Cartoons from the Book...

One of the most delightful features of this book is Cathy Campbell's original cartoons. Not only does Cathy provide humorous sentences designed to teach grammatical knowledge, but in many cases she also provides a hilarious cartoon to drive the point home.

I can't tell you how many times I've lost my students by showing too many sentences during grammar exercises. Now that I have this book, I show my students a cartoon (with Cathy's sentence covered up), I ask them to guess what the sentence about the cartoon might be, and after they've guessed, I show them the sentence Cathy has provided. From that point on, I have them in the palm of my hands for the rest of the grammar lesson.

Below, I feature two of the cartoons from Cathy's book that I love using the most. If you click on each picture, you can see it in larger form. Try what I ask of my students: create a sentence/phrase for the cartoon that is inspired by the topic of the grammar lesson!

Click on each cartoon to make it bigger and to see its caption.

This first cartoon can be found in chapter, which is called Dazed by Phrases. I like to show the cartoons to my students with the captions covered up. I say, "This is from the chapter on phrases. Knowing that each cartoon helps us learn about grammar with a sense of humor, anyone want to guess what the caption will be?"

This second cartoon can be found in chapter on apostrophes. After hearing that, my students challenge themselves to write down as many cartoon-inspired possessive phrases as they can, seeing if they can come up with the phrase from the book that accompanies the cartoon.

Click on the cartoon to make it bigger and see its caption.



Cathy Campbell's The Giggly Guide to Grammar

Barry Lane says, "There isn't enough fun in education." I agree, and so does author Cathy Campbell. Her book, The Giggly Guide to Grammar, takes daily language drills to a new level. Her technique is simple: teach useful grammar with both a sense of humor and through humorous cartoons and pictures. The lessons found in this book contain wonderful exercises that will make your students smile, then laugh out loud, and ultimately learn.

Humor is too often missing from our classrooms. When students are asked to think about content with their funny bones, they are being asked to process information with a deeper part of their brains.

Cathy's book is an excellent resource to add to your classroom bookshelf. The new edition contains a CD-ROM with loads of bonus materials. At this website, with Barry and Cathy's permission, I have posted materials from the book that might convince you that you need to have your own complete copy.


Barry Lane's Reviser's Toolbox

This was the book that started me on the road to becoming a pretty decent writing teacher.

Up until I discovered this little gem, I simply ran my students through the motions of behaving like writers. They'd revise their rough drafts but only because I asked them to; they didn't believe their "sloppy copies" needed improvements. And the improvements they added were superficial at best; they'd add color words or flowery adjectives that really didn't help their writing become better.

The tools and resources in this book changed my classroom practices as well as my students' opinions of how writing can improve from draft to draft. I have told Barry many times how grateful I was that he wrote this book. At the WritingFix website, they've posted resources for one of their teacher workshops inspired by Barry's Reviser's Toolbox. Click here to access that specific page of resources.


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