sentence that works well.
Write it in a strip of paper.
Share – What makes this sentence
work?

Create a Sentence Gallery.

A sentence is a group of words that makes
sense. A sentence begins with a capital letter
and ends with a full stop ( or a question mark
or exclamation mark.)
A sentence is a group of words that expresses
an idea. A sentence begins with a capital
letter and ends with a full stop ( or a question
or exclamation mark.)
I am going to the movies.
It is a very hot day.
After school, I will get an ice-cream.

Note punctuation for each definition.
Put this tool in your toolbox.
What‟s happening?
Who is involved?
Any other information?

A simple sentence has a subject ( who/what) and
a verb ( event or experience.)
The boy runs.
A dog barked at me.
The rain fell over the rooftops.

In pairs, look for some simple sentences
in mentor texts – about five or six words
in each sentence.
Use a red and a green pencil.

Write on a strip.

Share.




What‟s happening in each sentence?
Write one or two sentences and underline any
words that tell what‟s happening in green.

Who is involved? Underline the subject in the
sentence in red.

Share sentences.
Mentor text provide examples of the
dramatic effect of simple sentences in texts.



Examine your writing piece.

Do you have any examples of simple
sentences?

What‟s happening in the sentence?
Who or what is involved?
A simple sentence is also one
clause.

Sentences may have more than one
clause.






The boy eats an apple.
The sun is in the sky.
They are going to the football.

Add to tool box.
A clause contains a subject ( who or what) and
a verb or verb group ( a happening or event.)
All sentences must contain a happening, event
or experience.
What‟s happening?

This can be a group of words eg am going, will
see, are not coming ( a verb group.)

Happenings or Processes change according to
when the action happened, eg end with –ed, or
include will in the word group


Doing Saying Thinking
Feeling
Being/
Relating
Having
run called feel am had

Share some of the verb groups from your
simple sentences in the appropriate columns.


 One day I woke up and called to my
brother. He said that he was going
to school early as he liked playing
basketball before school. I felt left
out as I had asked him if I could
practise goal shooting with him and
he said that he was bored with
basketball. I had a new basketball as
my parents had given me one for
my birthday.

Saying
Having
Doing
Being/Relating Thinking/Feeling


Find verb groups in your writing.
Underline in green.

1Which happened in the past?
2 Which will happen?
3 Which are happening now?







The boy eats an apple.
The teacher called to the students.
I am feeling well today.
I thought about the movie.

Add to tool box.
A verb or verb group is one or more words
that tell about an event or happening.
 Whole group task

How could we rewrite this sentence five times,
making the process more powerful or
interesting?

The boy ate the meat pie.

Excerpt – The Countess and me.‟ Paul Kropp
2002

Work in pairs to replace each underlined verb
with a more powerful one.

Compare with the original text.



Students can revise a piece of their own work
and replace dull with more vivid verbs. Rogg


Can you change any verbs in your
writing piece?

1. We will identify
happenings/verb groups in a
text.

1. We will sort into acting, saying,
sensing, being, having.
The dragon trundled grumpily through the forest.
It actually detested the taste of humans and
resented having to come out of its cave on
assignments such as this. The sacrificial maidens
were always heaped with gold jewellery and gold
gave him indigestion. But one couldn‟t very well
go against tradition. It burst out of the forest in
a flurry of snapping branches and crushed tree
trunks. GURK! It roared threateningly, though
without much enthusiasm. Just as it thought,
gold ornaments, dozens of them. It shot out a
bright orange flame. Brock‟s sword bent like
cooked spaghetti. Robin Klein Brock and the dragon 1984
The dragon trundled grumpily through the forest.
It actually detested the taste of humans and
resented having to come out of its cave on
assignments such as this. The sacrificial maidens
were always heaped with gold jewellery and gold
gave him indigestion. But one couldn‟t very well
go against tradition. It burst out of the forest in
a flurry of snapping branches and crushed tree
trunks. GURK! It roared threateningly, though
without much enthusiasm. Just as it thought,
gold ornaments, dozens of them. It shot out a
bright orange flame. Brock‟s sword bent like
cooked spaghetti. Robin Klein
Which tools have we focused upon?

How do you feel about identifying these
tools in your reading, and using in your
writing?
give more information about what is happening
-when, where, how, why, with whom.

The boy ran quickly.
The sun rose in the morning.
The bird flew into a tree.





The boy is running up the hill.
They will go in the morning.
I put up my umbrella in the rain.
Adverbials or Circumstances give more
information about what is happening –
where, when, how or why.
Circumstances tell when,
where, how or why about the
happening or event.
Table activity
Add a circumstance of time telling when.
Add a circumstance of place telling where.
Add a circumstance of manner telling how.
Add a circumstance of reason telling why.


Subject Verb or Verb Group
Circumstances

The man was shocked when he saw his car
had gone.
The dragon trundled grumpily through the forest.
It actually detested the taste of humans and
resented having to come out of its cave on
assignments such as this. The sacrificial maidens
were always heaped with gold jewellery and gold
gave him indigestion. But one couldn‟t very well
go against tradition. It burst out of the forest in
a flurry of snapping branches and crushed tree
trunks. GURK! It roared threateningly, though
without much enthusiasm. Just as it thought,
gold ornaments, dozens of them. It shot out a
bright orange flame. Brock‟s sword bent like
cooked spaghetti. Robin Klein
The dragon trundled grumpily .
It actually detested the taste of humans and
resented having to come out of its cave on
assignments such as this. The sacrificial maidens
were always heaped with gold jewellery and gold
gave him indigestion. But one couldn‟t very well
go against tradition. It burst out of the forest in
a flurry of snapping branches and crushed tree
trunks. GURK! It roared threateningly,
Just as it thought,
gold ornaments, dozens of them. It shot out a
bright orange flame. Brock‟s sword bent like
cooked spaghetti. Robin Klein
The dragon trundled grumpily through the forest.
It actually detested the taste of humans and
resented having to come out of its cave on
assignments such as this. The sacrificial maidens
were always heaped with gold jewellery and gold
gave him indigestion. But one couldn‟t very well
go against tradition. It burst out of the forest in
a flurry of snapping branches and crushed tree
trunks. GURK! It roared threateningly, though
without much enthusiasm. Just as it thought,
gold ornaments, dozens of them. It shot out a
bright orange flame. Brock‟s sword bent like
cooked spaghetti.
Manner
(how?)
Place
(where?)
comment
emphasisin
g
Comparis
on (how?)
Manner
(how?)
 Use a blue pencil to underline some
circumstances in your writing piece.
What sort of information does each
circumstance give? Where? When?
How? Why? With whom?
 What‟s happening?
 Who (or what) is taking part?
 What are the details surrounding the activity?

 Connecting Ideas
 Structuring coherent sentences
 Combining sentences
 Using language to interact with others
One person at the table is the leader and thinks
of a person, place or thing. He/she says
whether it is a well known person, a thing or a
place.

The table members can ask 10 questions eg
„Is the person a world leader?‟ „Is the place in
Victoria?‟ Where is the thing used?‟

A noun is the name of a person, place or
thing.

A noun group builds on a noun.

Noun Groups usually consist of „the‟ „a‟
„an‟ plus one or more describing words or
adjectives and the name of a person, place
or thing.
A noun – name of a person, place or thing
A noun group – all the words around the noun
that give more detail
eg the green shed, the tall girl in the blue hat,
the flock of sheep, the man trudging up the
road
Build up noun groups by asking questions –
Which? What sort? Where?



Finding noun groups that paint a picture
 Pointers or article eg the, a, that, some
 Describers, adjectives eg blue, old, tired
 Phrases eg up the hill, after lunch, between
courses

In pairs, find some noun groups in the mentor
texts.
 Find some noun groups in
your writing. Could you
change any to paint a picture
more vividly?





the man in the brown coat
that girl in the third row
a bag of lollies
some children
A noun group is made up of all the words
around a person, place or thing.
1 Give a student-friendly definition of
the tool.
2 Find and discuss clear examples in
written texts (mentor texts.)
3 Play with some example, eg change
or create own examples.
4 Apply this knowledge to own writing.
5 Add to student‟s own tool boxes.






1 Teach concepts of sentence, verb, clause, phrase
and related concepts for creating and editing
sentences.
2Teach style for sentence generating and sentence
combining.
3 Teach sentence sense through manipulating
elements.
4 Teach punctuation and mechanics for clarity,
convention and style.
5 Teach the power of dialects and the dialects of
power.

Constance Weaver 1998
 We will build a toolbox of grammar
concepts and skills which will be a
practical resource we can use to help
improve our writing.

 We will link our understandings to
learning outcomes in the Australian
Curriculum.

What makes sense?
What can you use right away?
What support do you need?
 Exley, Beryl & Kervin, Lisa Playing with Grammar in the Early Years:
Learning about Language in the Australian Curriculum : English ALEA
2013
 First Steps Second Edition Writing Map of Development Reed
International 2005
 Jamieson Rog, Lori Marvellous Lessons for teaching Intermediate
Writing Grades 4 - 6
 Ruday, Sean The Common Core Grammar Toolkit: using mentor
Texts to teach the Language Standards in Grades 3 – 5 Routledge
2013
 Weaver, Constance Teaching Grammar in Context Heinemann 1996

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