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Copyright 2001-2011 Jason Renshaw / English Raven Educational Services PTY LTD. All rights reserved. ACN 123 251 927
This is a creative classroom card game that blends some of the rules of golf with some basic principles underlying English Raven's Sentence Navigator series. Utilizing concepts like discovery learning, risk-taking and self-correction, Grammar Golf makes grammar into a fun game for the whole class!
I have often heard teachers of young learners utter what they believe to be two eternal truthes: "Kids find grammar really boring and meaningless" and "Kids are crazy about card games!". Well I don't entirely agree with either statement, but English Raven's GrammarGolf is an attempt at marrying the two concepts together. The game basically encourages young learners to piece together words and grammatical elements to create meaningful and accurate sentences through a process of experimentation, risk-taking and self-correction (also in line with a more 'bottom up' theory of things).
In a nutshell: the cards are distributed to students and they are given some time to piece together what they believe to be an accurate sentence from the available words in five columns. This is the 'hypothesis' stage. They then try this sentence out on the teacher, who will indicate that it is wrong by stating "You've misshit the ball, try again!" or that it is correct with "Nicely done! It's in the hole!" Basically, the idea is to get a sentence correct from each card in as few tries as possible - in other words, in this game the winner is the person with the least amount of penalties rather than most amount of points (see the golf connection?). The great thing about the game is that students can get 2nd, 3rd and even 4th or 5th chances to get it right. Students can also be placed into teams to try and figure out answers to the cards.
Level A consists of fairly routine grammar (present tenses, singular and plural, subject/object/possessive pronouns, prepositions, negation, future and past tense, count vs noncount nouns, word order, information questions and yes/no questions, etc), with A1 and A2 being "Par 3 cards" (there are two possible sentence answers on these cards) and the others being "Par 4". A5 and A6 focus specifically on question formation. The game can be run as a purely oral exercise (faster and generally more fun), or can be combined into a writing exercise using the answer sheets provided (enough space for 9 rounds or "holes" of golf!).
Download the 60 GrammarGolf Cards!
All of the GRAMMARGOLF downloads are available in their own section of the MAIN DOWNLOADS page (for English Raven members).
NEW! Now your students can play GrammarGolf freely online, with a built-in audio recorder for them to practice making their own sentences alongside audiovisual examples provided by English Raven for them to compare their own speaking/sentence building with!
GrammarGolf Card Downloads:
Level A: 6 sets (60 cards)
(Free download for non-members)
GrammarGolf Level A2
GrammarGolf Level A3
GrammarGolf Level A4
GrammarGolf Level A5
GrammarGolf Level A6
GrammarGolf Game/Answer Sheet
TIPS ON HOW TO USE THE PRINTABLE CARDS
- Cut out and laminate each card or fold two cards together to create a double backed card with different GrammarGolf problems on each side. Laminating the cards will give them a much longer life and remember that the cards are likely to passed around or out a lot!
- To play this game multiple times or in an ongoing fashion from one class to the next, simply shuffle the cards and redistribute them. This gives students a chance to remember correct answers they heard from friends and try to apply them to the next cards they get.
- Alternatively, use a new "deck" each round or mix the different decks together in one pile (by "deck" I mean individual 'set' - A1 through A6) to ensure students are getting random cards each round/hole.
- To place some more emphasis on comprehension and meaning, after a set number of rounds ask student to read (or recall) the sentences they came up with and draw pictures or sketches to show what they mean.
- Consider letting students get a certain number of "lucky swings". Under this rule, when a student has tried to make a sentence and is stumped for an answer, by yelling "lucky swing" they invite other students in the classroom to take a shot at correcting what they said. Great for some group thinking and cooperation amongst students!
- It is possible to make these cards a small homework task, by asking students to take the card home and figure out the correct sentence. This way they can really think about the card and options for a while at their own pace, and/or invite the help of parents or friends.
For a combination of speaking and writing (and to show teachers evidence of 'interlanguage') the students can write down answers before trying them out orally. In the example to the left, the student needed three tries to find the answer. Three 'shots' are drawn on the little course provided, and the student records "3" in the bubble next to the last sentence.
In a different example using the same card and a 'par three', this student got the answer from the card right in two tries - so two shots on the mini-course, and a score of "2" in the bubble. These scores for each round or "hole" can be tallied at the end of a certain number of rounds to create an overall score (the lower it is the better - just as in golf!)
In this example, using a 'question making' card with a Par 4 chance, the student was either lucky or smart enough to get it right on the first try. So a nice low score of "1" is recorded, and the student gets to draw a line on the mini-course going straight from the tee to the hole. At this point (on a first try correct), the class could be encouraged to boom "HOLE IN ONE!"