Jump Start Class–More Checklist Challenge Teaching! (Video & Downloaded Pages Included!)

 

Whenever I start out with new students in a class (Character Quality Language Arts or Meaningful Composition), I always spend the a little time each week for the first few class sessions learning how to complete my Checklist Challenge (CC). Over ninety percent of the papers in all of my books utilize this editing tool, so I spend a great deal of time teaching it and helping students learn how to complete the CC tasks. It is worth it to really dig in and teach students the fundamentals of the CC—including strong verbs and describers, sentence structure and rhythm, word choice, and much more.

 

I thought you might enjoy another peek into my Live Online Writing class to see what week three of the CC instruction looks like—and I don’t like for people to watch the video without the document in front of them, so you can print that below also!

(more…)

Teaching Beginning Quotation Use (Tricky Trick Download Included!)

 

“[A]lways get to the dialogue as soon as possible. I always feel the thing to go for is speed. Nothing puts the reader off more than a big slab of prose at the start,” nineteenth-century writer P.G. Wodehouse commented. He is not alone among authors in emphasizing dialogue in writing, but teaching students how to use quotations can be so difficult.

 

So, I’d like to give you some tips on teaching basic quotation use and punctuation to your students. Also, check out the Tricky Tricks Sheet at the end of this post. It gives a concise summary of basic quotation rules. Additionally, Character Ink Press’s Meaningful Composition 5 I includes more info on using quotes, along with a number of other writing lessons.

(more…)

6 Tips for Using Language Arts Recitation and Mnemonics (Cute Video Included!)

 

To recite or not to recite? Most of us grew up with recitations, rhymes, jingles, songs, and mnemonics to learn the planets, math facts, presidents of the US, and more. But what about language arts and grammar? Do these “tricks” work well for a subject that needs APPLIED once it is memorized? I mean, once you learn the presidents, you can easily figure out where to fit in history. Math is all about facts and figures. But language arts/English/grammar recitations are different. Memorizing and reciting are not enough when it comes to parts of speech, punctuation, and more.

 

So how DOES recitation fit into language arts concepts? (more…)

Punctuation Puzzle: Pronoun Cases and Negative Words

 

Subjective. Objective. Big words (as many grammar terms are—adjectival clause or appositive, anyone?) to teach to young student. And yet, even young students need to know when to use he and him—less they end up saying, “Him took my toy” into adulthood! Like everything else I teach, I start out with what students already know. (I even say to them repeatedly, “You know more than you think you know!” Then I proceed to have them tell me what they DO know about the topic.)

(more…)

Punctuation Puzzle: Commas with Adverb Openers and Which Clauses at End of Sentence

Since it is the first of September, I assume that you have started school (or maybe Tuesday after Labor Day?) and are having review of many of last year’s concepts. And part of that might be comma review. I have a love-hate relationship with commas (though mostly love!). I love what they do for clarity, sentence rhythm, and reading aloud. (I read aloud to my kids for two to four hours a day for almost thirty years—commas become very important to the reader with that much reading aloud!) The hate part (though I guess that is a strong word for someone who loves grammar and language arts as much as I do!) is how subjective they are. This makes commas especially challenging for students to learn (and for teachers to teach!).

(more…)

Pin It on Pinterest