Find a good reader and writer and you will, in almost every case, find a child who enjoys becoming more confident with the technicalities of language.
Such children are developing the ability to recognise a writer’s use of grammar for effect, and ultimately they take on this ability themselves – an ability to manipulate language in their own writing.
In short, good readers recognise and enjoy the use of language for purpose, effect and meaning, and ultimately they develop this in their own writing.
Which means that the question we all face is: how do we take this recognition and enjoyment and turn it into an increasingly sophisticated ability to handle language?
The solution that my colleagues and I have found involves getting the children to think about language in more depth – to see it as not just words that they might automatically use but as something that can be considered as intrinsically interesting.
From this point grows the notion that thinking about language is not only interesting in itself, but is also something which gives us control – over what we understand from our reading and what we choose to write.
And this leads on to the suggestion that control over the way we express ourselves can be empowering and has a direct relationship to the influence we have on others – a notion that is utterly fascinating all of us, not just children.
It is tantamount to saying that their chances of getting what they want from their parents and others is dependent on the way they use language – and suddenly the study of language has an end which they find both startling and motivating.
This viewpoint was the starting point for “It’s a Case of Grammar”, a pack which makes overt links into the context of grammar and has children thinking about language in more depth than might otherwise be achieved.
In short it focuses on the language’s possibilities and potential. It answers the question, “Why do I need to know about grammar?” with the answer, “because it gives me the power and control over what I read and write,” and from there it leads into the building blocks of making meaning.
All the ideas within the pack are written with a spirit of exploration, creativity and interactivity. In short, the thinking child meets SPaG – and the thinking child comes out on top.
The resource contains over 100 new ideas for exploring and teaching grammar at key stage 2. It also includes a comprehensive training pack and a detailed glossary.
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