For many students, basic understanding of English grammar comes from "hearing" written text in their heads. If you ask a student how he or she spotted a grammatical error, the answer is often, "It didn’t sound right." For subject-verb agreement, contractions, punctuation, and other basic grammar topics, this strategy is quite effective.

However, for the more complex grammar required in AP English or college-level English, "hearing" is no longer sufficient. Identifying dangling modifiers, types of phrases, and parts of a sentence require an intellectual understanding of the subject.

Using Storyboards for Grammar Practice

Here are two storyboard examples to master concepts like appositives and identifying the different types of phrases (prepositional phrase, adjective phrase, adverb phrase, infinitive phrase, participial phrase, and gerund phrase).

It is frequently difficult to keep students engaged when discussing grammar. The subject matter is challenging and not easily relatable. While repetitive drills are somewhat effective at reinforcing these concepts, they too, are not engaging to students. One way to teach grammar while encouraging creativity and a deep understanding of learning objectives is to use storyboards.

Having students illustrate grammatical concepts with storyboards gives them a deeper understanding of the topic and makes them more likely to correctly identify a structure or phrase in reading materials and tests. Adding their own pictures and text gives them the chance to be creative and to experience the practical application of the material.

While students get the chance to create the most interesting prepositional phrase they can devise, you have the ability to easily assess a student’s grasp of the topic. The clear, concise illustrations and captions of a storyboard convey a student’s mastery of a concept immediately.

Advanced English Grammar Activities

  • Create a storyboard that includes all six possible uses for a gerund (subject, predicate noun, direct object, indirect object, object of a preposition, apposition).

  • Create a storyboard that uses some, or all, of the types of clauses (independent/dependent, adjective dependent, adverb dependent, noun dependent, etc.)

  • Create a storyboard using various types of phrases (adjective phrase, adverb phrase, prepositional phrase, participial phrase, infinitive phrase, gerund phrase.)

  • As an assessment, have students identify or correct grammatical errors in a pre-made storyboard, and include the reason for the correction.

Common Core

Mastering high-level grammar concepts fits Language requirements of Common Core and State Standards. Using storyboards to reinforce grammar allows students to "demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking" (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.1) and "interpret figures of speech", (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.5a). Understanding these advanced English grammar concepts will allow students to develop and enrich their own writing.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Teaching Grammar with Storyboard That

What is a storyboard, and how can it be used to teach grammar practice?

A storyboard is a visual aid that uses a sequence of images or illustrations to tell a story or convey a message. Storyboards can be used to teach grammar practice by providing a visual representation of grammar concepts such as sentence structure, verb tenses, and parts of speech. Students can create their own storyboards to demonstrate their understanding of these concepts or to practice applying them in context.

How can storyboards be adapted to suit different learning styles and abilities in the classroom?

Storyboards can be adapted to suit different learning styles and abilities in the classroom by allowing students to work individually or in groups, using a variety of media (such as images, text, and audio), and providing different levels of scaffolding and support as needed. Teachers can also provide feedback and guidance to help students improve their understanding and application of grammar concepts.

Are there any best practices or tips for using storyboards effectively in grammar practice?

Some best practices for using storyboards effectively in grammar practice include setting clear objectives and expectations, providing examples and templates for students to follow, incorporating peer feedback and collaboration, and using storyboards as a tool for formative assessment and reflection.

Can storyboards be integrated with other teaching methods and tools, such as games or technology, to enhance grammar instruction?

Yes, storyboards can be integrated with other teaching methods and tools to enhance grammar instruction. For example, teachers can use online storyboard creation tools or apps to facilitate the creation and sharing of storyboards, incorporate gamification elements to make grammar practice more engaging, and use technology to provide real-time feedback and assessment.

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