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Studying grammar is an important part of learning a new language. For young learners, grammar is something that can be learned by practice and experience, since it’s much more fun and practical this way. These activities to learn determiners help the little ones practice this topic through games, crafts and day-to-day fun practice.
1. Fill the blank (with a twist!)
Fill the blank activities are amongst the most common ones for language learning. They consist of putting the right word or phrase in the empty space to make a whole sentence! These exercises have proven to be beneficial for children’s language development and every young learner should practice them.
However, after a while, children might be less eager to try these type of activities, so, it’s a good idea to incorporate a few twists to make them fresh and engaging again, especially for younger children.
Here are two ideas to make fill the blank exercises at home, depending on the materials you have available:
- Use a whiteboard. Using different color markers you can write some sentences with determiners in a whiteboard (maybe include some pictures too!), but leave a blank space where these are supposed to go. Then, ask your little one to fill in the blanks with the correct determiner. Children love to participate and to have the opportunity to prove themselves, so they’ll be eager to write on the whiteboard. Also, this will be good practice for when school starts.
- Go big! Grab a large sheet of paper and write some sentences with examples of determiners in English. This will serve as an example. Then, write some more sentences but leaving a blank space where the determiner should be placed. Next, make some cards with determiners (one word per card) and ask your little one to place the correct determiner it in the correct place with some reusable adhesive.
Even though these activities are perfect for older kids, younger kids can also benefit from them. It could be a nice way to practice reading in English to improve fluency and pronunciation. It also works as a way to make your child’s vocabulary richer.
2. Some & Any!
Teaching these two concepts to the little ones can be a struggle, however, there are some activities you can use to practice that will make it easier for your little one. First, explain the concept of some and any by talking about the determiners in English and their uses, next, you can incorporate questions into your daily conversations to encourage your child to answer with one of these two words.
For example, you can take a stroll through the city with your child and describe what you see. You can make questions about the different things you encounter during your day out, like “Are there pigeons on the town square?”, and expect answers like “No, there aren’t any!” or “Yes, there are some.”.
The idea of this game is not to be completely accurate with the answer, but to teach the concept of “some ” and “any ” to your child. You can even complement the game by practicing other quantifiers in English like a few , many , or most .
With these you can make sentences like: There are some kids playing on the carousel but most kids are on the slides.
3. Art Gallery at Home
This activity is perfect for bigger groups of kids since it’s much more fun that way! You will need a few simple materials: blank paper, crayons, markers, paint, brushes, pencils, erasers, and some cello tape.
First, let’s make the art gallery. What will you need for this? Some art, of course! So, using the materials listed before, the children will have to work on some original artwork to submit to the exposition. Creativity is a must, so make sure they can use the different tools you provide to create their paintings or drawings.
Once everyone has done a painting, it’s time to hang them! For this, you will need some cello tape that doesn’t damage the walls or some reusable adhesive. Find a place where you can put the artwork at children’s eye level. Then, it will be time to discuss the pieces!
It’s at this moment when you will be able to practice determiners in English. Children will have to describe and discuss their favorite paintings, incorporating determiners as they talk. You can encourage them to use words like “such ” or “quite ” when talking about their peers’ paintings, in sentences like “That drawing has such beautiful lines and colors”.
Also, get into the details and see which are the predominant tones to practice colors in English . The idea is to include these important words in English in their frequently used vocabulary.