Transform your Teaching: Module 2: Lesson 8: Grammar

Grammar can be one of trickiest things for students to understand, and teachers to explain. Ask students what they find difficult about learning a language, and chances are grammar will be on their list. 

Graphic facilitation can help simplify grammar. 

Timelines, such as the one below are common visual tools in ELT. Arrows crosses and lines can convey meaning and help students grasp difficult concepts. I recommend revisiting (or doing) the ‘connectors’ lesson in my Build your Visual Vocabulary module to support this lesson. 


grammar time lines

My fellow National Geographic Learning Voices author, Dan Barber, shared a lovely way to visualise different uses of present perfect. The bridge signifies how the past relates to the present. 

You can view the original tweet here:

Dan Barber Twitter present perfect

Click the images below to see the full, large versions. 

Drawings can also be used to prompt language practice. You can draw this on the whiteboard or display the image. Draw the icons for morning, afternoon, evening and night. Then elicit each time of day. 

Then ask students what they do every day. Add simple drawings to represent their habits and routines. You can then ask them to work in pairs to ask and answer questions. 

The beauty of drawings is that they can provide practice for a number of different structures. For example: 

– What do you do in the morning? I get up, have a shower and have breakfast. 

– When do you have a shower? I have a shower in the morning?

– Do you cycle in the morning? No, I cycle in the afternoon

– What did you do in the morning? I got up, had a shower and ate breakfast. 

You could also use the grammar prompts below in different ways. 

For example: 

– Students tell a story of what the people do at different time of the day. They can do this first orally, then write it. 

– Students work in pairs to ask and answer questions. 

– Students draw their own daily routine, then tell a partner or write about it. 

Can you think of any other ways you can use these simple drawings to teach grammar? Feel free to share in the Facebook Group

Your task for this lesson is to create a visual to teach grammar. 

Choose any tense or grammar point that interests you, or that you are currently teaching. Create a timeline or drawing to visualise it or to provide practice. 

Share it in the Facebook Group