Sometimes it’s better to start small, with a sentence.
Every English teacher has experienced it: students staring at an empty page, seemingly paralyzed by a writing assignment. When this happens, it may be time to back off from the Big Idea approach to the art of reading and writing, and zero in on a single sentence.
In this book, a master teacher offers a complete guide to a sentence-level approach. Helping students recognize the techniques that make sentences great is the first step, and there are plenty of examples here from YA novels, TV shows, and song lyrics as well as the novels, poetry, and nonfiction pieces that form the canon of middle and high school reading lists. Lesson plans include activities to introduce the featured element of style; questions to guide students in their analysis; and writing prompts and activities to spark students’ interest and creativity.
With this Little-to-Big strategy, students move quickly from analysis of the words between two periods to the universe of ideas of which that sentence is a part. They may even be eager to write their own
About the Author
Geraldine Woods has taught every level of English, from fifth grade through Advanced Placement. The author of more than fifty books, including 25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way, and Sentence., she lives in New York City.
Woods provides literally hundreds of sentences (categorized for thematic unit use) as examples with teaching ideas for immediate classroom use. This book will be one that I reach to again and again for ideas and inspiration.
— Susan Barber, AP Literature Teacher and Consultant, Atlanta, GA
As a writing teacher for over 30 years, I appreciate Woods' diverse set of examples and insightful analysis. Whether you're looking for a way to fill a few minutes at the end of class or build an entire session around one sentence, this book has you covered.
— Chris Sloan, PhD, English Department Chair, Judge Memorial Catholic High School, Salt Lake City, UT
By focusing on a single sentence, teachers can change the 'lens' through which we view a text and find a new way to reach students. Woods' book provides concrete and engaging examples that any teacher can use tomorrow in their classroom.
— Kabby Hong, English Teacher, Verona Area High School, WI
With clarity her cause and passion her method, Geraldine Woods clarifies the workings of one of our most significant and old-time technologies: the sentence. That she curates from vivid contemporary sources will spark the stellar writer in her readers.
— Edie Meidav, Novelist and Associate Professor of English at University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Woods does teachers a great service by offering this book. She not only serves up an instructional guide for how to help students understand the importance of sentence crafting, she also gives numerous practical examples and lesson suggestions.
— David G. Miller, Professor, Department of English and Philosophy Honors Faculty, Mississippi College
In an age of tweets and declining readership, Woods makes a compelling case for the relationship between the sentence and how we speak, write, and listen to one another. Never before has the teaching of grammar, syntax, diction, and the literary imagination felt closer to pure poetry than in this beautifully crafted book!
— Andrew McCarron, Chair of Religion, Philosophy & Ethics Department at Trinity School in Manhattan, New York, Faculty Associate at Bard College's Institute of Writing and Thinking, and author
A complete course of detailed instruction in a single volume, Sentence. A Period-to-Period Guide to Building Better Readers and Writers is an extraordinary, effective, DIY approach to overcoming writer's block and getting started with any form of literary project.
— Midwest Book Review