This resource is designed to enhance the teaching of grammar in the context of reading and writing by using mentor sentences. In this resource, mentor sentences, or sentences that highlight a grammatical point, were chosen primarily from published writing that likely will be familiar to students. Teachers also can write mentor sentences or select sentences from student writing. The purpose is to show students how to notice grammatical points when reading and apply this knowledge to their own writing.
We encourage you to approach grammar instruction through real-world examples and to instill a sense of discovery and empowerment in your students. Teach students to think about the purpose of grammatical points and their effect on the reader, and demonstrate how to make purposeful choices to improve writing.
This resource uses original content from the Texas Adolescent Literacy Academies: Focus on Writing (TALA Writing) professional development. Any handout numbers in this resource refer to the original TALA Writing handouts.
The following instructional practices use model or mentor sentences to help students learn how authors use conventions to clarify and convey meaning in their writing. These instructional practices are described in detail in Handout 14: Teaching Conventions in Context: Using Model Sentences.
- Break Apart/Combine
See Documents in Related Items below to download Handout 14 and the Apostrophes Handout and Wall Chart. You are encouraged to print the Apostrophes Handout and complete the activities as presented in the videos. The wall chart is for teacher reference only and is not intended as a student handout. Handout 14 provides additional information about instructional practices for teaching written conventions in context.
This resources is based on the Invitational Grammar and Editing Process described in Everyday Editing (Stenhouse, 2007) by Jeff Anderson.
This resource has two videos. You will need a copy of the Apostrophes Handout to complete the activities.
A key element in the video demonstrations is the depiction of the following features of effective instruction:
- Explicit instruction with modeling
- Systematic instruction with scaffolding
- Multiple opportunities for practice
- Immediate and corrective feedback
The instruction demonstrated in the videos would likely take place over several class sessions.
You are invited to take an active role as a "student participant" to practice the skills and better understand the concepts and instructional techniques.
Click play on the video below.
Before watching the next video, complete the Video 1 Activity on the Apostrophes Handout.
When you are finished watching the video, complete the Video 2 Activity on your handout.
Remember: Be on the lookout for examples of how authors use possessives and contractions as you read. Try to find ways to incorporate possessives and contractions into your own writing.