Sunday, November 6, 2011

Teaching Grammar: Can You Find the Errors?

I hate the "their" error.  Someone, anyone, one, a person, the person = he or she.  Every time I see it or hear it, I correct it boldly.  I have been known to use permanent marker on District classroom signage, been known to correct missives from the principal.  I have written to the D.O.E. about grammar errors in position papers and newsletters.

It may be a losing battle, but it is one I choose to fight.  Join me.

Above is a screen shot of quite a wonderful infographic, What does it take to get a job at Google?  There are three grammar/usage errors here.  Can you spot them?  Challenge your students to spot them.

  • PS:  The last interview question makes for a great literacy lesson: sequence, cause-effect, vocabulary (multiple meanings, is/is not), connection-to-self.  I get it.  Can your combined students get it too?  
I wrote them and pointed out the error.  I have done this often lately.  One voice is just a voice - many voices is a shout.

Here's another error.  This video trailer for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is all over TV.  What a wide spread for an error!  Do you have the courage to ask students to pen letters to Activision?  I wrote one.
scene from video trailer

Here's another, this one containing errors in parallelism, sentencing, misplaced modifiers, capitalization:
Of course, the most effective examples will come from the texts that your students actually choose to read and the media they access regularly.  Challenge your students to find similar errors in print and digital text (many YA novels are a great source of pronoun and punctuation errors), in advertisements, in media-speak.  Share these prominently in your classroom.  This might go a lot further than a set of canned, or even digital, skill lessons.

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