Using Picture Books to Help Teach Grammar

Using Picture Books to Help Teach Grammar
Various authors have written picture book that deal with grammar and parts of
speech. Although this is not an exhaustive list, it can give teachers and parents
another tool for teaching grammar.
Ruth Keller
Ruth Heller has written a series of picture books that address a variety of language
arts concepts. This World of Language series is a one resource to help students who
struggle with using grammar correctly.
Heller's books provide detailed definitions of the various parts of speech, and they
are also excellent models of grammatical structure. Her books are appropriate for
older students because they cover high-level grammatical concepts. For example,
the author doesn't stop at defining a pronoun; she also covers more difficult
concepts like reflexive and interrogative pronouns. English language learners can
also benefit from these books.
A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns (1987), Heller introduces her
World of Language series this way:
But nouns aren't all collective,
and if I'm to be effective,
I'll tell about the other nouns
and adjectives and verbs.
All of them are parts of speech.
What fun!
I'll write a book for each.
In Kites Sail High: A Book About Verbs (1988), Heller describes a variety of
different verbs: active, passive, linking, auxiliary, tenses, irregular,
imperative, indicative, and subjunctive. Here’s a sample:
is super superb.
It tells you
fireworks EXPLODE
or horses THUNDER
down the road.
In Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives (1989) predicate,
demonstrative, possessive, proper, comparative, superlative, and irregular
adjectives are covered in depth.
An ADJECTIVE's terrific
when you want to be specific.
In Merry-Go-Round: A Book About Nouns (1990) Heller defines a variety of
noun categories: proper, common, abstract, concrete, compound, collective,
singular, plural, and possessive.
Nouns name a person, place or thing...
a damsel, a forest, a dragon, a king.
These NOUNS are all COMMON,
and they're very nice,
are more precise.
In Up, Up and Away: A Book About Adverbs (1991), Heller clarifies positive,
negative, irregular, comparative, and superlative adverbs.
ADVERBS work terrifically
when asking most specifically,
"When?" and "How?"
and "Where?" and "Why?"
WHEN do owls hoot?
HOW do you do?
WHERE in the world
is Timbuktu?
In Behind the Mask: A Book About Prepositions (1995), Heller to describes
prepositions, phrasal prepositions and distinguishes between prepositions and
adverbs. She explains:
have no fear.
They help to make
directions clear.
Mine, All Mine: A Book About Pronouns (1997) Heller writes about a variety of
pronouns: possessive, demonstrative, indefinite, reflexive, interrogative, and
the place of nouns...
so we don't have to say...
"Mike said Mike walked
Mike's dogs today.
Mike walked Mike's dogs
a long, long way."
How boring...
Finally, in Fantastic! Wow! And Unreal! A Book About Interjections and
Conjunctions (1998), many forms of interjections are covered, as are
conjunctions, including coordinating, subordinating, correlative, and
INTERJECTIONS are words we use
to declare ...
Good grief!
Out of sight!
Holy cow! That's her hair.
They're capitalized
and punctuated,
and stand alone
when emphatically stated.
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