"Many writers say they learned a lot about writing from reading."
Genre: Education and Teaching.
Number of Pages: 176.
Wow, this book was incredible! It is an amazing resource for any grade level English teacher (yes, even college) to teach students how to learn to refine and edit their own writing. I even learned a few new things about grammar.
It starts off with pedagogy for a classroom where students learn to not hate grammar and editing. The point is to provide valuable learning experiences so that the students learn grammar through application, not drills and lectures. Most of the lessons in this book involve exploring mentor texts (quality writing) and dissecting why it is successful. That allows the students to understand why something works in a sentence, rather than only pointing out what is wrong. The mentor texts in this book are incredible and make this book invaluable. The author just saved every teacher a million hours in work searching for the perfect sentences to match each lesson! They all are easy for students to imitate, they model effective writing, and connect to the students’ schema.
After the first few chapters, this book provides many lessons that follow a similar format, which got to be a bit repetitive after a while, but it is great if you are jumping around and only reading the chapters that pertain to your course. I think it is still beneficial to read the book all the way through to pick and choose which ideas will work for you and your class. There are ten sets of lessons based on a specific grammar topic: serial comma, colons, capitalization, apostrophes, simple sentences, verb choice, appositives, paragraphs, compound sentences, and dialogue. Each lesson contains seven parts to get the students engaged. They include invitations to: notice, imitate, celebrate, write, revise, combine, and edit. I think that these parts could easily be made into mini-lessons so that you are just spending a few minutes a day working on grammar.
Each lesson contains many ideas for things to ask the students, sample activities, and a variety of mentor texts, but it is more of a framework for how to teach grammar rather than a scripted lesson. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
"Students need opportunities to test out theories. Correcting doesn't develop--it corrects. And what about the next mistake? How will they know how to fix that?"