Posts tagged ‘editing’

105. Twenty-Odd Ducks: Why, Every Punctuation Mark Counts! by Lynne Truss

twenty-odd ducksRetell: Lynne Truss presents illustrated examples of how the meaning of a sentence changes when a writer makes poor choices about punctuation.

Topics: punctuation

Units of Study: Any Writing  unit

Tribes: personal best

Habits of Mind: thinking and communicating with clarity and precision

My Thoughts: This is the companion to her book, Eats, Shoots and Leaves. This book, however doesn’t just focus on commas.  When students started to edit their personal narratives during our last Writing unit, I taught a lesson about how writers make important choices about end punctuation (for more fabulous lessons about teaching grammar and punctuation consult The Power of Grammar).  I plan on reading this book in a few weeks when I review this concept with students.  I hope this inspires students to experiment with punctuation.

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October 11, 2009 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment

102. How Have I Grown? by Mary Reid

How Have I GrownRetell: A kindergartner reflects on how much she has grown.

Topics: kindergarten, growing up, babies, sharing

Units of Study: Authoring an Independent Reading Life, (This could be used during the editing process of any unit of study.)

Tribes: mutual respect, attentive listening

Writing Skills: using past tense

My Thoughts: I almost dismissed this book as being too young to be used in a fourth grade classroom.  Though I probably wouldn’t read it aloud to the entire class, I would read it to a small group of writers who struggle with past tense.  When the main character is looking back to her life as a baby and as a “little kid”, she uses only past tense verbs:  “I wore diapers.  I took two naps…Sometimes I had a hard time.”  When she reflects on her current behavior she uses present tense verbs:  “I can make up stories!  I can listen to my friends tell stories, too.”  This book has inspired me to dig deep into the libraries of my lower-grade colleagues to search for more grammar read alouds.

October 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

77. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really DO Make a Difference! by Lynne Truss

eats, shoots and leavesRetell: Truss makes punctuation entertaining in this adaptation of her best-seller Eats, Shoots & Leaves.  Each page contains illustrations of seemingly identical sentences.  Take for example the following sentences:

  1. Eat here, and get gas.
  2. Eat here and get gas.

One implies that you get gasoline, the other implies that the food makes you (and others) uncomfortable.

Topics: punctuation, grammar, usage, commas

Units of Study: This book can be used during any Writing unit

Habits of Mind: thinking and communicating with clarity and precision, striving for accuracy

Reading Skills: monitoring for sense

Writing Skills: using commas

Thoughts: The illustrations in this book truly convey the importance of commas.  In the back of the book there are explanations for why the meaning of each sentence changes with an omission or insertion of a comma.  There are other books in the series that I haven’t checked out yet but I hear are equally delightful.  Essential mentor texts for any editing unit.

September 12, 2009 at 12:04 am 2 comments


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