Language

Craft projects for grammar practice with young learners

Colin Sage

Primary learners love craft projects and they are a great way to get students to engage with and practice new grammar. This week, Colin Sage – an ELT author, editor and teacher-trainer who specialises in Primary and pre-Primary learning – shares some of his favourite easy craft projects for grammar practice.

Craft projects are a great way to motivate Primary students: they’re fun to complete and, when displayed, they demonstrate to students that their work is valued. In this post I bring together a few of my favourite grammar practice craft projects. I like them because they’re all easy to prepare for and can be completed using only paper and the tools found in most pencil cases!

Make a class book

Class books can be used to practice just about any grammar area, depending on what you ask students to write about. A few of topics that I’ve found work well are ‘favourites’ (e.g. ‘My name’s Sam and goats are my favourite animal.’) or students’ imaginary monsters (e.g. ‘My monster’s got ten eyes, and fifteen legs. It can fly and swim.’).

Preparing this craft activity couldn’t be easier too. You just need to give each student an A4 piece of paper (ideally lined for them to write on, and with a frame for them to draw in). Once they have written about the chosen topic, ask students to illustrate their ‘page’. You can then staple the book ‘pages’ together and add a colourful cover.

When the book is completed, it becomes a great resource to read to students – or to have them read to you!

Make a paper-chain

This craft can be used to practice a wide range of grammar areas. At a low level students might swap basic personal details (e.g. ‘What’s your name?’ ‘How old are you?’) At a higher-level, students might practice past tense questions by finding 4 things that they and their partner both did at the weekend (e.g. ‘Did you go to the supermarket?’)

First, you need to do a little bit of folding and cutting, in order to turn sheets of paper into a paper people chain. There are explanations already online about how to do this, so I won’t give detailed instructions here.

When the paper-chain is ready, ask students to interview their classmates to practice their grammar. They then write the information that they find out from each student on one of the paper-chain’s ‘people’. Finally, students complete their paper-chains by drawing and colouring the paper-chain with likenesses of the people they interviewed.

Snake mobiles

For this craft, prepare a photocopy of a coiled snake for each pupil. The snake should spiral about 4 times and its head should be central. Students then practice grammar by writing around the body of the snake. For example, they might practice adjectives (e.g. ‘My snake is green and brown. He’s long and thin too. His name is Simon.’)

After this, students colour the front and back of their snakes and cut along the coils. Next, the head of the snake is attached to the ceiling using piece of plastic thread or string. When hung, the snakes’ bodies should bounce and twist.

Draw round and cut out a body part

For this craft, students draw round either their own hand, or work with a partner to draw round a foot or head. They then write on it, using the lesson’s target grammar, and, finally, cut it out.

Depending on the body part you choose, different grammar can be practiced. For example, a foot can be used to practice the present perfect (e.g. ‘This foot has been to the park this week.’) Alternatively, the head can be decorated and labelled to practice ‘I’ve got…’ (e.g. ‘I’ve got two eyes. I’ve got brown hair.’)

I hope you find these craft ideas useful. I’d love to hear about other crafts that you use in your classroom. For more ideas about perfecting grammar practice, have a look at these resource books and free downloadable worksheets.

Hear more from Colin by catching up on his webinar from last year: Grammar Practice with Primary Learners.


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