My Issues with Teaching Grammar and How I’m Going to Try to Get Over It

How’s that for a title?

What I wanted to write was: I. Hate. Teaching. Grammar.

I have never been able to justify or understand why we need to know the names of parts of speech. I just don’t get it. I have tried all kinds of grammar instruction and nothing seems to be effective. I don’t enjoy it. The kids don’t enjoy it.

As part of my research over break – determined to find a new approach – I discovered a book by Jeff Anderson called Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer’s Workshop.


I don’t do a Writer’s Workshop, but I did feel like I could incorporate this technique into my read aloud of Out of My Mind and my opening activities each day.

The key thing that sticks out for me in this strategy is the idea of Mentor Sentences, which is providing great example sentences from the text you are reading and building your instruction around those sentences.

Instead of explaining the whole process, here is a Prezi I found that does a good job of summarizing the book.

This is also a good explanation I found on another blog, Dandelions and Dragonflies. There are also some free posters at the end of the post. 

As I develop a good plan and work out the kinks, I will write a post to describe my approach with my Resource Room.

Meanwhile, if you’ve used Mentor Sentences in your classroom or agree, or disagree, with Jeff Anderson’s philosophy, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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