Picture Books to Teach Grammar

When you think of teaching grammar to your elementary student, does the word “boring” pop into your head?  Maybe not your head, but your children’s perhaps?

Well, I have two pieces of good news for you!

1.  Formal grammar lessons aren’t all that important in elementary school!  Really.  A little here, a little there and you can hold off on daily grammar instruction until middle school.

2.  You can get in a whole lot of gentle and efficient grammar teaching by reading with your children!  Seriously.  Reading instructional picture books can be a fabulous way to teach grammar concepts.  Especially if your read the same books several times over the course of a few years.  And, especially if you make conversation about the concepts at other times  – you know, as you run across examples during other lessons or in real life.

Use picture books to gently and effectively teach grammar in the elementary years.

(This post contains affiliate links and links to my products.)

Okay, here’s my living literature disclaimer.  You know I’m a BIG fan of living literature, right?  Well, not all of these grammar books are perfect examples of what one might consider “living.”  Many of them have some forced rhyming text and goofy story lines.  However, I’ve personally found enough value in their teaching, that I’ve been able to look over a bit of twaddle.  Not to mention, they’ve kept my children engaged and motivated – and that’s a big deal.

And now, here’s the list of books I’ve used to help teach an intro to grammar in the early years.


Merry-Go-Round: A Book About Nouns by Ruth Heller

A Mink, A Fink, A Skating Rink: What is a Noun? by Brian Cleary

A Lime, A Mime, A Pool of Slime: More About Nouns by Brian Cleary

A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns by Ruth Heller


It’s Hard to be a Verb by Julie Cook

Kites Sail High: A Book About Verbs by Ruth Heller

To Root, To Toot, To Parachute: What is a Verb? by Brian Cleary

Slide and Slurp, Scratch and Burp: More About Verbs by Brian Cleary


Many, Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives by Ruth Heller

Hairy, Scary and Ordinary: What is an Adjective? by Brian Cleary

Quirky, Jerky, Extra Perky: More About Adjectives by Brian Cleary


Up, Up and Away: A Book About Adverbs by Ruth Heller

Dearly, Nearly, Insincerely: What is an Adverb? by Brian Cleary

Lazily, Crazily, Just a Bit Nasally: More About Adverbs by Brian Cleary


Mine, All Mine: A Book About Pronouns by Ruth Heller

I and You and Don’t Forget Who: What Is a Pronoun? by Brian Cleary


Behind the Mask: A Book About Prepositions by Ruth Heller

Under, Over, By the Clover: What is a Preposition? by Brian Cleary


I’m and Won’t, They’re and Don’t: What’s a Contraction? by Brian Cleary

Synonyms and Antonyms

Fortunately, Unfortunately by Remy Charlip

Pitch and Throw, Grasp and Know: What is a Synonym? by Brian Cleary

Stroll and Walk, Babble and Talk: More About Synonyms by Brian Cleary

Stop and Go, Yes and No: What is an Antonym? by Brian Cleary

Straight and Curvy, Meek and Nervy: More About Antonyms by Brian Cleary

Comparatives and Superlatives

Breezier, Cheesier, Newest and Bluest: What are Comparatives and Superlatives? by Brian Cleary

Homonyms and Homophones

Dear Deer: A Book About Homophones by Gene Barretta

Truman’s Aunt Farm by Jama Kim Rattigan

How Much Can a Bare Bear Bear? What are Homonyms and Homophones? by Brian Cleary

A Bat Cannot Bat, A Stair Cannot Stare: More About Homonyms and Homophones by Brian Cleary

Plural and Singular

Feet and Puppies, Thieves and Guppies: What are Irregular Plurals? by Brian Cleary

Compound Words

Thumbtacks, Earwax, Lipstick, Dipstick: What is a Compound Word? by Brian Cleary

Prefixes and Suffixes

Pre- and Re-, Mis- and Dis-: What is a Prefix? by Brian Cleary

-ful, and -less, -er and -ness: What is a Suffix? by Brian Cleary


But and For, Yet and Nor: What is a Conjunction? by Brian Cleary


Fantastic! Wow! Unreal! A Book About Interjections by Ruth Heller

Cool! Whoa! Ah and Oh! What is an Interjection? by Brian Cleary


Punctuation Takes a Vacation by Robin Pulver

The Punctuation Station by Brian Cleary

The Punctuation Celebration by Elsa Knight Bruno

Eats, Shoots and Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! by Lynne Truss

Twenty-Odd Duck: Why, Every Punctuation Mark Counts! by Lynne Truss

The Girl’s Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can’t Manage Without Apostrophes! by Lynne Truss

Greedy Apostrophe: A Cautionary Tale by Jan Carr

Do you have any wonderful books to add to the list?

For those of you who really want to add some quality, gentle grammar lessons into elementary school, might I suggest Living Literature Grammar Packets?  The lessons are short and sweet and cover everything expected of a 3rd or 4th grader concerning standard scope and sequences.

Living Literature and Grammar Packets give your 3rd-5th grader gentle, efficient and thorough language arts lessons.

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  1. This is awesome!! I’ve been struggling with what to do for grammar next year…I love the idea of teaching it through literature (as we already do with history). And I could probably do it with all my kids at once! Win win! I’m going to check these books out!

  2. Win, wins make me a happy homeschool momma! Hope you find the books to be helpful. 🙂

  3. I’m so excited about using this list AND the grammar packs! Once again, Cindy, both are fabulous resources. Thanks for all your hard work … my homeschool has gotten so much benefit from all you do!

  4. Cristy, you make my heart smile.

  5. Grammar ideas for 5th grade??

  6. Wonderful post! I’m embarking on a do-it-yourself style language arts program with my first and third graders this year. My eldest had already been exposed to First Language Lessons before I realized that CM principles generally dictate leaving formal grammar for fourth grade. So this year we’re going to include his sister and take a more relaxed and fun approach. We will be incorporating books from your list and mad libs. That’s about all to my plan thus far. I’m a big believer in the power of exposure. We’ll see where else the school year takes us.
    Also, sort of random, but several years ago we checked out a book called Exclamation Mark (Rosenthal & Lichten) and it was cute. Probably not even as in-depth as most of the books on your list, but definitely worth a look. Blessings!

  7. Dorinda, thanks for the book recommendation! Enjoy your year teaching from picture books! :o)

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