English language grammar includes an ever-unfolding set of rules. As a subject of study, it’s more deep than broad: students in the early grades learn a basic overview of the parts of speech and sentence types, and as they advance in grade level, older concepts are broken into more complex systems.
In that way, English grammar is like the branches of a tree, with new rules and concepts extending outward from previously learned principles.
PART 1: ENGLISH GRAMMAR BY GRADE LEVEL
This resource guide provides an overview of the grammar rules and concepts by grade level, highlighting the new concepts learned at each level:
- Grades 1-2
- Grades 3-5
- Grades 6-8
- Grades 9-12
Lessons plans examples and grammar resources are also provided for each grade level.
As an understanding of English grammar is so dependent upon a solid understanding of its most basic rules, it is expected that students will review old concepts frequently throughout their education.
PART 2: ENGLISH GRAMMAR RESOURCES FOR ADULTS
This guide also includes resources for adults, specifically:
- Non-Native Speakers (in all disciplines)
- International Medical Students
- International Business Students
PART 1: ENGLISH GRAMMAR BY GRADE LEVEL
As children begin their formal education, the development of proper grammatical foundations is just as important as learning to read and write in English.
Parts of Speech
As students begin to learn to read and write, they’re primed to learn how to categorize words. These early grades focus on the the more tangible parts of speech, such as nouns (people, places, things), verbs (action words), adjectives (descriptors) and pronouns (words that take the place of a noun). However, a basic introduction to
Online Resource: Scholastic
As students learn the difference between common and proper nouns and sentence structure, capitalization lessons can be added on. As they begin to write complete sentences, students should learn to capitalize the first word. And as they learn about proper nouns – nouns that refer to specific entities – they learn to capitalize these as well.
Online Resource: Studyzone.org
Source: Class of Chyna
Prefixes and Suffixes
As children become familiar with reading and spelling out words, it’s a good time to introduce them to prefixes and suffixes – common components to the beginnings and endings of words that modify the original root word. At grade levels 1 & 2 students are introduced to the idea of root words, prefixes and suffixes, along with the most commonly used prefixes and suffixes, such as “-ing,” “-er,” and “re-.”
While most native English speakers naturally pick up regular verb tenses, irregular verbs can sometimes prove to be a challenge. For example, a child at this grade level may say she “drawed” a picture, instead of that she “drew” a picture. Now that they’re reading and writing full sentences, students can begin to learn and memorize irregular English verbs along with their proper past tenses.
Online Resource: Loyola Press Irregular Verb List
Grades 1-2 Grammar Lesson Plan Examples & Resources
- Introducing Nouns & Verbs Lesson Plan – Students learn to identify and correctly write various parts of speech, including nouns and verbs.
- Beatles Pronouns Lesson Plan – Students learn about and identify pronouns using Beatles songs.
- Grammar on the Go Lesson Plan – Students will use color to organize information as they identify the basic parts of speech in a reading passage.
- Teaching Conjunctions – Students watch the SchoolHouse Rock video “Conjunction Junction” and play a classroom game, creating sentences with conjunctions on index cards.
- Capitalization Lesson Plan – Students learn three rules of capitalization (capitalize the first word of a sentence, capitalize names, and capitalize the word “I”) as the teacher reads a story aloud and focuses on sentences that exemplify these rules.
- Loyola Press Scope and Sequence of Skills – A comprehensive guide to the English grammar skills appropriate for grade levels 1-3.
Grades 1-2 Grammar Games
- Sheppard Software Online Tutorials & Games – Students identify verbs, nouns and adjectives in these online versions of Whac-a-mole.
- Parts of Speech Index Card Classroom Game
- Turtle Diary Prefix and Suffix Online Games – a tutorial on prefixes and suffixes and a video game to reinforce the lesson and test the concepts.
English Grammar Overview – Grades 3-5
By the 3rd and 4th grade levels, students should have an English grammar foundation covering the basic parts of speech, sentence structure, proper capitalization, and article use. Grades 3-5 expand on that foundation, reinforcing the lessons of earlier grades and diving deeper into word types and uses.
Parts of Speech
By now, students should be familiar with nouns, verbs and adjectives. Grades 3-5 continue to reinforce understanding of the eight parts of speech, as students take a deeper dive into the parts of speech with which they’re already familiar.
Pronouns – beyond “he”
Beyond “he,” “she,” et cetera, students in grades 3-5 are introduced to possessive pronouns (my, mine, etc.), reflexive pronouns (myself, yourself, etc.) and personal pronouns (who, whom, what, etc.).
Online Resource: Quia.com
Simple Verb Tenses
In grade levels 3-5, an overview of the simple tense – the tense used to convey an action that is habitual or repeated – gives students a basic introduction to the wonderfully complex world of English verbs. Students will also review the simple conjugation of regular verbs (I look, he looks, you look) and irregular verbs (I am, he is, you are).
Online Resource: EnglishPage.com
Native English speakers will often encounter words auditorily before reading or writing them. As their vocabularies expand, students will begin to run across words that sound the same, but are spelled differently (“witch” versus “which,” for example). Specific in the various English Homonyms help students clarify these differences.
Online Resource: AccessComm.ca
Advanced Prefixes and Suffixes
Students have mastered a basic understanding of the uses of prefixes and suffixes, and they’re now ready to develop their prefix and suffix vocabulary with more advanced and abstract word parts, such as “inter,” “non,” and “super.”
Online Resource: Teacher.Scholastic.com – Most Common Prefixes
Now that they’re beginning to write in paragraphs and pages, as opposed to words and sentences, students in grade levels 3-5 are ready for an introduction to dependent and independent clauses as well as simple, compound and complex sentences. Students will also learn proper punctuation to break up compound and complex sentences, including the use of the semicolon.
Online Resource: ivcc.edu
Grades 3-5 Grammar Lesson Plan Examples & Resources
- Parts of Speech Review Lesson Plan – Students review nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections and work together to create Parts of Speech Triangles.
- Teaching Grammar with Dance Lesson Plan – A video example of one teacher’s dance-based grammar lesson.
- Compound Complex Sentences Lesson Plan – Students use their reading comprehension skills to reorganize the plot summary of a short story from simple sentences into compound and complex sentences.
- Prefix and Suffix Organizer Lesson Plan – A craft-oriented lesson plan designed to refresh students on prefixes and suffixes as they create their own notebook organizer for root words.
- Making New Words – A lesson plan designed to help students see prefixes and suffixes in action. Students use index cards with root words, prefixes and suffixes to form words.
Grades 3-5 Grammar Games
- Preposition Boogie Classroom Game – A modified version of “Simon Says” in which students respond only to prepositional phrases.
- Houghton Mifflin Grammar Blast Online Quizzes – Students answer multiple choice grammar questions based on grade level.
- Grammar Gorilla – A simple online game that asks students to identify words within sentences that match a given part of speech.
- Fun English Games – A series of online video games covering sentence structure, word types and prefixes/suffixes.
- Rooting Out Words – An online game focusing on prefix and suffix vocabulary words.
- Grammar Ninja – An online game designed to help students enjoy identifying parts of speech.
English Grammar Overview – Grades 6-8
During the middle grades, students will spend a significant amount of time covering and practicing basic essay writing skills. The grammar lessons from earlier grades are reinforced through essay writing and editing, and students begin to see the rules of grammar take shape in the big picture of the English language.
Relative Pronouns and Adverbs
Students move beyond the “ly” adverbs to understand the concept of relative adverbs (words that describe where, when and why) and learn the rules and connotations behind the order of adverbs. The concept of relative pronouns is also introduced, giving students a foundation for understanding relative clauses.
Advanced Nouns & Adjectives
As they learn to diagram more advanced sentences, students are introduced to subject complements (predicate nominatives & predicate adjectives) and direct & indirect objects.
Online Resource: Commnet.edu
Advanced Prefixes and Suffixes
Students are now ready for advanced level prefix and suffix vocabulary, as well as an understanding of Greek and Latin root words. The meanings of Greek and Latin-based prefixes and suffixes are used as clues to the meanings of more complex English words.
Online Resource: PrefixSuffix.com
By middle school, students should be able to edit their own and others’ written works, testing their across-the-board grammar skills. While proofreading can be covered in units, it’s a skill that’s best developed through daily practice. Fifteen minute blocks per day can be reserved for proofreading exercises.
Grades 6-8 Grammar Lesson Plan Examples & Resources
- Colorful Parts of Speech – Students will review each part of speech with the teacher, assign a color to each part and underline words in a paragraph with colored pencil according to its part of speech.
- Teaching Pronouns in the Classroom – Students write an essay of only proper nouns and rewriting, replacing the nouns with pronouns. This activity can also lead to a discussion of when pronouns are useful, versus when they can confuse readers and listeners.
- Keeping Verb Tense Consistent – Students develop paragraph writing skills and refresh verb tense comprehension by correcting pre-written paragraphs with inconsistent verb tenses.
- Adverbs Mini-Lesson – Students complete an adverb worksheet and play a game called “Adverb Herd” in which students compose sentences from given verbs and adverbs and name adverbs that tell when, why, and how.
- About.com Secondary Education Language Arts Warm-ups – Thirty-six weeks of grammar warm-ups for middle school students.
- Every Day Edits – A collection of uncorrected paragraphs for daily grammar editing exercises. Students can tackle the paragraphs on their own, or work in groups to fix errors.
Grades 6-8 Grammar Games
- Sentence Diagramming Classroom Competitions – Students compete to see who can correctly diagram given sentences in the least amount of time.
- Rooting Out Words – Players learn new root words and choose new vocabulary words from a multiple choice list based on a provided definition.
- Edit Dan’s Copy Online Game – Students help a virtual newscaster edit the copy for his report.
English Grammar Overview – Grades 9-12
By high school, students are well familiar with the parts of speech and basic grammar rules. They’re now ready for a thorough English grammar review, including the more advanced components of the English language, such as perfect and progressive verb tenses and relative clauses. Students will develop these skills through explicit grammar lessons (often taught around the 9th grade level), and more indirectly, through essay writing.
Advanced Verb Tenses
The concepts of perfect, progressive (or continuous) and perfect progressive verb tenses are introduced. While native English speaking students have been using these tenses for years, the ideas of these tenses can be a difficult concept to grasp. Charts can be very useful here.
Online Resource: EnglishPage.com
Types of clauses
Students previously learned about independent and dependent clauses and their relationship to sentence types. Students are ready to learn the types of dependent clauses, including adjective (or relative) clauses, adverb (or subordinate clauses) and noun clauses.
Online Resource: Yale.edu
Types of Phrases
Phrases are word groupings, without verbs, that combine to act as more complex sentence subjects and objects. Students will expand upon their middle school lessons on simpler direct and indirect objects as a basis for understanding the various uses of phrases. Grade and middle school lessons on prepositions will be reinforced as well, as students study prepositional phrases.
Grades 9-12 Grammar Lesson Plan Examples & Resources
- A Lesson in Proofing – Students and instructor brainstorm lists of common grammatical errors and methods to correct them, using “find” and “replace” tools in word processing software.
- Narrative/College Essay – A step-by-step guide to help students write a narrative essay. To add a grammar component, have students swap essays with one another and proof each others’ writing for grammatical errors.
- Guide to Grammar & Writing – This high-school appropriate online tool includes lessons on every component of English grammar and a large database of quizzes for high school students.
Grades 9-12 Grammar Games
- Grand Grammar Online Game – In this one or two-player game, students choose questions from a Jeopardy-like board and fill in grammatically correct parts of speech.
- Grammar of Doom Online Game – This game requires students to complete grammar exercises in order to get to the secret in the Temple of Doomed Grammar.
Grade School Grammar Resources & Lesson Plan Collections
- Voyages in English Grammar & Mechanics Handbooks – these small, printable grammar references provide basic, age-appropriate definitions of important grammar concepts.
- Prefix & Suffix Root List by Grade Level
- Daily Grammar – This site contains more than 400 lessons and quizzes, covering every English grammar topic area. The lessons are numbered, beginning with simple concepts and move on to more advanced grammar once the basics are mastered.
Grammar Lesson Plan Databases – All Grades
- teAchnology Lesson Plans – A Collection of grammar-based lesson plans for multiple grade levels.
- TeacherVision Worksheets – Game-based worksheets with a quirky tone for teachers looking for a fun approach to grammar.
- ReadWriteThink Lesson Plans – A collection of activities and lessons intended to engage 6th – 8th graders as they put grammar skills to practice.
Grammar Worksheet Databases – All Grades
- Super Teacher Worksheets – Grade school grammar worksheets (NOTE: while there are free worksheets under each topic, some of the content is restricted to paid members)
- Teachers Guide to Story Grammar for Elementary School – The online teacher’s guide is intended to accompany the student workbook. Even on its own, the guide provides lesson plans, teaching points and examples for dozens of sentence components.
- Education.com – A collection of grammar worksheets, organized by grade level.
- K12 Reader.com – Includes grammar worksheets for all grades, covering basic topics such as adjectives and adverbs, as well as more advanced grade level lessons, such as apposotives and types of pronouns.
- Help Teaching – A database of grammar practice test questions, organized by topic and grade level.
PART 2: ENGLISH GRAMMAR RESOURCES FOR ADULTS
Unlike native speakers, non-native English speakers learn grammar rules as they’re learning the language. The rules are applied, as opposed to being retroactively understood.
For example, native-English speaking children use the simple past tense long before they learn that it’s called the “past tense.” Non-native English speakers must learn the rules of the past tense in order to apply them in speech.
Therefore, non-native speakers must take a different approach to English grammar rules and concepts. Native speakers tend to intuitively learn the rules before they learn the concepts. Non-native speakers learn the concepts so they can apply the rules.
Below are lesson plans and online resources designed for non-native English speaking students and their instructors. International students with interests in medicine, law, or business will find field-specific resources as well.
English Grammar Resources for International Students
- Using English Lesson Plans – A collection of English grammar practice worksheets for non-native speakers, organized by topic.
- Grammar Lesson Plans for English Learners – This lesson plan collection includes review games of grammar rules as well as plans designed to help non-native speakers get acquainted with the flow and cadence of the English language.
- Learn English – BritishCouncil.org – This comprehensive resource for English language learners includes grammar lessons, online quizzes, podcasts, vocabulary games and an English writing tutorial.
- Common Writing Problems for Non-Native Speakers of English – A list of potential pitfalls for non-native students’ written English along with tutorials on correct grammar and phrasing.
- Common Grammar Problems for Non-Native English Speakers – This guide covers potential problem areas, such as the subjunctive tense, pronoun cases, and homonyms along with sentence examples and further resource suggestions.
- Sentence Structure Guide Non-Native Speakers of English – Guide to simple, compound and complex sentences, complete with a quiz.
- Order of Adjectives – A video resource guide for properly ordering adjectives in English sentences.
- Phrasal Verb Page – A collection of common English phrasal verbs, organized alphabetically.
English Grammar Resources for Medical Students
- Talking Medicine – A brief overview of the specific grammar rules most important to the medical profession.
- Grammar & Writing Skills for the Health Professional (on Google Books) – An English grammar book specifically designed for students learning medical terminology.
- Biomedical Editor – This site lists English grammar errors commonly found in science texts, such as missing antecedents and dangling modifiers and explains the concepts behind the proper rules.
English Grammar Resources for Business Students
- Business English Site – This site includes hundreds of quizzes on English language business terms – in marketing, banking and IT, as well as grammar exercises.
- Better-English Business Grammar Exercise List – This site provides English grammar-learning exercises in every area of speech, including advanced verb tenses and advanced pronoun types. All exercises involve examples and vocabulary that would occur in a business setting.
- University of Victoria English Language Centre – This is a perfect resource for any budding English language speaker who wants to practice and review concepts at home. The site includes lessons nouns, verbs, causatives, articles, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, etc, all organized into levels of difficulty.