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Greasy Grammar Writing Mechanics

Updated: Dec 14, 2018


Grammar can be such a tricky subject! There are so many rules to keep in mind while writing. When to capitalize, what punctuation marks to use and when, correct spacing between words and letters, and neatness. Students can easily get discouraged when they are constantly being corrected! So how do we teach them all these rules and not correct them? Drum roll please! Introducing...Greasy Grammar Writing Mechanics! This new writing center makes grammar fun and has self-correcting built in so YOU don't

have to correct them any more!

Students get to become writing mechanics and work on fixing up broken down sentences. Include a pair of work gloves and a bandana for students to wear while working on the center. Students can use a grease rag (an old sock) to erase any errors they make along the way. Getting to dress the part makes this writing center extra special and fun for students!

I purchased the work gloves at our local Meijer store and found a 2 pack of bandanas (1 red, 1 blue) for a buck at the Dollar Tree! Below is a picture of everything I include in my writing center which fits nicely into a 10" x 12" manila envelope with a clasp (a 9" x 12" would also work but I like the slightly bigger one for all the extra fun stuff I found to include).

In the Greasy Grammar Writing Mechanics Writing Center I have included several options for covers. There are six different colored cars to choose from as well as a black and white version to print on colored paper. 

have included a set of 20 sentences to go along with this center. Each sentence has errors for students to correct. They are given a set of tools as a key to help them identify errors such capitalization errors, spelling errors and punctuation errors. Each tool represents a different type of error. Students pick a sentence card and, using the tools page as a form of reference, they decide on which tools to use to fix the sentence. They can use a vis-à-vis marker or black dry erase marker to mark up the sentence. For example, they can draw a picture of the tool above the incorrect word, circle the letter or draw a line under the letter that needs capitalizing, or even simply write the correct capital letter over the lower case letter. You could even get little tool stickers for them to place on their sentence cards. It’s really up to you how you want them to mark up their sentences

(pick the way that works best for your students).

Once the sentence has been marked up, students should count the number of tools they used and record it on the car (cover). Then they can check their work by flipping over the sentence card to see if they used the correct number of each tool (note that one set of quotation marks counts as one tool). Then students should rewrite the corrected sentence on the cover page and check their work using the answer key provided. I also created five additional sets of sentences that can be purchased in my TpT store. The additional sentences match the colors of the six cars so you can create six completely different writing centers! The sentences also include a black and white version if you

prefer to print using black ink on colored paper.

You can see the tools on the back of each sentence card (pictured above) and the key that shows what each tool represents (pictured on the right). So

for example, the sentence above reads, "mrs smith is my third grade teacher". In this sentence students should have used two hammers (which represent capital letters) for Mrs. and Smith, two saws (which represent end marks) for the period in Mrs. and the period at the end of the sentence, and two pliers (which represent spelling errors) for the words grade and  teacher. 

​Mechanics can be a tricky subject for students to master, which is why I have simplified the rules (on the tools page) as much as possible. Because of this, my rules are not all inclusive of the English language. They follow the American English rules which may look a little different than the British English rules (such as a period inside the quotation marks vs. outside). These sentences include the Oxford comma (a comma before the word ‘and’ or ‘or’ in a list). However, I have included a separate file for those

who do not teach the Oxford comma.

I also took the liberty of coming up with simplified terms to help students remember where certain punctuation marks are included within a sentence (i.e. “Upper Marks” to identify those punctuation marks found near the top of words like a quotation mark; “Middle Marks” to identify those found in the middle of a sentence such as a comma).

To allow for differentiation among grade levels, I have provided several line options for those needing larger or smaller lines (with and without dots). Watch my YouTube video below to see more!

Click on the image below to purchase the writing center bundle which includes all six sets of sentences.


Join my free resource library! Click here!

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