Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer's Workshop

By Jeff Anderson | Go to book overview

PART II
Constructing Lessons: Background,
Mentor Text, and Visual Scaffolds
The lessons that follow serve as a scaffold. Maybe you need a way into a grammar or mechanics lesson, a Mentor Text to illustrate a point, a visual to support students' understanding, or maybe you just want to think about the types of errors your students are making and why. Part II is set up to provide you with several resources for teaching crucial grammar and mechanics. Each section on an error or concept contains an operator's manual, Mentor Text, lesson, and a visual scaffold.Operator's Manual: The operator's manual is designed for the teacher, the driver of instruction. It provides background on the error or concept, as well as pertinent information that a teacher may need when navigating the teaching of the error or concept. Each operator's manual contains four types of information:
In Plain English: I define the error or concept in language that is as plain as possible.
AKA or Also Known As: I give other names that often refer to the error or concept.
Student Error: I include an example of a Student Error to show common mistakes student writers make.
Behind the Error: I look beyond the actual error and consider what might be causing the student to make the error. I share pseudo-concepts and common missing links that block understanding of this error or concept.

After linking the concept to typical Student Errors, I present instructional ideas and resources for teaching about the error or concept.

Mentor Text: Mentor Text shows the error in another light: the light of correctness. If students are going to stare at writing and talk about it, they

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