Author’s Craft and Grammar

What makes writing better? What enables a reader to feel the impact of the writer’s kernel essay? Expanding it with craft.

Author’s Craft Ba-da-bing Sentences Sparkling Sentences Sentence Wringer Star Points

Author’s Craft

When we’re talking to someone and we can see we don’t have their attention, what do we do? We might say their name, or lean in to them, or change something else. But when our words are in writing, we can’t see our listener, reading our words. What do we do to get and keep their attention?  To get them to picture what we’re picturing, to believe what we’re saying? We use craft. Craft changes the way they understand. That’s why craft makes writing “better.”  It’s about the experience of the reader.

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Ba-da-bing Sentences

“Show, don’t tell.”  

This sentence tells writers to show, but it doesn’t show them how. Ba-da-bing sentences solve this problem, with three simple icons.  

Tells: The waiter was frustrated.

Shows: The server carried the plates back towards the kitchen, staring at the tacos that were supposed to be enchiladas, and she suspected it would be impossible to stay polite this time.

Ba-da-bing sentences can be used forwards and backwards, for writing or for reading.  

If you’re the writer, conveying that frustration, you’re showing.

If you’re the reader, reading that sentence and understanding “the waiter was frustrated,” you’re inferring.

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Sparkling Sentences

Your students see two sentences a day, sentences written by students in class.  The sentences are read, analyzed, considered, then put on display.  According to teachers who have used Sparkling Sentences, this one exercise has the power to change the climate of a school.

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Sentence Wringer

If there is one grammatical decision-making process that counts more than any other on the STAAR test, this is it. This innovative process teaches students the dialogue for sentence analysis, enabling them to distinguish between fragments, sentences, or run-on sentences.

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