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Grammar lesson plan ideas

Most language teachers fear designing a grammar lesson plan because it could result in too analytical, technical and boring lessons. Not true – if you know how to do it properly! In this article I’m sharing 3 ideas I use all the time in my lessons when it’s time to consolidate the grammar.


No fear grammar lesson plans!  

Who said grammar has to be boring? Who decided your students will hate the grammar pieces you need them to solidify?

Here are 3 ideas taken from a book I always have on my desk. It’s my sweet, must-to-have book when it comes to putting together a great grammar lesson plan. Reference: Humanising your coursebook, by M. Rinvolucri (Delta Publishing)

N.B.: The version you’ll find in this article is my personal version, an adaptation of the exercises you would find in the book. Plus, below I included my suggestions for making your delivery smooth and more effective.


Before you dive in the 3 ideas for a more engaging and effective grammar lesson plan

I suggest to use the 3 ideas below during the Analysis phase of your lessons. Not familiar with that? Have a look at this article, first, for how to plan the perfect language lesson.


1) Stripping a passage down (Daniela’s version)

Need to analyse a reading passage you have covered recently? Try this.

Suitable for: from beginner to advanced level students.

How it works:

  1. Choose the reading passage you want to work on. Make a photocopy, delete the grammar elements you want to focus on. For instance: delete all the adjectives. You’ll get the passage with blank spaces replacing the adjectives.
  2. Make copies of the amended passage and give them out to the students. Make sure they can’t access the original version of the reading passage.
  3. Decide on how you want them to work: individually, rather than in pairs, or in small groups. The goal is for them to recall the adjectives and rewrite the passage as it was. Encourage them to use both the exact adjectives and synonyms, too. The purpose is to work on the accuracy of the grammar. If they can’t recall the exact adjective but they write a synonym instead, it’s okay as long as the form is grammatically correct.


More ideas and suggestions for your grammar lesson plan:

  • You may want to organise a the activity as a competition in teams
  • Repurpose the activity and focus on: prepositions, adverbs, conjunctions, any other grammar element you may want to consolidate
  • Can’t photocopy the text? Write it on the board!



2) Where can I add a word? (Daniela’s version)

Need to consolidate a specific sentence pattern? Try this activity. No materials needed!

Suitable for: upper beginner to upper intermediate students.


How it works:

  1. Write a sentence on the board. The sentence will be an example of the sentence pattern you want to work on. Example: I need to go.
  2. When you write it, put broad spaces between the words. Do not put spaces between those words that can never be separated by adding other words.
  3. Now, insert a “caret” (this symbol: ^) in the gap where we could potentially add other words. Start by inserting only one caret. Ask the students to tell you what they could add. Write their answers on the board. I usually use a different colour to mark the new words. They are allowed to add both single words and segments of sentences.
  4. Also, ask the students to read the whole, expanded sentence out loud.
  5. Insert a new caret elsewhere in the sentence. Ask the students for words and collect their answers on the board.


More ideas and suggestions for your grammar lesson plan:

  • Start with simple and basic sentences to help the students to get the hang of the exercise
  • If you have materials available, you may want to prepare big paper sheets with the sentences written on them. Then the students may use sticky notes to add their answers
  • Organise the activity in pairs or small groups
  • With more advance students: at the very beginning, ask them to tell you where the carets are not


3) Building houses: past perfect (Daniela’s version)

Need to solidify the tense sequences? Try this.

Suitable for: intermediate level students.


How it works:

  1. Write a list of short sentences on your notebook. The sentences will show the use of the past perfect tense. Keep the sentences short and simple. For instance: they build the walls; they cleared the ground; they laid the drains; they agreed the plans with the client; etc.
  2. The examples above are from a list of sentences related to building houses. According to the topic and the verbs you want to cover, you shall change the sentences.
  3. Dictate the sentences to the students.
  4. Ask the students to put the sentences in order and to rewrite them in order. They shall rewrite them by giving a logical order to the sequence. Also, they shall rewrite them like this: When they had agreed the plans with the client, they cleared the ground. When they cleared the ground, they dug the foundation trenches. And so on.
  5. Make them share the sequences and discuss them in the group.


More ideas and suggestions for your grammar lesson plan:

  • Start with a short list of sentences, so that the students can get the hang of the exercise
  • Arrange the activity for the students to work in pairs or small groups


Wrapping up

Three ideas for making your grammar lesson plan engaging, fun and effective. Remember to keep in easy at the beginning: avoid complicated sentences and too sophisticated terms. Try to use words belonging to one level lower than your students’ actual skills level. This is because you want to help them to get familiar with the exercise, first. Afterwards, you can propose something more challenging. However, never challenge them with vocabulary or grammar they can’t handle, or your activities will get rejected.

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22nd August 2022
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