The Middle School Grammar Toolkit : Using Mentor Texts to Teach Standards-Based Language and Grammar in Grades 6–8 book cover
2nd Edition

The Middle School Grammar Toolkit
Using Mentor Texts to Teach Standards-Based Language and Grammar in Grades 6–8

ISBN 9780367435622
Published August 21, 2020 by Eye on Education
216 Pages

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USD $34.95

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Book Description

Teaching grammar can be overwhelming and is often an overlooked part of effective instruction. The Middle School Grammar Toolkit to the rescue! Now in its second edition, this comprehensive guide makes grammar instruction fun and meaningful.

You will learn how to:

  • Teach grammar in a practical and applicable way by presenting each grammar rule as a useful writing tool for students.
  • Use mentor texts—excerpts from great literature—to help students understand grammar in action.
  • Promote metacognition along the way, so that students become responsible for their own learning.
  • Implement innovative instructional strategies and tools aligned with Common Core and other state standards.

Throughout the book, you’ll find step-by-step recommendations for teaching grammatical concepts, such as understanding intensive pronouns, choosing language that expresses ideas precisely, forming verbs in different moods, and maintaining consistency in style and tone, and much, much more. Organized to help students meet the Common Core State Standards and other state language standards for Grades 6–8, the book includes tips addressing teaching for each of these grades, classroom snapshots that show you the tools in action, and specific instructional recommendations to engage students.

New! The second edition features revised classroom snapshots and exemplars to showcase successful practices, and new flowcharts to visually represent instructional recommendations. The expanded, free annotated bibliography is updated to include contemporary, high-quality young adult literature and gives examples of key grammatical concepts found in each work. These resources are available as Supplemental Downloads on our website.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "Grammar Tools": Helping Middle School Students Part 1: Grammatical Concepts Aligned with Grade Six Common Core Language Standards

  1. Understanding the Impact of Intensive Pronouns
  2. Achieving Clarity with Proper Pronoun Case
  3. Using Punctuation to Set Off Nonrestrictive Elements
  4. Maintaining Consistency in Style and Tone
  5. Part 2: Grammatical Concepts Aligned with Grade Seven Common Core Language Standards

  6. Using Simple, Compound, Complex, and Compound-Complex Sentences
  7. Using Phrases and Clauses while Recognizing and Correcting Dangling Modifiers
  8. Choosing Language that Expresses Ideas Precisely and Eliminates
  9. Distinguishing among Connotations of Words with Similar Denotations
  10. Part 3: Grammatical Concepts Aligned with Grade Eight Common

  11. Explaining the Functions of Verbals
  12. Forming and Using Verbs in the Active and Passive Voices
  13. Forming and Using Verbs in the Indicative, Imperative, Interrogative, Conditional, and Subjunctive Moods
  14. Using Punctuation to Indicate a Pause or Break
  15. Part 4: Putting it Together

  16. Assessing Students’ Knowledge

Conclusion: Final Thoughts and Tips for Classroom Practice



Appendix: Reproducible Charts and Forms You Can Use in Your Classroom

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Sean Ruday is an Associate Professor of English Education at Longwood University and a former classroom teacher. He frequently writes and presents on innovative ways to improve students' literacy learning. You can follow him on Twitter at @SeanRuday and visit his website at