Grammar And Writing In The Classroom

767 words - 3 pages

In the article entitled “How to Teach Grammar, Analytical Thinking, and Writing”, Lynn Sams (2003) voiced and suggested methods on how grammar and writing should be taught in the classroom. This article was published in the English Journal by the National Council of Teachers of English. Sams based her research on her 16 years of experience as a high school teacher and the instructional approaches she used with her sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth grade classes. Sams refers to grammar as “the relationship between structure and meaning” (57). The information in this article demonstrates processes of analyzing the structure of sentences and suggests students cannot completely understand writing without first understanding the basic concepts of grammar.
Sams explained that both traditional and in-context approaches to teach grammar are unsuccessful because “they treat grammar as something that exists apart from and outside of the writing process itself” (57). When referring to grammar and writing, Sams suggests “to study one is to study the other” (57). Sams explained that she first emphasized the process of drafting and revising. Sams’s instruction included the students working together and sharing their ideas and feedback during the drafting process. However, Sams realized that this process would not be successful without first teaching the students how to revise. Sams then based the instruction on the concept that the students needed to organize their work in a reasonable order that can be understood by others. Sams explained that to organize ideas, the students needed to be able to understand “how their ideas relate to one another” and how to separate “main ideas and supporting details” (58). However, to separate main ideas from the details, Sams suggests that the students must first be able to “recognize where a thought begins and ends” (58). Sams realized she needed to develop lessons to aid the students in understanding the “concept of a sentence” but did not want to take away much time from the studying of “writing, revising, and literature” (58). Sams decided to conduct five to ten minute “concept attainment” activities three days a week (58). The process Sams conducted in the classroom consists of “analyzing sentences through a process of questioning that reveals the precise relationship of every part to the whole” (59). To aid the students’ learning, Sams...

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