Review by Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2013

Grammar Ninja

No frills parts of speech game has limited usefulness

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts

  • Critical Thinking
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Pros: Makes the grind of learning parts of speech a bit more fun, and immediate feedback aids learning.

Cons: Accuracy of the content is questionable, it's repetitive, and not very compelling.

Bottom Line: It's a barebones game with limited and slightly antiquated learning potential given its investment in identifying parts of speech rather than reading and using language in context.

Grammar Ninja is one of those utilitarian games that can fill a small gap in an ELA classroom with little prep or worry since it's free, easily accessible, and only takes a small amount of time to setup and play. It'll work fine as a followup to lessons about parts of speech to give students some variety, and the opportunity to practice their skills in an interesting way. Be prepared, however, to answer questions if students identify inconsistencies; this can actually be a valuable learning opportunity though.

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Designed by a high school student, Grammar Ninja is a simple point and click browser game aimed at helping students identify parts of speech. Players click on words in sentences and match them with parts of speech; they can also "write" on the screen with their mouse, marking other parts of speech as they like. Incorrect answers result in a gentle correction that lets the player know what part of speech they actually clicked on. When they are done with each round, players are given a score based on their accuracy, time taken, and difficulty of the level. There are three difficulty levels, each covering a different subset of grammar. Unfortunately, beyond the ninja theme there's not much fun or playfulness to be found.

Students identify basics such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, and articles, but are not exposed to more in-depth content, such as prepositional phrases. They also don't apply language, see language in context, or build any skills. And, technically, students can just guess their way through. If weighed against traditional paper and pencil practice, Grammar Ninja is more fun and the feedback and help screens can teach students what they may not already know. However, with few levels, and only 30 total challenges, students will play through quickly, providing a potentially novel albeit short experience.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

It's got a cute theme, and a low barrier of entry mechanic. But this simplicity combined with a limited number of sentences means it gets old quickly.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Not terribly inventive, Grammar Ninja has students click on words and identify parts of speech in sentences. They get immediate feedback, but can also guess their way to a correct answer.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Scores are displayed during and after play letting students know where they are and how they did. A help screen shows a detailed description of each part of speech with examples.

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Eric W. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
West Ottawa High School Campus
Holland, United States
Add a competitive element to a parts-of-speech review.
Grammar Ninja sounded like a tool that would review several aspects of grammar. I wish it offered comma rules or at least independent/dependent clause identification. As far as I can tell, it just does parts of speech. It does provide three levels of difficulty, though. I liked that the site offers helpful clues/definitions to the students. I also like that the time commitment is minimal. It could be used as a quick formative assessment if your level requires mastery of this grammar concept.
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