Children say: this is how we would teach grammar

24 May 2016

Are apostrophes always achingly dull? Are tenses always tedious? Or can punctuation and grammar be fun?

With the current debate around teaching writing in schools raging, east London writing charity the Ministry of Stories asked children ‘how would you teach grammar?’ They responded with creative and imaginative stories which, with professional animators, the Ministry turned into a series of short films: ‘Grammarmations’.

Each short film has been written by primary aged children to help teach other children about adjectives, capital letters and exclamation marks, readying them for the world of writing. Caleb, aged 9, said, “I would recommend for people to watch all of the films because they’re all really imaginative and we have worked really hard to make them.”  9 year old Bruce said, “It will help people to learn about grammar.”

Sarah Lowden, Assistant Head at St John the Baptist Primary School in Hackney, had lots of ideas for using the animations in the classroom:“What an amazing effort from the club. We can use the films in the classroom in so many ways, it will be hard to know where to start!”

Lucy Macnab, Co-Director at the Ministry of Stories, said, “At the Ministry of Stories we believe that the best way for children to acquire skills is through the joyful discovery of stories and the development of their imagination. The young writers of Grammarmations have really proved that great writing needs creativity and storytelling as well as technical understanding of grammar and punctuation.”

Watch the full series of Grammarmations on the Ministry of Stories YouTube channel.

The charity believes stories can be found anywhere, and has also created a series of resources for teachers to create Grammarmations with their own class. These include games to revise grammar knowledge, fun ways to think about sentence structure and questions to get young people starting stories.
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