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Grammar Guide

What is a Grammar Guide?:

In this assignment you will create a stand-alone grammar guide for students (of the

kind they might use during peer review or self-evaluation) which explains

common/useful grammar concepts in concise, clear, and compelling ways. Though you

may be available to students during class-time or writing conferences, your materials must also teach. Models

for this kind of work include Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) Grammar Resources or

Grammar Girl’s weekly podcast. Like these widely successful, multimedia examples, your guide will appeal to

students’ multiple intelligences and draw on popular culture and humor.

Why do it?:
• To practice creating materials for grammar instruction in the context of reading/writing instruction

(e.g., for peer review or self-evaluation)

• To practice creating stand-alone explanatory materials for writers (e.g., the Anchor Chart, a core

element of the “Writing Workshop”)

• To practice creating grammar-related materials that appeal to diverse learning styles via multimedia

How does it work?:

Assignment: Grammar Guide Practice 1-5 (due 6/5, 6/12, 6/19, 6/26, 7/3)
• Over each of five weeks, we will experiment with another activity that might apply to your guide

(e.g., creating a grammar meme) that incorporates non-traditional and non-print elements (e.g.,

acronyms, poems, fonts, images, video, etc.). You will turn in these Grammar Guide Practices on


Assignment: Grammar Guide (due 7/20)

• You will create a stand-alone grammar guide for at least 10 common/useful grammar concepts. In an

accompanying reflection, please explain how your selection and explanation of these concepts was

informed by our study of Kolln and Gray’s Rhetorical Grammar; you may also draw on other resources as

long as you cite and/or transform them appropriately (for example, you could not simply use someone

else’s acronym for coordinating conjunctions).

How is it graded?:
Grammar Guide Practice 1-5 5% of Overall Grade
Grammar Guide 5% of Overall Grade
Grade A (5 pts.) B (4 pts.) C (3 pts.) D/E (>3 pts.)
Completeness Participated fully; Participated; Participated; Did not participate;

included all required included all required included most or missing required

parts (see checklist) parts required parts; parts

Precision Precisely applied all Precisely applied Applied grammar Misapplied or

grammar concepts grammar concepts concepts omitted grammar


Relevance Thoroughly Addressed the how Addressed the how Did not address the

addressed the how and why of selection and why of how and why of

and why of selection and explanation of selection or selection or

and explanation of concepts explanation of explanation of

concepts concepts concepts

Scaffolding Explained all Explained grammar Explained grammar Did not explain

grammar concepts concepts in clear, concepts in clear, grammar concepts

in clear, concise, concise, compelling concise, or in clear, concise,

compelling ways ways appropriate to compelling ways; compelling ways

appropriate to audience/purpose not always appropriate to

audience/purpose appropriate to audience/purpose


Diversity Cleverly employed a Employed a variety Employed a variety Did not employ a

variety of of traditional, non- of traditional, non- variety of

traditional, non- traditional, and non- traditional, or non- traditional, non-

traditional, and non- print genre/media print genre/media traditional, or non-

print genre/media print genre/media

What should my Grammar Guide look like?:
Grammar Guide (Sample Outline):
Intended Audience: Identify a grade-level; explain what you know about the student audience.
Name of the concept: In student-friendly language, name the grammatical concept.
Multimedia illustration of the concept: Include your meme, anchor chart, video, poem, etc.
(For students) Explanation: Provide any explanation necessary for students to understand the
meme, chart, video, or poem as an illustration of the concept.
(For teachers) Why I chose the concept(s): Explain why the concept is among your top ten, how
your draw on Rhetorical Grammar, and why this illustration is the best way to present this concept.

Grammar Guide (Model):

Grammar Guide: 10th Grade
Prepositions with a mnemonic device:I

In the Wild: A Lesson on punctuation

How many ways can this sign be interpreted? How many ways can it be punctuated to change the

Appositives Catchphrase:
Appositive, a noun or noun phrase that immediately
follows another noun, explains or defines the noun it
follows and is usually set off by commas.

One of the essential concepts I chose to present in the form of a mnemonic device was the importance of
prepositional phrases. I chose this concept as it is a tool that can greatly improve quality of all written assignments.
Prepositional phrases allow students to be as specific as possible as well as add to the imagery of a narrative piece. A
mnemonic device was the best way I thought possible to remember all of the purposes of prepositional phrases. I can see
this being used as an anchor chart in the classroom that the students can refer back to throughout the semester to
remember the importance prepositional phrases add to a story.
Another concept I chose to illustrate was finding the right word to convey an action, emotion, or thought. Many
students settle with the first that come to mind or a synonym that “sounds good” but may not fit their writer’s voice. I
chose a meme as it contains a bit of humor and the students will be able to easily understand the concept. It is also a
well-known meme that most all students will be able to recognize. I think that this particular meme could be used to
introduce a mini lesson and remain displayed on a classroom website to remind students that there is often a better
word than the first that comes to mind.
The misuse of apostrophes is always a concern in the classroom as students often mistake the purpose of an
apostrophe. I believe that the choice of a meme for this that also illustrates the misuse of apostrophes is something that
the students will enjoy. This is another meme that I believe could be used to introduce or even end a mini lesson on
apostrophes and that can be displayed throughout the year on the classroom website. I would personally use it as a way
to end a mini lesson as students would be able to better understand the humor behind the meme after they understand
the purpose of apostrophes.
An image I found “in the wild” is the sign which states: “Caution Pedestrians Slippery When Wet.” This sign
illustrates the importance of punctuation as there are many ways the sign can be interpreted depending on the use of
punctuation. I would use this image in my classroom to have students work in groups and discuss how many ways the
sign could be punctuated. The students would have a few minutes to work on this and then as a class we would share the
results. While sharing the results we would reveal the many ways the meaning of the sign could be changed depending
on the punctuation.
The sentence I have illustrating the meaning and purpose of an appositive would help to begin a classroom
assignment on appositives. I would use this sentence at the top of an anchor chart that would be filled out by the
students, who come up with examples of appositives. After explaining the color blue represents the main noun and the
color green represent the appositive, students will follow the pattern with their own examples. This grammar concept is
essential as students can employ this device in their own writing to provide more information and paint a better picture
of the characters they are discussing without taking another entire sentence to do so.