So. I have a four week stretch to transition with my little teeny weeny year sevens, and I wanted a fun and interesting way to teach grammar. The reasons behind this are to be rather frank with you, I despise grammar. I was not taught any grammatical instruction during my entire educational career, I comma splice like a first class splicepert and the old fashioned bird in me has resigned herself to the fact that it never did her any harm and she can write good. Dead good.
So, at two am, suffering from an intolerable bout of insomnia now that term is only a week away (so naturally, any ability I have to sleep has now disappeared again) I came across the Twitter account @crystalmazegame. That is the point that I had my massive grammar-Crystal Maze hybrid epiphany.
There is so much to grammar, why not develop a Crystal Maze format to break It down into chunks that students can then consolidate within the final round of the Giant Crystal! No, I am not going to build a giant crystal.
This is currently a work in progress, but I can never leave things undone for very long. The same workstations would exist, to give a theme and allow us to use the fancy map of course.
The key concept is that students will progress around each workstation, with two stages of the task; the first part will be comprehension, to ensure that all parties understand the mini LO, and can successfully identify a clause etc. then, students have the choice of the type of task that they undertake to assess their learning- mental, skill, physical or mystery. Then, groups choose a representative to complete the task alone, but with the team’s verbal encouragement and assistance. If the group successfully manage to complete the task, they receive a crystal for their efforts.
No lock outs- a table of failed types would not be good for morale- and teacher’s say is final. So as an example, the Aztec section uses a focus of word types, the Futuristic is for clauses, Medieval is for sentence types and Ocean for punctuation. Once the groups have collected a crystal from each zone, they then progress to the Crystal to consolidate their learning. Again, this could be student led; pose the question to them- what task will allow you to use all of the skills that you have developed today?
This will happen. Promise. Any suggestions you have for tasks etc would be fab, I have already found this marvellous site (who are these people, god bless them) to get me started- http://crystalmaze.marcgerrish.com/games/index.htm