Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the best short stories that a child can read. A child reading this doesn’t just learn some numbers and the days of the week. He also learns something that he might benefit from for the rest of his life — the mastery of constructing colorful sentences.
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So, here’s the whole point of knowing how to grammar: we can shape it to express precise meaning.
A child with a broad repertoire of grammatical knowledge can skilfully choose how to phrase what they want to say. It is useful to know how adverbial phrases (such as “with its legs”) add specific detail to verbs to show when, where, how, or why (“the caterpillar felt the leaf with its legs”), or how repeated clause structures attract attention to themselves.
Brett Healy gives us tips on how to teach grammar to our children. See his tips over at The Conversation.
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