Northern Asia-Pacific

Teaching Grammar with Nature and the Bible

Motivating students to learn grammar can be tricky, but teaching it in context helps. As I teach grammar, there are five steps that I find helpful. One method that has worked well in my classroom is to integrate the five steps and God’s two books: the Bible and nature.

 

First is the lead-in. Students enter the class with many distractions from the outside world. We need to catch their attention and hook them on the topic. The lead-in is a good place to present a Bible story. The teacher may show a short film, perform a role play, or share stories, anecdotes, analogies, questions, or songs.

 

Photo: Pixabay

Second is elicitation. Eliciting means gathering as much information as possible from the students. We can gauge how much our students already know about the topic and how much time and effort we will need to put in. One of the most common approaches to elicit information is to ask questions. These can be direct questions or indirect questions, and time should be given for reflection before we select a student to respond.

 

The third is the presentation. This phase will focus on the grammar concepts being covered. The Bible provides many examples of figures of speech and parts of speech that can be useful for this. The examples can be sentences extracted from the parables of Jesus, the Beatitudes, the Ten Commandments or other biblical verses, depending on the target lesson.

 

It is not necessary for the teacher to give the presentation independently; a student volunteer can provide input or interaction. The teacher may put picture prompts on the board or show a Power Point presentation. Drawing timelines, arrows, and even using our fingers can be very useful to illustrate how to form the grammatical structure. Ideally, the presentation should guide students to relate the new structures to their prior knowledge and life experiences. The teacher can also use controlled practice to model examples of what to expect in the next stage.

 

The fourth step is connecting the grammar concepts to God’s book of nature. Students can do an activity like a scavenger hunt for adjectives, writing their impressions of what they see, or doing a walk filling in prepositions to describe their movements. They should follow the teacher’s instruction or models carefully.  These activities can combine repetitive drills with the creativity and freedom that comes with being in nature.

 

Finally, the communicative practice allows students to smoothly transition from what the students learned in class, to the actual application in real life situations.  The students can answer questions about their reactions to the topic and the activity, using the things they have learned to compose their responses.

 

Getting students interested in grammar can be a challenge, but if we teach each stage focusing on creativity and variety, coupled with nature and Bible teachings as examples, we can increase the likelihood of engaging our students and encourage their understanding of God and of biblical truths as well.

 

Tess Belarmino

Tess Belarmino

Teresita G. Belarmino, MAED, Ed. D. candidate, and TEFL/TESOL certified teacher, is an English instructor at the Adventist University of the Philippines. She has been an English teacher for 12 years, and has also served as a Language Center Coordinator, Spanish teacher, resource speaker, professional development coordinator, Sabbath School teacher and community extension worker.
Tess Belarmino

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17 comments

  • | 9 months ago

    Great contribution. Blending language study with biblical truths and creation…a good mix for ESL learners

    • | 3 months ago

      Thank you, Sir, Rey. You inspired me a lot to write for God’s purpose.

  • | 9 months ago

    Praise God for the wonderful gift God hath given you, may you continue to do your ministry for the children in Gods leading guidance. God bless and praying for you…..

  • | 8 months ago

    Oh, after I read this article, I found that it was useful for both students and teachers. These five steps could attract students to learn or to focus. It was a fantastic contribution.

  • | 8 months ago

    . This is a very good aim to help student to grow , learn , and have fun. So I wish you would keep having this aim to teach students.

  • | 8 months ago

    in HKAA, i learn so many things, and i love to learn here

  • | 8 months ago

    It was really good and I learned a lot. You’re a nice teacher

  • | 8 months ago

    This is the best article I’ve read on the blog. I love it. thank you for this article.

  • | 7 months ago

    Teaching Grammar with Nature and the Bible. That’s a good idea! I believe that it can bring great benefits to teachers’ teaching and students’ learning.
    Thank you for sharing this great idea with us! May God continue to bless your work!

  • | 7 months ago

    I am a student from Hong Kong Adventist Academy.I learn a lot of things in this article.I am so glad that this article give me a lot of useful tips . I agree that we should learn grammar in nature and with bible . It will be a lot more easier to understand.You are the best teacher I’ve ever meet.I will always remember you.

  • | 7 months ago

    Innovative.
    Practical.
    Evangelistic, bringing the students back to the Source of all knowledge, Creator God Himself….. and to His Word, the Holy Bible.
    Carry on, teacher Tess!

    • | 3 months ago

      Dear Dr.Doris A. Mendoza,

      Thank you so much for knowing you as one of our great pillars, who did a remarkable contribution to our College of Medicine.

      I always look upon you as one of my living examples who emulates Jesus’ love and compassion for His learners.

      Again, thank you for your kind support.

      Sincerely,
      Tess B.

  • | 3 months ago

    In my view, this is outstanding. Based on the research by the University of Texas on the learning experience of children, the Triangle of Learning posits that learners remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, 50% of what they hear and see, 70% of what they say and 90% of what they say and do. Secondly, the use of the great book of nature in learning emulates the Great Teachers of Religions including, particularly Jesus Christ (in His parables). They used nature as object lessons. The reason is why this method stands out is that lessons from nature address the emotions.

    • | 3 months ago

      Dear Mahlon Juma,

      I give back the glory, honor, and praises to God!
      As if my heart couldn’t contain the joy of the kind words you shared.
      I feel even more motivated to write and give Him back the glory.

      Thank you so much, and God bless you always.

      Sincerely,
      Tess B.

  • | 3 months ago

    Dear Sir,

    Your comments give me more insights into my passion for teaching. More so, your confirmation is based on research.

    Thank you so much, and God bless.

  • | 3 months ago

    I find these five steps helpful specially for me and also for my fellow students, it will help us to improve our grammar also our communication skills. Thank you for sharing this brilliant idea.

  • | 2 months ago

    Being a student of yours and having these 5 steps integrated into my learning experience has significantly impacted my life; it has influenced my student nursing life and my relationship with God. Grammar truly is an important aspect to our lives because without it, what will communication become? How will we interact with one another?
    I am thankful to God for allowing me to be your student in our special class. You have been blessed by God with the talent of teaching grammar and proper English techniques and I could not have asked a better teacher. I hope and pray that I may apply these teachings into my life and ultimately use them for God. He is such a magnificent God!

    Let us remember to praise Him through this verse:

    “…too branches out of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!”
    John 12:13

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