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.
(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
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.
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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!
Win, wins make me a happy homeschool momma! Hope you find the books to be helpful. 🙂
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!
Cristy, you make my heart smile.
Grammar ideas for 5th grade??
Melissa, I sell a gentle grammar curriculum you may be interested in that’s written for 3rd-5th graders. Living Literature Grammar Packs
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!
Dorinda, thanks for the book recommendation! Enjoy your year teaching from picture books! :o)