Practical Punctuation: Lessons on Rule Making and Rule Breaking in Elementary Writing

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Dan has made it his business to delve into punctuation, and we are all the wiser for the impressive and exciting writing about the subject that he has done in this book.
- Carl Anderson
Author of How's It Going? and Assessing Writers

In all the books I've read about written language, Dan's is the first to explore the mind's ear…. He has actually changed the way I read as well as write. How lucky we are to (finally) have an intellectually engaging exploration of what we have too long considered drudgery…. When you consider Dan's approach, you'll wonder how you ever taught another way.
- Ellin Oliver Keene
Coauthor of Mosaic of Thought, Second Edition, and author of To Understand

Get ready to be taken by the hand by a master teacher who will show you how to teach students the rules of punctuation in clearly defined lessons. From the first page I was eager to take this book to my own teaching.
- Mary Ehrenworth
Author of The Power of Grammar

Punctuation is important. Period. Good writers know the rules, but skilled punctuators don't simply go by the conventions. They use punctuation to make meaning. Practical Punctuation shows you how to help students discover the relationship between punctuation and meaning - and how they can use it to improve their writing.

Practical Punctuation's strategies help writers connect periods, commas, and dashes to mood, emphasis, and rhythm. Dan Feigelson's ready-to-use lessons provide opportunities to:

  • show students the purposes of punctuation before teaching them the rules
  • give writers chances to experiment with punctuating
  • model the thinking that goes into punctuating
  • teach conventions explicitly, but not absolutely
  • hold students accountable for punctuation in formal writing.

Feigelson's lessons are highly structured. They demonstrate how to teach punctuation as a craft tool with writers of varying sophistication or age:

  • beginners: ending punctuation
  • intermediate-stage writers: the comma
  • advanced writers: internal punctuation and cadence.

Feigelson includes a handy teacher's reference guide to punctuation as well as grade-by-grade guidelines that make assessing punctuation simpler. And his interviews with world-renowned authors will help you and your writers better understand the power punctuation has to impart meaning.

Read Practical Punctuation and help students make choices with punctuation - instead of letting punctuation rules make choices for them.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325009063
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 9/5/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Feigelson has worked extensively in New York City schools as a teacher, staff developer, curriculum writer, principal, and local superintendent. An early member of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, he has led institutes, workshops and lab-sites around the world on the teaching of reading and writing. A regular presenter at national conferences, Dan is the author of Reading Projects Reimagined: Student-Driven Conferences to Deepen Critical Thinking, and Practical Punctuation: Lessons in Rule Making and Rule Breaking in Elementary Writing. He lives in Harlem and Columbia County, New York. Follow Dan on Twitter @danfeigelson.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Carl Anderson Anderson, Carl

1 Purpose Before Particulars

2 Beginning with Endings

3 Breathing, Thinking, and Deciding What's Important

4 Writing as Good as It Sounds

App. A Writing Mechanics Grade by Grade

App. B Punctuation Interviews with Frank McCourt, Jimmy Breslin, Natalie Babbitt, Colum McCann

Works Cited

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