Grammar for Writing: A Randomised Controlled Trial Study

The pedagogy and sample lesson plans

The pedagogy

In this research project young writers are shown high-quality texts, how writing is shaped and crafted, and how grammatical choices are one part of that shaping.

The pedagogy of the intervention is founded on four key principles:

  • Make a link between the grammar being introduced and how it works in the writing being taught;
    • E.g. exploring how post and present tense are used in newspaper reports for recount and comment. 
  • Explain the grammar through examples, not lengthy explanations;
    • Exploring how prepositional phrases can establish setting in a narrative. For example, you could explore how prepositional phrases establish the setting for each of the characters in ‌‘The Gruffalo' and then ask the children to create a new character in the ‘The Gruffalo' story and describe where he or she lives using prepositional phrases.

      Download the
      Gruffalo sample lesson
  • Build in high-quality discussion about grammar and its effects;
    • E.g. discussing as a whole class the different grammatical choices in two students’ drafts of the ending to an argument piece. 
  • Use examples from authentic texts to link writers to the broader community of writers;
    • E.g. using the class shared book as a source for exploring how grammar shapes meaning. For example from 'The BFG' explore rhythm through the pattern of three clauses.

      Download the BFG sample lesson