Skip to product information
1 of 12
Grammar Bugs
Move your mouse over image or click to enlarge

Rooted in Language

Grammar Bugs

Grammar Bugs

PDF Download

Regular price $120.00
Regular price Sale price $120.00
Sale Unavailable

Grammar Bugs effectively reveals grammar concepts because it is visible and engaging — key factors for deep learning.

Using bug manipulatives, this multisensory alternative to traditional sentence diagramming delivers a memorable approach to grammar instruction, impacting students’ writing composition and reading comprehension! 

When grammar becomes meaningful, understanding becomes possible and even enjoyable for all learners.

Scroll down for level-specific descriptions, specifications, and FAQs.

All Rooted in Language products incorporate research-based methods to support students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, developmental language disorders, and other literacy-based struggles.

View full details

Additional Description

Get bugged by Grammar! Buy all four Grammar Bugs programs and save! 

Multiple lessons teach students key grammar concepts for building and understanding all the basic sentence types, clauses, phrases, and even dialogue structures. Bugs provide an alternative to traditional sentence diagramming, illustrating memorable sentence-building practices. Through explicit teaching and practice, students learn how to represent complicated concepts in a way that is meaningful. Students can easily apply this knowledge to their own writing, making it more flexible, varied, and mature. Best of all, these strategies can be used for all learning levels—from simple readers to complicated ACT practice sentences!

BONUS Bundle Content: Giant bug manipulatives for kinesthetic practice and group instruction!


  • Grade level: 3-12 (older students may use independently)
  • File count: 7 PDFs 
  • Page count: 199 pages
  • Includes all four Grammar Bugs programs and manipulatives: Grammar Bugs 1: Sentence Types (32 pages); Grammar Bugs 2: Clauses (26 pages); Grammar Bugs 3: Phrases (53 pages); Grammar Bugs 4: Dialogue (33 pages); Manipulatives (2 PDFs; 54 pages)
  • Lessons with detailed instructions for repeated use with any text across all subject areas
  • 15 pages reusable student materials and bug manipulatives provided in two sizes (lamination recommended)
  • 33 pages of reusable giant bug manipulatives for large and small group instruction and kinesthetic practice (lamination recommended)
  • Practice sentences and answer key included for every concept introduced


The Grammar Bugs program teaches the following concepts:

Grammar Bugs 1: Sentence Types

  • Sentence mechanics
  • Subjects
  • Verbs
  • Sentence structures: action verb, linking verb, helping verb, question
  • Transitive and intransitive verbs
  • Direct objects
  • Subject Complements
  • Nouns, articles
  • Adjectives, adverbs
  • Compound parts within a sentence

Grammar Bugs 2: Clauses

  • Independent clauses
  • Dependent clauses
  • Compound sentences
  • Complex sentences
  • Punctuation mechanics for clauses
  • Coordinating conjunctions
  • Subordinating conjunctions

Grammar Bugs 3: Phrases

  • Locative complements
  • Sentence structure: questions
  • Phrase structure
  • Prepositions, prepositional phrases
  • Phrasal verbs
  • Participial phrases
  • Infinitive phrases
  • Gerund phrases
  • Appositive phrases
  • Noun phrases
  • Verb phrases

Grammar Bugs 4: Dialogue

  • Understanding dialogue
  • Tracking dialogue across reading
  • Dialogue tags
  • Dialogue punctuation
  • Dialogue paragraphing
  • Writing dialogue

License and Terms of Use

  • For the homeschool educator and tutor, Grammar Bugs is licensed for the purchaser’s use with their own children and their one-on-one tutoring students.
  • For classroom teachers and schools, this Grammar Bugs product is licensed for homeschool educators and tutors only. Please see our Grammar Bugs School License for use in your school or classroom.
  • Please direct other educators to the Rooted in Language Shop to purchase Grammar Bugs for their own use.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Grammar Bugs help?

A solid understanding of grammar is needed for all language skills, not just speaking. However, written grammar skills are the most complex. Grammar study improves:

  • reading comprehension 
  • reading fluency
  • vocabulary building 
  • writing composition 
  • independent editing skills 

By focusing on the most relevant features of grammar — sentence structure and meaning — students gain knowledge without becoming bogged down in meaningless terminology that changes with every sentence. Making grammar meaningful makes its usage memorable, especially when students tackle this enormous area of study in a simplified manner. As students build bugs, they build grammar concepts, deepening their understanding! 

These strategies can be applied to all learning levels — from simple readers to complicated ACT practice sentences! Because they write on the bugs, students understand that what they write in practice applies to the sentences they write on paper.


Why not just do traditional sentence diagramming?

Traditional sentence diagramming requires a thorough understanding of parts of speech in order for students to be successful. This makes diagramming very frustrating during the learning process, rendering the dangling lines meaningless for students. Grammar Bugs create an immediate, simple and usable metaphor, illustrating the function of words, phrases, and clauses within any sentence. Unlike diagramming, bug images are easy to recall, so students can hold new learning in working memory when they edit their own sentences.

Bugs are easily moved around, allowing students to hypothesize as they learn. The multisensory, moveable aspect of bugs helps students identify missing elements or misplaced modifiers within their own sentences.


Do you teach parts of speech?

Yes, we just don’t start there. It is always easier to memorize a label if you first understand what the label represents. By starting at the sentence level and focusing on function first, students are able to grasp the purpose of any element in a sentence as well as the value of grammar instruction which makes for more meaningful application in their reading and writing. The need to begin with meaning and the functional use of sentences — rather than parts of speech — is well supported in grammar research.


Can Grammar Bugs be used with younger students?

Grammar Bugs is designed for grades 3-12, depending on the content. However, many concepts such as sentence mechanics, subject and verb, basic sentence structures, describers, and even prepositional phrases can be taught as early as grade 1. These concepts are also introduced in our Pinwheels curriculum for early readers and writers. 

  • Grammar Bugs 1: Sentence Types can be used with students as early as grade 1. Give them plenty of time to practice this foundational knowledge. 
  • Grammar Bugs 2: Clauses can be used with students after completing Grammar Bugs 1, but is recommended for grade 3 and above. 
  • Grammar Bugs 3: Phrases can begin after completing Grammar Bugs 1 in order to introduce prepositional phrases. Students use these short, common phrases in their oral language from a very early age. Other phrases found in Grammar Bugs 3 should be taught after Grammar Bugs 2, throughout advancing grade levels.
  • Grammar Bugs 4: Dialogue can be used to teach simple dialogue concepts but is best taught after completion of Grammar Bugs 1 and 2.


Can Grammar Bugs be used to teach an older student? 

Yes. Grammar Bugs can be used to visually represent complicated sentence structures and how those structures can be manipulated in writing. Using the explicit teaching of more complicated sentence structures and punctuation with the manipulative aspect of the program, older students will improve their own sentence-writing and editing ability.

Use bugs to help older students investigate sentences from grade-level literature, aiding in their comprehension and analysis work. Many high schoolers struggle with deep comprehension of complex reading passages due to the complicated syntax, so grammar practice with bug manipulatives becomes increasingly important as students progress to these higher learning levels with authentic, grade-level text.

Grammar is a skill that takes years to master. The more complex the sentences, the harder the concepts become. Grammar Bugs illustrate the most fundamental elements, even within the most complex sentences.


Can Grammar Bugs help students who struggle with language difficulties?

Yes. Grammar Bugs are both multisensory and multimodal, incorporating listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The opportunity to take learning off of the writing page helps students engage more readily with this complicated area of language arts. The visual nature of the bugs is sticky, helping students who struggle see how sentences work, why punctuation matters, and eventually how to manipulate and remember all the parts of a sentence to communicate more effectively!

The content is designed for teaching students in grades 3-12, at any skill level, especially students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and developmental language delays. For students with language delays, weak syntax and vocabulary are the two most likely areas of weakness, according to research. The Grammar Bugs program follows a functional approach to teaching grammar, using evidence-based therapeutic strategies from the field of Speech-Language therapy. 

For students with dyslexia and dysgraphia, their weak reading and writing skills interrupt their ability to coordinate all the areas of literacy needed for successful reading comprehension and writing composition — including grammar! You will help students who struggle by teaching grammar explicitly and systematically, in a way that is functional — impacting their spelling, writing composition and mechanics, and reading comprehension.


What are my printing options? Who are your print partners and how much does it cost to print through them?

  • Grammar Bugs can be printed at home, through one of our print Partners, or through a printing company of your choice. Some local libraries offer free or discounted printing.  
  • Many print Partners provide discounts for RiL customers. Please contact the print company to inquire about their pricing. RiL does not receive remuneration from any print company nor control their print prices. 


For the homeschool educator: How can I purchase Grammar Bugs using charter school funds?

  • Charter schools can contact us to issue a Purchase Order to Rooted in Language. The purchase order must include the home educator’s email address for delivery of the digital product.
  • Charter schools can purchase Grammar Bugs on your behalf through our online Shop. The family's email address must be entered at checkout for delivery of the product; then the charter school proceeds to PayPal for payment where the school's email address is entered for a PayPal receipt. 
  • If Rooted in Language is not already an approved vendor with your charter school, contact us so we can complete your charter’s vendor application.


For schools or classroom teachers: Do you offer license to use Grammar Bugs in the classroom?

Yes. Please see our Grammar Bugs School License for all the details about licensing Grammar Bugs for a single school location.

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews

I have finally gotten to a place where grammar doesn’t make me cry. I even genuinely enjoy the puzzle of it sometimes! Thanks to RiL’s functional approach with Grammar Bugs, I am able to use grammar to help my kids progress in their comprehension and writing skills by handing them understandable, usable, and tangible tools.


I’m using Grammar Bugs with my 16- and 13-yr-olds. My 13-yr-old has dysgraphia. My 16-yr-old, due to anxiety, really struggled to absorb information from a regular curriculum. Grammar Bugs has been awesome for both boys. It’s so visual but not fussy. My 13-yr-old feels really empowered and happily edits his writing with me (well sometimes) now that he can better understand what makes a sentence, run on, etc.


My almost 15-year-old happens to love the bugs and is amazed she remembers the grammar too! We tried multiple other programs before, and nothing stuck. Using this approach has definitely stuck! We've used the bugs and RiL strategies with success for Lord of the Rings and Frankenstein (and there was a six-line sentence that was insane!!). [The bugs] really help to increase comprehension of certain passages. I can also see huge value in editing because she knows what correct grammar looks like and now understands the grammar vocabulary used in editing. So it's definitely applicable for high schoolers.

Anita, Language Arts Instructor and OG Tutor

Looking for an effective, multisensory way to present grammar to students of any age? Check out Grammar Bugs. Research on best practice for teaching grammar has found teaching grammar in the context of the student’s reading and writing provides the ‘glue’ that helps develop both skills.

Andrea, Speech-Language Pathologist

I used the Grammar Bugs program with a Deaf middle school student last year. This student came to me unable to write a simple, grammatically correct sentence in English. His primary language is ASL and his writing reflected that. Following completion of the program, he wrote his own short story using the visuals to write and edit his own work with minimal support. This student is an example of how the visual nature of your products can help Deaf learners!