Hi everyone! By next Weds, April 14, please watch and answer the questions on THIS EDPUZZLE. There’s kind of a lot of writing there, so leave yourself some time. Edpuzzle is a cool program which allows you to ask questions mid-video, so that you can have conversations with students and, let’s be frank, see if they’ve watched. In the video, I talk about the 1121 Unit 2 assignment as is and also ask for your input as we think about revising it to make it a bit better.
Here are some resources I refer to: You do not need to read them, but they are there for you if you find them useful:
- The New York Times on Mentor Texts
- The New York Times Mentor Text on “Nut Grafs”
- The New York Times Mentor Text on Intro Hooks
- The 1121 Model Course Lesson Plan
For Weds, April 21:
Please read “Teaching Grammar Improves Writing” and “Grammar Should be Taught Separately” from Bad Ideas About Writing (below) and write a blog post here on Open Lab about… grammar. How you teach it, what your thoughts are about it– what you think works teaching it and maybe where you are stuck.
When we meet, we’ll talk about the possibly not-unrelated topics of teaching grammar and using mentor texts in the classroom.
My Thoughts on Grammar
I love teaching grammar. But I don’t diagram sentences. I explain what makes a sentence a sentence; go into the four types of sentences; give some examples of sentence fragments, run-ons, and fused sentences and explain how to spot and make fragments into full sentences. My students seem to enjoy these lessons and, as long as I spend time on each part of this, go bit by bit and allow adequate time to practice, my students’ sentence structure generally improves a great deal as the semester goes on.
I think Professor Harris overstates her case when she says that grammar becomes a case of infinite regression as per meaning of its component parts. One might say that anything, not just grammar, and many other scholars have made that case.
Still, I think that giving students parts of sentences: subjects, phrases, clauses, transitions, and predicates and asking them combine them into different sentences might be an effective way to teach sentence structure … besides being fun, as long as the sentence components are imaginative. I’m going to try it.