Brave Writer

The Groovy Grammar Workshop empowers parents to implement a natural approach to teaching grammar. Rather than studying grammar terminology and dissecting sentences, students are encouraged to play with language, to explore how words bump up against each other and generate meaning. Words, in a variety of contexts, will spring to life in fresh ways, which enable children and parents to discover the sheer power and joy of shifting syntax for shaping grammatical understanding. Writing is enhanced when kids deliberately thwart reader expectations and forge new grammatical relationships between the old, tired words everyone uses.

In this four-week class, families explore the value of parts of speech and all the ways words flip, twist, dress up, and undress to become different parts of speech depending on the context. Students discover that language is much less static than the appearance it gives on the printed page. 


Week One

Families delve into the whimsical, wonderful world of words. Writers will find words, make up words, classify words, and move words around to label their environment in new and unusual ways.

Week Two

This week, participants see how their Word Collections from last week reveal the inner workings of grammar. They conclude the week with a choice of two activities: 1) creating a Fictionary, or 2) creating Word Sculptures. 

Week Three

Families explore the poem "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll from Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1872). They analyze the nonsense words in the poem to see how the words work together to create meaning from apparent nonsense. 

Week Four

In the final week, families craft their own “Jabberwocky” poems and address niggling grammar questions.

Common Core and Academic Standards Support

What follows is a word bank and set of skills associated with this class. Use them to craft your own learning narrative for use in year-end evaluations, charter school reports, or any other accountability source.

Word Bank

  • Analysis
  • Categorization
  • Classification
  • Definition
  • Grammar
  • Innovation
  • Invented language
  • Natural approach
  • Parts of speech
  • Punctuation
  • Rules of language
  • Syntax
  • Vocabulary development

Core Skills

  • Analyze sentence elements to determine function of parts
  • Categorize words using variety of categorization groups
  • Compare established grammar rules to an author’s writing
  • Create invented words
  • Determine definitions for parts of speech
  • Determine original word classification rules
  • Evaluate a nonsense poem to reveal underlying structure and meaning
  • Maintain distinct writer’s voice
  • Use inventive words to label everyday objects
  • Write detailed, organized, structured original narratives
  • Write an original poem using the pattern of “Jabberwocky”