How to Optimize Grammar Instruction in 15 Minutes a Day

How to Optimize Grammar Instruction in 15 Minutes a Day

As elementary school teachers, we are always thinking about how to integrate subjects. History content and nonfiction text features. A science equation and a math lesson. 

This works great with a lot of subjects (and let’s face it, without integrating subjects we would never have time for everything).

Some topics, though, really need some focused time for students to really understand that one concept.

I have found that for me, to cover ALL the language standards I need to cover, grammar is one of these!

Of course, grammar and writing naturally go together, and our students need us to help them see this connection.

At the same time, grammar can be hard! Exactly when and where to use a comma, making sure the verb tenses match, and capitalizing everything just right…it’s a lot to remember!

Giving students dedicated time to master grammar concepts will ensure that students have it down. Then they’ll (hopefully) be able to apply their grammar knowledge to their writing with ease!

What if you could efficiently cover grammar in just 15 minutes a day? It IS possible! Build it into your routine, make it easy on yourself and your students, find your groove, and it can be done!

Keep reading for my breakdown of how you can optimize grammar instruction in just 15 minutes a day!

Direct Instruction (5 minutes):

The first part of your grammar lesson should be explicit instruction. Introduce the skill and have students take notes on any definitions, rules, and other important points. 

You can also ask students to write down an example sentence, and highlight or circle the grammar topic of the day in action. 

Let’s use a common 4th-grade topic for an example: correct use of quotation marks. 

Have students take notes on when to use quotation marks, the right place to put them, and any other important points.

Latin and Greek Grammar Game

Group Practice (5 minutes):

Next, get kids practicing together. They should work on adding quotation marks to sentences that need them but don’t have them, They’ll also fix sentences that have quotation marks used in the wrong way.

You might do this part as a whole group or break students into smaller groups to work. Either way, you want them to be interacting a lot with each other, referencing their notes, and talking about what they just learned.  

Independent Practice (5 minutes):

Last, but not least, have students practice on their own. This will be similar to what they did in groups, but you want each student to do their own work. 

This will give students a chance to identify anything that is still a little fuzzy, and it will serve as a quick assessment that you can use to guide your instruction in future lessons.

If everyone bombs the independent practice, time to review and reteach! If you have just a handful of kids who are confused, but the majority of students got it, pull that small group for some reteaching.

Connect With Writing

After you’ve spent time explicitly teaching a grammar skill, have given students a chance to practice, and are confident that most students have mastered it, now it’s time to connect it with writing instruction.

Grammar Games Spelling


One really great way to make your grammar instruction flow and not take up a lot of time is to use grammar games, either in print or in digital.

This will allow you to establish a solid routine, which saves even more time.  Students will follow a familiar format but practice the newly introduced skill.

I have grammar games that cover all standards for 3rd , 4th, and 5th grades that you might want to check out for this purpose. These are perfect to use during the group practice or independent practice portion of your grammar routine.

In fact, the digital format is set up in Google Forms (self-grading) and each standard is broken into four daily practices with 8 quick, targeted questions per day!

All three of these Grammar Games Bundles come in print and digital and each include 30 different games that cover all of the language standards for the grade level. 

Click on your grade level below to check them out!

3rd Grade Grammar Games Bundle


Grammar Games 4th Grade Bundle


Grammar Games 5th Grade Bundle

Still not sure? Each bundle has a FREE grammar game you can try:

3rd Grade Grammar Game: Adverbs

4th Grade Grammar Game: To, Too, and Two

5th Grade Grammar Game: Capitalization

Thanks so much for stopping by!

The Teacher Next Door - Creating upper elementary resources that target standards for busy teachers


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The Teacher Next Door - Creating upper elementary resources that target standards for busy teachers

Hi, I’m Jenn, CEO and owner of The Teacher Next Door!

I know that you strive to be an effective upper elementary teacher while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

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yet simple.

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