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Grammar Baseball

By Jessica Aggrey

Baseball player catching a ball.A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with my colleague Carrie about ways we can help students improve their error correction skills. I routinely do error correction activities in class where I collect sentences with mistakes from my students’ assignments and either type them into a handout or display them on a slide for review; however, I haven’t yet found the perfect format for going over them with the class.

Carrie shared an activity she created that has been successful in her class. It’s an ingenious idea that gets students practicing different skills related to error correction in a fun and engaging way. I tried a modified version in my class this week and my students enjoyed it. In fact, I had a student message me afterward and say “I liked the grammar very much. I hope we can have more chances to play such games.” Read on to learn how to play this game in your class. 

 

How to Play

 

Roles

Batters: The batters work to correct the mistakes in a sentence.

The Referees: After the batters write their corrections, the referees make a call to tell if one, both, or neither of the batters have correctly fixed each sentence.

 

Setup

The class is divided into three teams and assigned the roles outlined above (two batter groups and one referee group). You go through three to six rounds of error correction. After each round, the role of referee rotates to a new group.

 

Play (My Version)

Give each group that’s up to bat a small whiteboard and dry erase pens to write on or have them stand near one of the whiteboard in the room. Provide the referee group with signs they can hold up that say Group 1, Group 2, Both, and Neither. I have small whiteboard paddles, so I used these for the referee group. They can hold one of these up to make their call. 

 

Two whiteboard paddles with "team 1" and "Both" written on them.

Display a sentences with mistakes on the screen. The batters get some time to work in their groups and rewrite the sentence correctly. I put a 90 second timer on my slides. I ended up giving them more time for most of the sentences though. Once the batters have finished, they show their corrected sentence to the referees. The referee team must make a call: Group 1, Group 2, Both, or Neither. If the referee team makes the correct call, that team gets a point. If a batter team corrects all of the mistakes, then that team gets a point.

I like this game because everyone has the possibility of getting points. There doesn’t have to be a winner and a loser. Furthermore, the different roles require students to analyze language in a slightly different way. You can access my Google slide here to use as a template if you like.

 

Play (Carrie’s Version)

The way my friend Carrie sets up this activity is by having a student from each batting group come to the whiteboard to correct a sentence individually while the rest of their team members cheers them on. Then, one member from the referee group makes the call. New people come up and a new sentences is shown. Once everyone in each group has gone, the round is over and the referee group changes. 

 

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