Grammar and Mechanics
"To know how to suggest is the great art of teaching. To attain it we must be able to guess what will interest; we must learn to read the childish soul as we might a piece of music."
-- H.F. Amiel
Your student's writing will demonstrate how much grammar and mechanics review s/he needs, as will any exercises or handouts that we provide.
Here are some thoughts for grammar and mechanics instruction:
- Don't forget to pretest using either the online grammar and mechanics exercises provided within each course unit or the Final Practice handouts. Then you can target instruction to the gaps in the student's knowledge and skill.
- Besides recalling punctuation or imitating sentence patterns, students should be encouraged to problem solve every grammatical or mechanical problem that these exercises and handouts pose by asking, "What is the clearest and most correct way of stating this idea?" Your goal is for students to take a problem-based approach to sentence clarity and variety, rather than a rote application of rules. When students understand that the overall goal is clarity of communication, they will see the rules of punctuation and grammar as tools toward a higher goal.
- Remember that several student models are provided in this course that need grammar and mechanics corrected. It is good for gifted students to see how other students communicate meaningful details in an organized manner while struggling with the same grammar and mechanics issues.
- Consider having your student review all past writing assignments that s/he has completed once the Narrative Writing unit is complete. S/he can review and edit the portfolio of writing to ensure that all the new grammar and mechanics principles learned are being met.
This sidebar provides answer keys to the grammar and mechanics handouts. If you and your mentee can suggest another way to organize a sentence with clarity and proper grammar and mechanics, please feel free to send us your suggestions. We know there are more solutions than the ones we suggest! E-mail us by clicking here.
Click here to review a list of recommended grammar and mechanics texts that you and your mentee may decide to use while s/he takes this course. Note that The Art of Styling Sentences is an optional text recommended during the editing phase of the Narrative Writing unit. This text will be a required text for Volume 2.
"The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do, never does what he can do."
-- John Stuart Mill