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Teaching Grammar in Context: The Five-Minute Lesson

By June 25, 2021January 11th, 2023No Comments

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It’s all in the philosophy. When we isolate grammar, we pull it from its natural context, its relationship to the words a student writes. By fastening grammar instruction to writing and immediate need, Constance Weaver’s Teaching Grammar in Context (1996) broke ground by smashing the routine use of stand-alone grammar exercises. She advocated short bites, immediate application, and no books. At two to three times a week, this strategy is effective and flexible for any subject at almost any grade level that requires writing. Teachers can adapt grammar review and new material by noting patterns with the first writing assignment of the year. Are students missing how to use possessives or homonyms? Are commas everywhere but where they need to be? The teacher’s evolving review list is not based on a textbook but what the students need now. Grammar does not need to be a chore. Join me as we learn the art of the mini-lesson and help our students consistently apply it in their own writing whatever the subject.

Christine Norvell

With a Masters in Humanities from Faulkner University’s Great Books program, Christine has taught high school English in public, classical, and homeschool worlds for eighteen years. She currently teaches literature and integrated humanities courses online at Kepler Education. Christine is a senior contributor at The Imaginative Conservative and has also written for Circe, University Bookman, VoegelinView, The Classical Thistle, and StoryWarren. She is the author of Till We Have Faces: A Reading Companion (2020) and writes regularly at her teaching blog. She speaks at youth retreats, chapels, church conferences, and other academic conferences like ACCS, Mythmoot, or The Classical Thistle’s regional spring conference. I’ve been a classical education parent for 20 years and a classical literature teacher for 13, having created Language Arts curriculum for five grades at Regent Preparatory and online coursework for Kepler Education.


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