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					  GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS

                  Geoff Barton




www.geoffbarton.co.uk            December 19, 2011
GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS
CONTENT


1. Grammar essentials: What do you need to know about …
   •   Improving students’ writing?
   •   Improving their reading?
2. Some classroom ideas that work
GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS
What today is:


  •   Practical, not theoretical
  •   About grammar that makes an impact
  •   About good English teaching, not grammar for its own
      sake
  •   An approach, not knowledge
GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS
What today is not:


  • A comprehensive grammar lesson
  • A lecture
  • About quacking the parts of speech
GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS
  The Literacy Club




             Language
              oddities
GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS


   DOGS MUST
   BE CARRIED
     ON THE
   ESCALATOR
GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS

     Please don't
    smoke and live
    a more healthy
         life
  PSE Poster
GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS


    Sign at Suffolk
       hospital:
   Criminals operate
      in this area
ICI FIBRES
GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS

        Churchdown parish
            magazine:
     ‘would the congregation
   please note that the bowl at
      the back of the church
    labelled ‘for the sick” is for
     monetary donations only’
GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS

     TALKING POINT 

1: So what grammar were you taught at your own school?
2: What grammar do you teach now, and how?
GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS

 My approach …
   1. ‘Grammar’ isn’t always a helpful term
   2. Some bits of grammar are more important than
      others
   3. Writing is where we’ll have most effect
   4. Grammar knowledge is less important than
      grammar impact
   5. Starters are great for grammar
   6. Go for impact
       What are the essential bits of grammar needed by
                     English teachers…?

Fiction:                            Non-fiction:

•   Sentence variety for effect:    •   Connectives
    simple, compound, complex       •   Topic sentences
•   Multiple narration              •   Headlines / subheadings / puns
•   Plot - dialogue - description   •   Paragraph organisation - main
•   Location of the speech verb         point … illustration … contrast
•   Modification                    •   Cohesion (pronouns and
•   Direct / indirect speech            connectives)
•   Figurative language             •   Tense
•   Descriptive detail              •   Formality / impersonal tone
•   Point of view                   •   Layout features
                                    •   Building an argument:
                                        generalisation, supporting points,
                                        statistics, facts, quotation
      LITERACY FOR LEARNING


             GRAMMAR FOR WRITING 


                        GEOFF BARTON

www.geoffbarton.co.uk                  19 December 2011
TEACHING WRITING
You don’t teach writing merely
through:                                Explore conventions
•Reading aloud                          Demonstrate

DEPENDENCE
•Showing models                         Share composition
                                        Scaffold
•Highlighting genre features
                                        Independent writing
•Correcting first drafts                Draw out key
•Lots of bullet-points after the task   learning

                           INDEPENDENCE
                                         www.geoffbarton.co.uk
TEACHING WRITING


 Explore              Including ‘bad’ models
 conventions
                      Show students the
 Demonstrate          process of writing
 Share
 composition            Correct/change/improve

 Scaffold it            Make it collaborative
 Independence      Move from small to
 Key learning      larger sections
                                    www.geoffbarton.co.uk
TEACHING WRITING                             KS3 tests 2000


  Write the opening of a story about a major
  emergency.


  ‘Some people waste a lot of time and energy
  attempting difficult challenges, such as flying around
  the world in a hot-air balloon. Attempts like these are
  pointless, and benefit nobody.’ Write an article for
  your local newspaper arguing for or against this
  statement.


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TEACHING WRITING
  To be truth-full I am for the   I feel it is very important
  argument about wasting time     to face challenges, as
  and money trying to get         without challenges, the
  around the world in a hot air   world would be a very
  balloon, when this time and     dull place. I feel that the
  money could be spent on         earlier challenges
  working with medical            appear in a person’s
  difficulty or people who are    life, the better, as there
  homeless.                       will undoubtedly be
                                  challenges in the
                                  workplace or in home
         Level 4      Level 7     life, and so I feel that
                                  the people who have
                                  faced challenges earlier
                                  in life get a head start
                                  over people who have
                                  not.
WRITING WITH POWER



        An example
            …
TEACHING WRITING                   The Set-Up

               BUILDING SUSPENSE


    Write the opening of a mystery story. Set
    it at a funeral in a wintery churchyard.



√          √      √

                                        www.geoffbarton.co.uk
                                  bad
TEACHING WRITING             Using models

                Before ….

  It was a bitterly cold day. Everyone
  was in black. The cars were black
  too. There were people standing
  around in a group waiting for the
  coffin. Crows were flying in the
  sky. It was really eerie.
TEACHING WRITING                          Using models

                        After ….

  The undertaker's men were like crows, stiff and black,
  and the cars were black, lined up beside the path that
  led to the church; and we, we too were black, as we
  stood in our pathetic, awkward group waiting for them
  to lift out the coffin and shoulder it, and for the
  clergyman to arrange himself; and he was another
  black crow in his long cloak.

  And then the real crows rose suddenly from the trees
  and from the fields, whirled up like scraps of
  blackened paper from a bonfire, and circled, caw-caw-
  ing above our heads.                              Susan Hill
TEACHING WRITING

                                          Mess around with:
                                          •   A fragmented narrative
                                          •   Point of view
                                          •   Tense
             QuickTime™ and a
   TIFF (Un compressed) decompressor

                                          •   Sentence types
      are neede d to se e this picture.




                                          •   Plot - description -
                                              dialogue
                                          •   Speech verb
GRAMMAR FOR WRITING Key points

 •   See things as a writer, not just a reader
 •   Explore texts actively - meddling, rewriting,
     editing
 •   Demonstrate the writing process yourself
 •   Relate everything to effect
 •   Talk about grammar where it helps, not as an end
     in itself
 •   Start with small units of writing … then build up
 •   Encourage experimentation, risk-taking, creativity
 •   Enjoy!
      LITERACY FOR LEARNING


             GRAMMAR FOR READING 


                        GEOFF BARTON

www.geoffbarton.co.uk                  19 December 2011
Grammar for reading is …
 •About reading, not grammar
 •Based on a rich variety of texts
 •Rooted in reading for pleasure
 •Not about analysis
 •Always linked to writing
LITERACY FOR LEARNING


   Why do students find it
   harder to understand
   non-fiction than
   fiction?
LITERACY FOR LEARNING


  Fiction is more personal. Non-fiction has fewer
  agents:


     •Holidays were taken at resorts
     •During the 17th century roads became straighter
LITERACY FOR LEARNING


     Children’s fiction tends to be
            chronological.
  Fiction becomes easier to read; non-
   fiction presents difficulties all the
              way through
LITERACY FOR LEARNING


  Non-fiction texts rely on linguistic
  signposts - moreover, therefore, on the
  other hand. Children who are
  unfamiliar with these will not read
  with the same predictive power as they
  can with fiction
LITERACY FOR LEARNING


  Non-fiction tends to have more interrupting
  constructions:
  The agouti, a nervous 20-inch rodent from
  South America, can leap twenty feet from a
  sitting position
  Asteroids are lumps of rock and metal whose paths
  round the sun lie mainly between Jupiter and Mars
LITERACY FOR LEARNING


  Fiction uses more active verbs.
  Non-fiction relies more on the copula (“Oxygen is a
  gas”) and use of the passive:


  Some plastics are made by … rather than
  We make plastics by …
LITERACY FOR LEARNING


   Non-fiction texts have more complex noun
   phrases:


   The remains and shapes of animals and plants
   are lost in the myriad caves of the region
LITERACY FOR LEARNING
  So …

   1. Make non-fiction conventions explicit .. actively
   2. Get English teachers to use more non-fiction
   3. Read non-fiction texts aloud
   4. Teach students about interrupting and long
      subjects, connectives, agent-avoidance!
   5. Replace comprehension with DARTS
      (“Glombots”)
LITERACY FOR LEARNING
  So …



            Oh yes … and enjoy!
Reading Fiction
BUILDING TENSION

 Brian Moore, Cold Heaven
1

       The wooden seats of the little pedal boat were
     angled so that Marie looked up at the sky. There
      were no clouds. In the vastness above her a gull
    calligraphed its flight. Marie and Alex pedalled in
     unison, the revolving paddles making a slapping
         sound against the waves as the pedal boat
    treadmilled away from the beach, passing through
      ranks of bathers to move into the deeper, more
       solitary waters of the Baie des Anges. Marie
          slackened her efforts but Alex continued
    determinedly, steering the pedalo straight out into
                    the Mediterranean.
2

               ‘Let’s not go too far,’ she said.
     ‘I want to get away from the crowd. I’m going to
                            swim.’
      It was like him to have some plan of his own, to
      translate idleness into activity even in these few
    days of vacation. She now noted his every fault. It
      was as though, having decided to leave him, she
     had withdrawn his credit. She looked back at the
    sweep of hotels along the Promenade des Anglais.
    Today was the day she had hoped to tell him. She
    had planned to announce it at breakfast and leave,
    first for New York, then on to Los Angeles to join
       Daniel. But at breakfast she lacked all courage.
         Now, with half the day gone, she decided to
                 postpone it until tomorrow.
3       Far out from shore, the paddles stopped. The
    pedalo rocked on its twin pontoons as Alex eased
         himself up from his seat. He handed her his
    sunglasses. ‘This should do,’ he said and, rocking
       the boat even more, dived into the ultramarine
     waters. She watched him surface. He called out:
        ‘Just follow along, okay?’ He was not a good
        swimmer, but thrashed about in an energetic,
     erratic freestyle. Marie began to pedal again, her
      hand on the tiller, steering the little boat so that
      she followed close. Watching him, she knew he
     could not keep up this pace for long. She saw his
     flailing arms and for a moment thought of those
    arms hitting her. He had never hit her. He was not
     the sort of man who would hit you. He would be
    hurt, and cold, and possibly vindictive. But he was
                         not violent.
4

    She heard a motorboat, the sound
      becoming louder. She looked
        back but did not see a boat
     behind her. Then she looked to
         the right where Alex was
      swimming and saw a big boat
     with an outboard motor coming
     right at them, coming very fast.
5

     Of course they see us, she thought, alarmed, and
        then as though she were watching a film, as
     though this were happening to someone else, she
      saw there was a man in the motorboat, a young
    man wearing a green shirt; he was not at the tiller,
    he was standing in the middle of the boat with his
     back to her and as she watched he bent down and
          picked up a child who had fallen on the
    floorboards. ‘Hey?’ she called. ‘Hey?’ for he must
      turn around, the motorboat was coming right at
     Alex, right at her. But the man in the boat did not
     hear. He carried the child across to the far side of
        the boat; the boat was only yards away now.
6

        ‘Alex,’ she called. ‘Alex, look out.’ But Alex
       flailed on and then the prow of the motorboat,
         slicing up water like a knife, hit Alex with a
    sickening thump, went over him and smashed into
     the pontoons of the little pedal boat, upending it,
      and she found herself in the water, going under,
       coming up. She looked and saw the motorboat
    churning off, the pedal boat hanging from its prow
    like a tangle of branches. She heard the motorboat
       engine cut to silence, then start up again as the
    boat veered around in a semicircle and came back
                         to her. Alex?
7
    She looked: saw his body near her just under the water. She
     swam toward him, breastroke, it was all she knew. He was
       floating face down, spread-eagle. She caught hold of his
        wrist and pulled him towards her. The motorboat came
    alongside, the man in the green shirt reaching down for her,
    but, ‘No, no,’ she called and tried to push Alex toward him.
    The man caught Alex by the hair of his head and pulled him
        up, she pushing, Alex falling back twice into the water,
      before the man, with a great effort, lifted him like a sack
     across the side of the boat, tugging and heaving until Alex
      disappeared into the boat. The man shouted, ‘Un instant,
      madame, un instant’ and reappeared, putting a little steel
     ladder over the side. She climbed up onto the motorboat as
    the man went out onto the prow to disentangle the wreckage
                             of the pedalo.
8

      A small child was sitting at the back of the boat,
      staring at Alex’s body, which lay face-down on
     the floorboards. She went to Alex and saw blood
         from a wound, a gash in the side of his head,
         blood matting his hair. He was breathing but
    unconscious. She lifted him and cradled him in her
    arms, his blood trickling onto her breasts. She saw
     the boat owner’s bare legs go past her as he went
       to the rear of the boat to restart the engine. The
         child began to bawl but the man leaned over,
      silenced it with an angry slap, the man turned to
    her, his face sick with fear. ‘Nous y serons dans un
        instant,’ he shouted, opening the motor to full
    throttle. She hugged Alex to her, a rivulet of blood
      dripping off her forearm onto the floorboards as
                  the boat raced to the beach.
BUILDING TENSION

 Brian Moore, Cold Heaven
 SIMPLE
GRAMMAR
STARTERS
  (inc prep for KS3 tests)



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7 principles

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                Don’t aim for false links with main
               lesson content
  No Blue Peter
                        Do aim for coherence
     badges
                       across starters
Kick-start learning
                                    Emphasise
                                   collaboration &
   Are great for
                                   problem-solving
  grammar
                    Avoid the
                   temptation to
                   extend the activity
Mr B’s New Year Spelling Frolics


-our words   -re endings   -able / -ible   -ous endings    Single/double
                           endings                         consonants
colour       centimetre    Available       tremendous      beginning
humour       centre        likeable        enormous        upsetting
rumour       theatre       sociable        poisonous       forgotten
armour                     considerable    mysterious      committee
flavour                    laughable       continuous      permitted
                           sensible        precious        occurred
humorous                   incredible      ferocious       visited
                           terrible        delicious       regretful
                           possible        cautious        developing
                           responsible
                                           ambitious




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-ible            -able




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Homophones
Sound of Music   Kylie          Beethoven


their            there          they’re
too              two            to
pray             prey




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Hard
 Homophones
 Freeze       Stand


 advice       advise
 practice     practise
 effect       affect


 It’s         its

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               Activity

I’ll say some sentences containing homophones. You tell me whether
it’s list A or list B.

Make up sentences – eg “The pilot of the aircraft was really rather
plain”)

A – stand up        B – under table
plain               Plane
weak                Week
steal               Steel
main                Mane
rows                Rows
fare                Fair
break               Brake
sew                 So
due                 Jew           www.geoffbarton.co.uk
whether             whether
Mnemonics

                Never eat chips - eat sausage
Necessary       sandwiches and raspberry
Separate        yoghurt

Disappearance
Fulfil




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Call My Bluff


OXYMORON
LITOTES




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WORD CLASSES BY COLOUR


       VERB
                         ADVERB
      NOUN
                     ADJECTIVE
 PREPOSITION

   The cat slept heavily on the
           old carpet
Connectives


The house was looking dark ….
(walk in … lights not working … hear a sound upstairs …
go to explore … hear a window smash ...)


       And
       But
       Or
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Word patterns


Auto -
Gh -


Who can think of most words starting with these
letter patterns …?




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Synonyms:

Who can think of most words meaning scary,
big, small, nice




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Semantic continuum:

•Think of synonyms for house / toilet /
friend
•Place them in order of formal to informal




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Starter 3: Autobiography

                   Opener
Paper 1 = non-fiction
Expect autobiography, letter, or diary
Look at this opening from an autobiography.

                  Activity
OHT
What can you tell about:
Writer
Where the text is set
What might happen next

                   Closing sequence
Discuss student responses

It was on a bright day of midwinter, in New York. The little girl
who eventually became me, but as yet was neither me nor
anybody else in particular, but merely a soft anonymous morsel
of humanity – this little girl, who bore my name, was going for a
walk with her father. The episode is literally the first thing I
can remember about her, and therefore I date the birth of her
humanity from that day.
It was really cold. The weather
was awful. I was walking along
the edge of the cliff and I was
really scared.




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     GRAMMAR ESSENTIALS

•   Download these resources at geoffbarton.co.uk
•   Read the book:

Grammar Survival: A Teacher’s Toolkit
David Fulton Publishers                            Quic kTim e™ and a
                                          TIFF (Uncompres sed) decompressor
                                             are needed to s ee this pic ture.




      And thanks for listening!

				
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