One thing I really like to do (though I suspect we all do ;) ) is connect the language arts skills we are learning about to the reading we are actually doing. If the kids see what it is that I am telling them good writers do while they are reading a book that is considered good writing, I feel like there is more buy-in. So while teaching about appositives, I took the opportunity to have the students dig into our novel, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH , to find the skill in action.
This lesson came AFTER we had taken notes in our grammar journal, done a few workbook pages, and even had some small group lessons on it....so it wasn't an introduction. The kids already had some working knowledge of what appositives were. However, that didn't make this any easier ;) It is one thing looking in a workbook and figuring out what the appositive is. It is quite another finding it in actual text...where you aren't even sure there are any to begin with!
So, after creating this foldable to the right, I asked the students to open up to the first chapter of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
. The very first sentence actually contains an appositive...so it was perfect! We discussed WHY it was there. What would the author feel is the need to put that in the writing? I mean, it is much more difficult to write using appositives, so why bother? Well, the kids really seemed to grasp the idea that the appositives paint a clearer picture of the action and help the reader to understand just exactly what is going on in the story.
Then, in partners, I sent them off on their own to find three more examples. On the outside of the foldable they were to put the actual quote from the book. Inside, they wrote what the appositive was and then (here is what is important) they wrote WHY it was included in the sentence.
What I really liked from this lesson is that it made the students think about what the skill we were learning about had anything at all to do with real life. So very often we teach the kids something and just ask them to "do it" without any thought as to why (I know I am guilty of this for sure!) But asking them to figure out what the purpose of the skill was within the context of an actual novel, really brought it home for them. That day, on their Paragraph of the Week, they were to include appositives...and I wish I had a picture for you. They really were great! (simple...but great ;) )
What skill are you teaching now that you think you can apply this foldable to?