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Engaging Grammar

Practical Advice for Real Classrooms, 2nd ed.

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Teacher, researcher, and consultant Amy Benjamin challenges the idea of “skill and drill” grammar in the second edition of this lively, engaging, and immensely practical guide. 

Does grammar instruction have to elicit moans and groans from students and teachers alike? Only when it’s taught the old-fashioned way: as a series of rules to follow and errors to “fix” that have little or no connection to practical application or real-world writing.

Benjamin’s enlightened view of grammar is grounded in linguistics and teaches us how to make informed decisions about teaching grammar—how to move beyond fixing surface errors to teaching how grammar can be used as the building blocks of sentences to create meaning. By using sentence patterns, mapping, visuals, and manipulatives, Benjamin presents an approach to grammar instruction that is suitable for a variety of student populations.

Although she doesn’t advocate for teaching to the test, Benjamin acknowledges the pressures students face when taking high-stakes tests such as the SAT and ACT. Included is a chapter on how to improve students’ editing skills to help prepare them for the short-answer portion of these tests.

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