Grammar and sentence structure goals are pretty common for our middle and high school speech and language students, yet it can be difficult to come up with ways to target them that keep our students engaged. I find my students get sick of answering questions about pictures quickly and also find some of those grammar tasks too easy and babyish. I also really prefer that students do more writing at this age so that their grammar and syntax knowledge generalize to their writing assignments for classes.
Luckily, I found that Quill is a really great resource for practicing grammar and sentence structure. Quill’s free version has activity packs that cover target goals like present progressive, complex sentences, and irregular past tense verbs. Students are typically given a simple sentence where they need to make a correction or fill in the blank for targets like irregular past tense and present progressive. In contrast, activity packs like complex sentences, prepositional phrases, and adverbial conjunctions tend to have more lessons that involve sentence combining; students might combine two or more sentences into one uses the target structure. Here are some examples of Quill tasks for students below:
I really love this website in how it actively engages students to think critically and apply their knowledge to writing. When in groups, I might have students write their answers on mini white boards and then have students take turns typing it into my laptop (if you work in a school where students had 1:1 technology congratulations, but in my urban school I make do with my old laptop and slow ipad!). Quill will also cue students to correct their errors, make the sentence shorter if need be, delete extraneous words, and/or clarify meaning by replacing pronouns with nouns. Here is just one example of how it cues the student to revise his/her work:
Overall, I am very satisfied with my experience using this resource to teach sentence structure and grammar for my older therapy students. Although Quill does cue my students to revise, I find my verbal cues and models are still very much necessary; our students often have trouble understanding directions (written and/or oral) or simply may not grasp what the revision should be and why it is needed. So a speech therapist + Quill website tasks and supports= a great therapy session!