Making Meaning out of Grammar Using Mentor Texts Audrey Wilson Fossil Ridge High School Keller, TX NSTWP 2006
Freewrite for 3 minutes on Family . You can write in any format you want including poetry, lists, journal, drawing, etc.
Hairs/ Pelitos From House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
What did you like?
Are there any images that stayed in your mind?
What/ who is the author’s main topic?
How does she feel about that topic? How do you know?
Long vs. short: Stylistic Fragments “The snoring, the rain, and Mama’s hair that smells like bread.”
Figurative language (connotation vs denotation)
“ like little rosettes, like little candy circles all curly and pretty because she pinned it in pinculrs all day”
“ my mother’s hair…is the smell when she makes room for you on her side of the bed…”
Imagery (using the five senses)
Painting a picture
What types of families are there ?
Who you live with (mom, dad, brother, sister)
Who you play with (friends, team, squad)
Who you work with (people in class, school)
How are we different?
Rewrite or cut and paste your writing onto the construction paper.
Use markers, map pencils, colored paper, magazine cut-outs to illustrate your piece.
Share your writing with the class.
Student Examples “ Grillz” Everybody in my squad has different grillz. Timaine’s grill are like flashlights going across your eyes. And me, my grillz are crazy. They never stay the same more than once. Tan’s grill is weird and cool. He doesn’t have to smile they sticks out. Cameronm’s grill is slip-in-slipout. And Tim who is the laziest has grills like mirrors. But my brother’s grillz like glistening stars, like thousands of suns glowing in the sky, shining lighters @ a concert, so bright hurting when you look @ them, is the light in the room when we have no light, is the disco balls for every party. The stars, the suns and brother’s grillz that look like disco balls.
“ Hair” All of my friends have different hair. London’s hair is like a snake, all smooth and shiny. My hair is strait. It never curls or frizzes. Spencer’s hair is short and healthy. HE likes to make it into a mohawk. Hayley’s hair is dark chocolate brown-helps her eyes standout. And Leigha who is extremely blonde, has hair like sunshine. But Brendon’s hair, Brendon’s hair like a kitten with soft, soft fur, like the dark smoke billowing from a raging fire sweet to put your nose in when watching a movie, watching the movie and smelling the watermelon shampoo, is the look of a charcoal night sky, is the feeling of silk slipping through your fingers, the watermelon scent, the appearnce of the night sky and Brendon’s hair that feels like silk.
“ Cars” Everybody in our family has different cars. Heather’s car is like a crow, that flys by. And me, my car is perfect. It never breaks down. Natalie’s car is bright and strong. It can take anything. Aimee’s car is suitable big like a moving bus. And Granny, who is the oldest has car like a daisy. But my Dad’s car, my Dad’s car, like burnt toast, like an old person about to die, a faded shirt, a burning flame that went out, is the smell of a hot day, is the look of a dried out pepper. The shirt, the flame and Dad’s car that looks like a dried out pepper.
Multi-genre personal narrative
Intro to a narrative
What is Grammar?
“ a description of the syntax of a language”
“ a set of prescriptions or rules for using language”
“ the construction of clear, readable sentences, and the deliberate use of syntactic constructions for particular effects.”
“ the rhetorically effective use of syntactic structures”
The argument against traditional grammar instruction: 1946 Curriculum Commission of the National Council of Teachers of English recommended that “all teaching of grammar separate from the manipulation of sentences be discontinued…since every scientific attempt to prove that knowledge of grammar is useful has failed.”
A model of integrating language instruction in the classroom is based on Patrick Hartwell’s five types of grammar and how each is acquired: (Simmons, 2006). Grammar 1: “The Grammar in our Heads” Grammar 2: Linguistic descriptions of how Grammar 1 is used Grammar 3: Language etiquette, “good” and “bad” grammar Grammar 4: “School grammar” Grammar 5: Stylistic grammar
Grammar 5 and Functional Grammar:
Grammarians claims that functional grammar is more relevant to writing because it emphasizes the functions or uses of grammatical constructions.
Differences between traditional and functional:
Concerned with how language works to achieve various purposes
Focuses on larger grammatical components and their functions within texts
More concerned with effectiveness than with prescribing adherence to “rules”
Not conducive to teaching grammar as a separate system because it focuses on the functional aspects of language structure.
Constance Weaver’s Guidelines for the Teaching of Grammar:
Engage students in writing, writing, and more writing.
Immerse students in good literature, including literature that is particularly interesting or challenging syntactically.
Reserve a thorough study of grammar for elective courses.
Teach these relevant aspects of grammar within the context of student’s writing.
Introduce only a minimum of terminology.
Emphasize those aspects of grammar that are particularly useful in helping students revise sentences to make them more effective
Emphasize aspects of grammar that are particularly useful in helping students edit sentences for conventional mechanics and appropriateness.
Teach needed terms, structures, and skills when writers need them, ideally when they are ready to revise at the sentence level or to edit.
Explore the grammatical patterns of ethnic and community dialects and contrast these with the corresponding feature of the language of wider communication.
If you teach grammar as inquiry, draw not only upon traditional grammar but upon insights from structural, transformational, and functional linguistics.
Become a teacher-researcher to determine the effects of your teaching of selected aspects of grammar or your students’ study of grammar as an object of inquiry and discovery.
Works Cited Simmons, E. The Grammars of Reading. English Journal , 95(5), 48-52. Retrieved June 12, 2006, from Research Library Database (Document ID: 1049024161). Weaver, Constance.(1996). Teaching Grammar in Context. Portsmouth: Heinemann.