32. Thornbury’s Grammar Poem

I instantly loved this idea of grammar poem, which can be incorporated in any English classroom.

Chapter 1.2: Grammar poems
(from Scott Thornbury’s book Grammar, OUP)

Level: Intermediate and above
Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Aims: To reinforce grammar terms, through creative writing.
Preparation: Prepare a poem “rubric” (i.e. the framework for a poem) that consists solely of parts of speech.

For example:

1. article + noun
2. participle, participle, participle
3. adjective, adjective
4. repeat 1
5. pronoun + verb
6. pronoun + verb
7. pronoun + always/never/still + verb
8. repeat 1
9. repeat 3
10. repeat 2

Procedure:

1. Write the rubric on the board, and check that the learners are familiar with the names of the different parts of speech.

2. Tell them that this is the model for a poem. The first line is the title of the poem. For example: The Sea; A Forest; The Sharks, etc.

3. Learners work individually or in pairs to compose their poems.

4. They then exchange poems, or the poems can be illustrated and displayed around the room. Here, for example, is a poem that is based on the above rubric:

The Sea
Smiling, frowning, laughing
Angry, joyful
The sea
It comes
It goes
It never sleeps
The sea
Angry, joyful
Smiling, frowning, laughing

Follow-up:

Rub the rubric off the board, and see if the learners can re-construct it, using their own poems as a guide.

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