Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Grammar Games, Part 1: Verb & Direct Object Simon Says

Verb & Direct Object Simon Says

As my second grader and I were reading through his grammar book recently, I got the impression that some of the concepts were still somewhat abstract for him. Now you’re probably thinking, “Well it is GRAMMAR, and he is in 2nd grade....” But I’m a proponent of early grammar education, if it can be taught in an enjoyable manner. With both of those goals in mind, I decided to put a spin on a classic game and introduced my boys to Verb & Direct Object Simon Says.

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Acting as Simon, I gave the boys commands such as: “Simon says: Wave your hands” & “Simon says: Lift your legs.” Be careful not to do it if Simon didn’t say! After each command (and while they were still performing the action) I would ask one boy to identify either the verb or the direct object of the sentence. Or sometimes I would mix it up and give them the verb or direct object and ask them what part of the sentence it was. What makes this activity so perfect for Simon Says is the leading questions I could ask if they had any trouble. For a verb we would first repeat the definition of a verb, then I could ask, “What’s the action you’re performing?” If they were having trouble identifying the direct object I could ask, “What’s the OBJECT onto which you’re DIRECTING that action?” The boys could literally look around and see their grammar!

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In addition to the more classic commands, I added in some that I knew my crew would particularly enjoy: “Wiggle your tongue, Hug a tree, Jiggle your knees, Shake your hips” and my personal favorite, “Compliment your brother.”  My boys had with this game! They also each took a turn playing Simon and I literally ended up with a pile of laughing boys on the ground when they realized that they could use “me” as the direct object and Jet commanded, “Simon says: Squeeze me!”

I created this little cheat sheet for myself, to help me in coming up with a nice variety of sentences. There are verbs in one column & examples of direct objects in the other. You can read it straight down or mix and match from the two columns to make commands. The cheat sheet leaves out articles and adjectives, so you'll need to add those if you choose to use it. When you’re ready to make this game more difficult throw in some adverbs and prepositional phrases too! If you’d like a free copy of my cheat sheet, you can click on the picture above to download it. If you'd like to share this prinatable, please link back to this blog post and not my actual document. Thank you!

Have Fun!
and Happy National Grammar Day on March 4th!

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  1. This is a good game! I would want some games for myself too! for learning spanish! Tweeting & pinning to the Practical Mondays board:)

    1. Thanks! Foreign language games is a great idea!

  2. What a fun and wonderful way to teach grammar! I'll be using this with my boys; thank you!

    1. Thanks! Hope they have as much fun with it as my crew did.

  3. Could I get a copy of your cheat sheet? Is there an email where I could reach you?

    1. Absolutely! I fixed the link above, but if it's easier for you, you can email me at and I'll send you a copy :)


Thanks for your comments!

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