Table of Contents
What is SPaG?
SPaG is an abbreviation of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. As part of the national curriculum, primary school pupils (KS1 & KS2) are expected to learn and implement these topics into their writing. The government in 2013 also introduced statutory tests for all English primary schools in 2014 the SPaG was updated and became more challenging.
Importance of SPaG- starter activity
A great starter activity is to get your pupils into understanding how SPaG helps us determine the context of a sentence and how this is important in writing to convey the right meaning of the text to the reader etc. Start by displaying sentences in which changing the punctuation changes the meaning of the sentence.
- For example: “Woman without her man is nothing” (Woman without her, man is nothing”).
- Pupils may find it beneficial to find their own sentence examples.
Correction in Pairs
For this task get your pupils into pairs and ask them to write a paragraph using the worksheet down below. This paragraph should have 10-20 mistakes in, they will then swap their worksheet with another pair who is going to identify and highlight the deliberate mistakes made. The highlighted paper is then passed to the next pair who make the corrections and explain the first pair’s deliberate mistakes and how this should be improved.
Grammar Treasure Hunt
Set 10-15 grammar questions and set them around your school. Your pupils can set out in teams of 2-3 and answer as many questions as they can and race back to the classroom or yourself for a prize. This is a great activity for the end of the term to keep them learning, testing their knowledge and having a little fun in the process.
Speaking and Listening is a great way to reinforce and teach grammar, especially in presentation activities. For this activity to work split your students in differentiated groups and assign them different rules about standard English and how to apply it using SPaG. When the groups have learnt their specific rule have them talk/teach a specific part of the SPaG rule to the class.
Thesaurus Against the Clock
Start off with writing ten adjectives on the board. Explain to your class that you are going to start a competition for the quickest to find alternative word choices/examples while using a thesaurus. If this is the first time your pupils are using a thesaurus it might be best to have a few “tests” runs and explain how a thesaurus works fully.
BONUS: You could take this further and add in special rounds. For example: The quickest to find the “most interesting” adjective etc.
- To test your pupil’s knowledge further try this activity without a thesaurus.
Wall of Shame
Ask your class to each collect images of grammar/spelling and punctuation mistakes which have been professionally printed for example, signs, newspaper articles, books etc.
You can then use them as part of a classroom display and invite your pupils to identify and explain the mistakes that were made.
- This is a great homework task to set and then for your class to get together and reflect on their findings together.
Too many "-ings"
It is very common for KS1 & KS2 pupils to use a lot of “-ings” ending words in their creative writing.
It is important to encourage your class into reading through their work and analysing where they can change “ings” ending words for something more substantial.
Explain to your class that this can create a tighter more controlled piece of writing.