Monday, January 13, 2014

"I want a present NOW!": A Grammar Lesson

While I do not condone screaming, bratty, kids, which I made very clear to my kiddos! That is what we pretended to be today during grammar in fifth grade. Last week, we discussed future verb tenses, today we looked at present tense.

With that said, in order to remember present tense, I told them to remember a whining child yelling, "I want my present NOW!" This helps us keep in mind that the present tense sentences include verbs occurring at this very moment. We had a good time with this, but I reminded them that if they were my child the consequence of that screaming display would not be a fun one ;0)


We looked at three present tense linking verbs - AM, IS, ARE - and how we always want to combine these with THREE little letters -ING to create the present tense. I found THIS great anchor chart that displayed this idea, plus a cute way to remember it with a 3 for 3 memory technique. Use one of the THREE linking verbs and and THREE letters -ing. I recreated this anchor chart for our room.
 Again, I gave them the task of looking for a present tense sentence during their independent reading time.
 When I was sharing with them how we don't say, "I is going to the movies" I explained that, while many of us may not struggle with the talking part of verb tenses, it is in WRITING that the struggle becomes apparent. SO often, kids, and adults, {myself included} will either get wrapped up in their writing, or forget to reread sections and find that their story ribbons through lots of accidentally written tenses. I explained that while sometimes this is intentional in a story, a lot of times it isn't and can really confuse the reader.
In order to practice staying within a verb tense, I had them take a look at a very "exciting" picture with lots of action going on {great for boys who struggle with writing} and had them write, as if they were a reporter coming upon this scene, what they are seeing, hearing, feeling, etc. AT THIS VERY MOMENT! They HAD to stay in the present tense using AM, IS, ARE and -ing verbs to describe the scene. They really enjoyed this activity and the picture spurred quite a discussion about how this appeared to be anarchy {yay previous government vocabulary word!} and what may have occurred to place the capital in danger.

For our assessment, I had them create a three sentences, each using one linking verb and adding an -ing verb.
Tomorrow we tackle Past Tense Verbs!
Do you do anything unique with verb tenses?
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