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K–12 teaching and learning · from the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

The student will be able to properly use and create a Grammar Scrambler, with an emphasis on proper grade-level appropriate grammatical usage.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 month

Materials/resources

Technology resources

  • A computer spreadsheet such as Excel. The spreadsheets are in Excel format. They should be readable by most spreadsheet programs.
  • The original presentation (Pre-Activity) works best with a presentation system or in a small group with a large monitor. Follow-up activities work in a computer lab or a rotating stations approach.

Pre-activities

Open the spreadsheet: Fairy Tale: A Grammar Scrambler. Let students take turns giving you words to match the parts of speech listed in the first column. Type their responses in the second column, then read the story generated below. Notice how the story is funny, but understandable. Try again, but this time ignore the parts of speech column - just put any word. Notice that the story has become gibberish. Discuss how the parts of speech help us to make sense of our language.

Activities

This plan is usable at many grade levels, although the specific activities will differ, along with the degree of teacher assistance offered.

Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6

  • For grade 3, repeat the Pre-Activity, pointing out the parts of the spreadsheet and demonstrating how the formula works to copy the input words into the story. Have students take turns playing with the story in their own small groups.
  • For grade 4, also have students create and share their own Grammar Scramblers with the class, adding pronouns, prepositions, and adverbs.
  • For grades 5 and 6, add on grade 4 components as well as prepositional phrases, conjunctions, and possessive pronouns.

Grades 7, 8, and 9

  • As a project, have students take a paragraph from a favorite author, replace specific words with references to part-of-speech-labeled cells as in the example, then let classmates use their “part-of-speech” story, submitting the funniest to be read by a random student. Students guess the genre of the Grammar Scrambler. Discuss how authors of different genres use grammar.
  • For grades 8 and 9, have students do the grade 7 project. In addition, have them write a grammatical analysis of the three resulting stories, answering the question: “What kinds of grammar does my “Scrambler” have trouble dealing with?”

Assessment

  • Grade 3: Have each student print out their story. Be sure that they print the input as well as the output. Give 50 points for successful input of a story, 50 points for the attached worksheet. Grade 3 Assessment Worksheet Assessment Worksheet
  • Grade 4: Grade their Grammar Scrambler presentations: 20% for a well-designed spreadsheet, 40% for grammatical correctness, 40% for correct use of spreadsheet terms in presentation.
  • Grade 5: Grade their Grammar Scrambler presentations: 10% for a well-designed spreadsheet, 40% for grammatical correctness in spreadsheet, 40% for grammatical correctness in speech, 10% for correct use of spreadsheet terms in presentation.
  • Grade 6: Grade the students’ Grammar Scrambler. 80% for quality of design, 10% for quality of grammar, 10% for quality of story.
  • Grade 7: 20% quality of participation in class discussion. 40% technical quality of grammar scrambler. 40% written discussion of the chosen author’s use of grammar.
  • Grades 8 and 9: 20% quality of participation in class discussion. 40% technical quality of grammar scrambler. 40% grammatical analysis.

Supplemental information

Comments

This plan can be used at multiple grade levels. Please note that there are different instructions for different levels because there are different objectives for each level.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Computer Technology Skills (2005)

Grade 3

  • Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the use of computer and other technologies.
    • Objective 2.06: Enter/edit data in a prepared spreadsheet to perform calculations. Identify and discuss the changes that occur as a class/group. Strand - Spreadsheet

Grade 4

  • Goal 3: The learner will use a variety of technologies to access, analyze, interpret, synthesize, apply, and communicate information.
    • Objective 3.05: Use spreadsheet data and graphs to make predictions, solve problems, and make decisions in content areas as a class/group. Strand - Spreadsheet

Grade 5

  • Goal 3: The learner will use a variety of technologies to access, analyze, interpret, synthesize, apply, and communicate information.
    • Objective 3.05: Enter/edit data into a spreadsheet to test simple “what if...” statements to solve problems and make decisions in content area. Strand - Spreadsheet

Grade 6

  • Goal 3: The learner will use a variety of technologies to access, analyze, interpret, synthesize, apply, and communicate information.
    • Objective 3.08: Modify/create and use spreadsheets to solve problems, make decisions, support, and display findings in content areas projects. Strand - Spreadsheet

Grade 7

  • Goal 3: The learner will use a variety of technologies to access, analyze, interpret, synthesize, apply, and communicate information.
    • Objective 3.06: Create/modify spreadsheets to test simple “what if...” statements to solve problems and make decisions in content areas. Strand - Spreadsheet

Grade 8

  • Goal 3: Select and use a variety of technology tools to collect, analyze, and present information. Strand - Societal/Ethical Issues
    • Objective 3.04: Create/modify spreadsheets to analyze and interpret information, test simple "what if..." statements, solve problems, and make decisions in content areas. Strand - Spreadsheet

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 4

  • Goal 5: The learner will apply grammar and language conventions to communicate effectively.
    • Objective 5.02: Demonstrate understanding in speaking and writing by appropriate usage of:
      • pronouns.
      • subject/verb agreement.
      • verb tense consistency.
      • subject consistency.
    • Objective 5.03: Elaborate information and ideas in writing and speaking by using:
      • simple and compound sentences.
      • regular and irregular verbs.
      • adverbs.
      • prepositions.
      • coordinating conjunctions.

Grade 5

  • Goal 5: The learner will apply grammar and language conventions to communicate effectively.
    • Objective 5.02: Demonstrate understanding in speaking and writing by using:
      • troublesome verbs.
      • nominative, objective, and possessive pronouns.
    • Objective 5.03: Elaborate information and ideas in speaking and writing by using:
      • prepositional phrases.
      • transitions.
      • coordinating and/or subordinating conjunctions.

Grade 7

  • Goal 5: The learner will respond to various literary genres using interpretive and evaluative processes.
    • Objective 5.02: Study the characteristics of literary genres (fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry) through:
      • reading a variety of literature and other text (e.g., mysteries, novels, science fiction, historical documents, newspapers, skits, lyric poems).
      • analyzing what effect genre specific characteristics have on the meaning of the work.
      • analyzing how the author's choice and use of a genre shapes the meaning of the literary work.
      • analyzing what impact literary elements have on the meaning of the text such as the influence of setting on the problem and its resolution.

Grade 8

  • Goal 6: The learner will apply conventions of grammar and language usage.
    • Objective 6.01: Model an understanding of conventional written and spoken expression by:
      • using a variety of sentence types, punctuating properly, and avoiding fragments and run-ons.
      • using subject-verb agreement and verb tense that are appropriate for the meaning of the sentence.
      • applying the parts of speech to clarify language usage.
      • using pronouns correctly, including clear antecedents and case.
      • using phrases and clauses correctly, including proper punctuation (e.g. prepositional phrases, appositives, dependent and independent clauses.)
      • determining the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary words using context clues, a dictionary, a glossary, a thesaurus, and/or structural analysis (roots, prefixes, suffixes) of words.
      • extending vocabulary knowledge by learning and using new words.
      • evaluating the use and power of dialects in standard/nonstandard English usage.
      • applying correct language conventions and usage during formal oral presentations.

Grade 9

  • Goal 6: The learner will apply conventions of grammar and language usage.
    • Objective 6.01: Demonstrate an understanding of conventional written and spoken expression that:
      • uses varying sentence types (e.g., simple, compound, complex, compound-complex) purposefully, correctly, and for specific effect.
      • selects verb tense to show an appropriate sense of time.
      • applies parts of speech to clarify and edit language.
      • addresses clarity and style through such strategies as parallelism; appropriate coordination and subordination; variety and details; appropriate and exact words; and conciseness.
      • analyzes the place and role of dialects and standard/nonstandard English.
      • uses vocabulary strategies such as roots and affixes, word maps, and context clues to discern the meanings of words.