As many of you know, we welcomed a new addition to our family two weeks ago and we couldn’t be happier. This makes Lexie a big sister and as she is a major conversationalist, (aka chatterbox) she talks about Cali constantly. She is also in the language acquisition stage where she is experimenting with personal pronouns and since she is only two and a half, she makes mistakes. She has difficulty figuring out when to use ‘she’ versus ‘her’ and when we try to help her choose the proper pronoun, she disagrees with us and claims she is right. (Side note: I have no idea where she gets this headstrong attitude… 😉

As we have been working through this at home, it has me thinking about the classroom and how we would typically correct this grammar issue. The favourite strategy seems to be the good old worksheet where we ‘drill and kill’ the students to understand the difference. Obviously, this isn’t going to work with someone who can’t read yet, but I think we could employ more practical solutions in the classroom instead of the standard worksheet photocopied out of some grammar textbook.

So here’s what I’m thinking:
– give the student realistic situations to practice the proper skill (role play, skits, etc.) which is a modification of what we are doing here with Lexie
– have the students create comic strips where they practice the proper grammatical skill
– make Common Craft style videos that depict the appropriate usage

As always, I would love to hear some other strategies, ideas and opinions 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Lesson from Lexie

  1. Hey Jamie

    Congratulations on the new member of the family! Your post reminds me of he critical role that oral language plays in laying the foundations for written literacies and the understanding of conventions & structures. The modeling and immersion that children receive from rich conversations with adults are so important- one thing I often say to teachers who are concerned about grammar is ‘you can’t expect kids to write themselves out of a problem they talked themselves into in the first place.’

    I have learned a great deal about oral language development from @carmelcrevola, a great thinker, learner and teacher- she is definitely worth a google search & a follow.

    Hope you are enjoying these precious days with both Cali & Lexi:)

    Brian

  2. Jamie, I echo Brian’s comment for sure! Congratulations on your new addition, and thanks for such a thoughtful post. Carmel Crevola is an expert in oral language, and I’m sure she’d have lots of fantastic ideas to share. I also love what Angie Harrison (@techieang) does with oral language in her Kindergarten classroom. I’m not a fan of worksheets, and I think that the ideas you suggested here provide far more meaningful ways of teaching an important oral skill. I look forward to reading about other suggestions that are shared!

    Aviva
    http://www.weinspirefutures.com

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