Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Good and Bad Grammar

Deloris Morris
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students collect bad grammar examples from business signs, magazines, and other printed material and then individually teach a mini-grammar lesson on at least one bad example.


The student demonstrates nonverbal cues to convey a message to an audience (for example, movement, gestures, facial expressions).

The student uses appropriate grammar, word choice, and pacing.

The student uses language which is clear, audible and suitable.

The student identifies patterns and rules found in the English language (for example, grammar usage, word pronunciation).


-Examples of bad grammar that the teacher has gathered from business signs, magazines, or other printed material.
-Bulletin board
-Grammar textbook (use the textbook that is available in your school)
-Overhead projector
-[Daily Language Skillbuilder], McDougal Littell, Evanston, Illinois,1997. (Optional)


1. Make sure students have had adequate grammar backgound.
2. Collect examples of bad grammar to illustrate to the class.
3. Prepare bulletin board for the collection of bad grammar.
4. Collect text and other materials that students need for their mini-lessons.


Prior Knowledge: Students have had adequate grammar lessons, such as subject and verb agreement, pronoun and antecedent agreement, and other grammar rules through [Daily Oral Language] assignments. (This can come from the [Daily Oral Language] book from the Great Source Education Group catalog or any [DOL] book that you might have on hand (see Materials list) and regular classroom instruction.

1. Teacher shows examples of grammar mistakes that he or she has collected from REAL sources, such as business signs, and then illicits a class discussion on the grammar rule for each.

2. Teacher instructs students to accumulate at least ten bad grammar examples from sources, such as billboards, business signs, magazines, or homemade yard signs. These can be copied. Discourage newspaper articles because there are so many typographical errors which may not be bad grammar. Give at least one week to collect these.

3. Between the time you give the assignment and the time it is due, teacher models and instructs students on how to teach a grammar lesson using the following criteria:

(a) Presentation of the particular error in grammar and the grammar rule for that error using a text or overhead transparency.

(b) Adequate examples of the rule using both correct and incorrect examples.

(c) Adequate oral practice for the class using the text or overhead transparency.

4. Students bring their examples of bad grammar to class on the day designated.

5. Teacher consults with each student, and together selects one example for the student to teach the class.

6. Teacher goes over the assessment (rubric) for evaluation of the mini-lessons.

7. Students present their mini-grammar lessons to the class. Lessons should be no longer than 10-15 minutes long.

8. Teacher evaluates the mini-lesson using the above criteria in #3 and the rubric given in assessment portion of this lesson plan.

9. Teacher prepares a bulletin board of all examples of bad grammar.


Two grades can be given for this activity:

1. 10 points for each example brought to class.

2. The following rubric can be used for the presentations:
Awesome: Students employ an above average use of grammar and nonverbal cues to convey message to audience and use superb volume, stress, pacing, and pronunciation in a positive way in their classroom mini-lesson presentation.

Admirable: Students convey accurate use of grammar and nonverbal cues to convey message to audience and use volume, stress, pacing, and pronunciation in a positive way.

Acceptable: Students convey accurate use of grammar, but may not use cues to convey message to audience. They may use some of the following in their presentations but not all: volume, stress, pacing, and pronunciation.

Unacceptable: Students do not accurately convey use of proper grammar or use of nonverbal cues to convey message to audience or use appropriate volume, stress, pacing, and pronunciation.


This lesson would be a good lesson to do at the end of a semester or toward the end of school after students have had an adequate dose of grammar.
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