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Four Great Books for Teaching Grammar
posted by: Melissa | August 31, 2017, 07:09 PM   

For many writing teachers, grammar is the bane of their existence. Questions abound about how best to teach it. Should time be spent diagramming sentences? Should you teach rules at all? If you don’t teach rules, how do you explain to your students why a sentence doesn’t mean what they think it does?

These questions remain no matter if you teach elementary writing or senior level composition. Subsequently, many educators have put time and thought into how grammar should be taught and the best ways to accomplish that, and many volumes have been printed on the issue. Below are just a few:

Teaching Grammar in Context: More than fifteen years ago, Constance Weaver's Grammar for Teachers (NCTE, 1979) broke new ground by responding to widespread concern about the place of grammar in the curriculum. With Teaching Grammar in Context, Weaver extends her philosophy by offering teachers a rationale and practical ideas for teaching grammar not in isolation but in the context of writing. She begins by introducing some common meanings of "grammar" and provides a historical overview of traditional reasons for teaching grammar as a school subject. After examining those reasons, she questions them, citing decades of research which suggests that grammar taught in isolation has little, if any, effect on most students' writing.

Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer’s Workshop: Mechanically Inclined is the culmination of years of experimentation that merges the best of writer's workshop elements with relevant theory about how and why skills should be taught. It connects theory about using grammar in context with practical instructional strategies, explains why kids often don't understand or apply grammar and mechanics correctly, focuses on attending to the “high payoff,” or most common errors in student writing, and shows how to carefully construct a workshop environment that can best support grammar and mechanics concepts.

The Grammar Plan Book: A Guide to Smart Teaching: Thanks to Connie Weaver, generations of teachers have come to understand that the most efficient way to teach grammar that's relevant for writing is to embed it within writing instruction. Now her Grammar Plan Book is designed with precisely one thing in mind: to be the best resource you've ever used for teaching grammar to strengthen writing. This new book helps you apply a limited amount of grammar instruction directly to writing and enables you to map out instruction in the way that best serves the needs of your students.

How to Teach Grammar: A guide for teachers on how to develop or enhance their grammar-teaching skills. The early part of the book considers such issues as the nature of grammar and the reasons for teaching it. Subsequent chapters explore both inductive and deductive approaches to grammar. The book also explores ways of practicing a variety of grammar topics, methods of dealing with grammatical errors in students' work, and ways of integrating grammar instruction into different general methodologies, such as communicative language learning and task-based learning.

What books do you use to help teach grammar?

Share below!

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