Who says grammar is tedious or boring? There are a number of lively picture books that cleverly illustrate rules of proper grammar. No need for punctuation to take a vacation when these fun books are around! Featured here are some of my favorites:
Punctuation Takes a Vacation by Robin Pulver, illustrated by Lynn Rowe Reed (2003).
"Oh no! Mr. Wright's class can't believe it. Every single punctuation mark in the classroom has gone on vacation! What will it be like without question marks, apostrophes, periods, and commas?" (from inside front jacket)
This story creatively demonstrates each of the punctuation marks in action. One of my favorite parts about the book is the post cards that each of the punctuation marks send, highlighting their individual personalities (i.e., their functions in grammar). A possible extension project/creative writing assignment to go along with this book could be to assign students particular punctuation marks and have them write post-cards to each other in the personalities of their given punctuation marks.
Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day by Robin Pulver, illustrated by Lynn Rowe Reed (2006).
"It's Field Day in Mr. Wright's class and not just for the students. Nouns and verbs want to play their own games, such as tug-of-words and three-legged races. But wait! No one is getting anywhere. First nouns and verbs will have to learn about the kind of teamwork needed to make a sentence" (from the inside front jacket).
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! by Lynne Truss (2006). Lynne Truss has also written several companion picture books to Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Girl’s Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can’t Manage Without Apostrophes! (2007) and Twenty-Odd Ducks: Why, Every Punctuation Mark Counts! (2008).
Extension project idea: Students could make their own picture book like one of these by Lynne Truss. Each student in the class could select one punctuation rule to design an original sentence and illustration. Then the teacher could compile all the students’ contributions into one class notebook. This project could easily be tailored for upper elementary through high school English classes.
If You Were an Adverb (Word Fun) by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Sara Gray (2006). "If you were an adverb, you would often end in "ly." You could tell people how things happen, how often things happen, and when things happen. What else could you do if you were an adverb?" (from the back cover) This colorful book could be excellent to use in a lesson introducing adverbs.
This book is one of the Word Fun series, which highlight the various parts of speech.
Under, Over, By the Clover: What Is a Preposition (Words are Categorical) by Brian Cleary, illustrated by Brain Gable (2003). Brian Cleary has written a whole series of fun books about the parts of speech. The cartoon-y illustrations and tongue-tickling rhymes keeps learning about grammar light-hearted.
Extension project/creative writing assignment idea: Students could compose their own tongue-tickler rhyme about one of the parts of speech they have learned.