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The Power of Grammar

Grammar is the gatekeeper to a culture of power, yet it is also the power behind the startling beauty and robustness of the English language. In The Power of Grammar, Mary Ehrenworth and Vicki Vinton show you how these two notions of power can help your grammar instruction address the practical and aesthetic needs of your student writers. Ehrenworth and Vinton explore the impact of conventions on writing, and they offer you new and compelling ways to show adolescents how informed and purposeful grammatical choices can transform their writing from competent to original and innovative. Through contextualized lessons embedded within your writing curriculum, you'll guide students to an understanding of conventional written English, then show them how to manipulate conventions to produce artful writing.Grounded in the latest research and tested in the field, The Power of Grammar also contains resources that support good teaching, including:
  • a concise, to the point, reproducible primer that highlights and defines the most important and useful grammatical conventions in English
  • a wealth of mentor texts that allow students to examine conventional and unconventional constructions from the work of published authors and practice composing their own sentences based on the example
  • detailed samples of four kinds of grammar minilessons, each of which can be used in their entirety or as a template to teach any grammatical point
  • tips for designing and aligning minilessons to those stages of the writing process where they best reinforce grammatical concepts
  • examples of student work that show you how successful Ehrenworth and Vinton's method can be.
Ehrenworth and Vinton also share their passionate belief in the potential of adolescents. By including stories of individual students who discovered and fashioned unique voices and styles by apprenticing themselves to mentor writers, The Power of Grammar will renew your faith not only in your students and the English language, but in the power of good teaching to change lives.
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About the Author

Mary Ehrenworth, Deputy Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, works with schools and sitricts around the globe, and is a frequent keynote speaker at Project events and national and international conferences. Mary's interest in critical literacy, interpretation, and close reading all informed the books she has authored or coauthored in the Units of Study Reading and Writing series, as well as her many articles and other books, including The Power of Grammar and Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement. Vicki Vinton is a literacy consultant and writer who has worked in schools and districts across the country and around the world. She is the author of Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading: Shifting to a Problem-Based Approach (2017), and coauthor of What Readers Really Do: Teaching the Process of Meaning Making and The Power of Grammar: Unconventional Approaches to the Conventions of Language. Vicki is also author of the novel The Jungle Law. Additionally, you can find Vicki online, at the popular literacy blog To Make a Prairie (

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