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Patterns of Power, Grades 6-8

Inviting Adolescent Writers into the Conventions of Language

Jeff Anderson (author) Travis Leech (author)
Melinda Clark (author)

ISBN: 9781625315151

Publication Date: Apr 2021

Format: Paperback

Offers a quick yet comprehensive explanation of the invitational process - the easy-to-follow, brain-based process created to invite adolescent writers to learn about and apply conventions of the English language through the celebration of author's purpose and craft.

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Is this right? Is this how it's supposed to look? Adolescent writers often ask these kinds of questions because traditional grammar instruction focuses too much on what's right or what's wrong. The fear of making a mistake hides the true power of conventions - the creation of meaning, purpose, and effect, the ultimate reading-writing connection. Join Jeff Anderson, with Travis Leech and Melinda Clark, as they explore grammar in a new way in Patterns of Power: Inviting Adolescent Writers into the Conventions of Language, Grades 6 - 8. Let's lift middle school writers by focusing on possibility and producing effective writing that will transfer to the classroom and beyond.

Inside Patterns of Power, Grades 6 - 8, teachers will find a quick yet comprehensive explanation of the invitational process–the easy-to-follow, brain-based process created to invite adolescent writers to learn about and apply conventions of the English language through the celebration of author's purpose and craft. This process is the foundation on which 55 authentic, flexible, and effective lesson sets were built. Through practical guidance and ready-to-use lessons, you'll be fully equipped to teach grammar in an engaging and authentic way in just 10 minutes a day. 

Inside you'll find:
  • 55 standards-aligned lesson sets that include excerpts from high-interest, authentic, and diverse young adult and middle grade mentor texts 
  • Real-life classroom examples and tips gleaned from the authors' work facilitating the Patterns-of-Power process in hundreds of classrooms
  • Resources to use in classroom instruction or as handouts for student literacy notebooks 
With hundreds of teach-tomorrow visuals and implementation supports that include quick-reference guides as well as soundtrack lists to infuse the joy of music into grammar instruction, Patterns of Power, Grades 6 - 8 gives you everything you need to inspire your adolescent writers to move beyond limitation and into the endless possibilities of what they can do as writers.


For years, students have been handed sets of I said so" rules as the standard means of learning language conventions. Patterns of Power moves beyond prescriptive rules to offer a series of steps that, instead, help students to recognize and internalize language conventions in a way that makes them better readers, writers, listeners, and speakers. Notice the patterns in sentences. Compare them with others. Try them yourself. Apply them. Edit them. I love how this book teaches students to really think about language." - Kelly Gallagher

"Patterns of Power will free you from the tyranny of old school grammar instruction and show you a process to guide adolescents toward joyful exploration and experimentation of crafting, creating, and conveying meaning. Whether you're a grammar "phobe" or an expert sentence diagrammer, you will love this book." - Cris Tovani

"In a Patterns of Power classroom, the conventions of language become possibilities. Here, rules are replaced by invitations as our "wired to be inspired" middle school learners engage in honest inquiry, asking themselves and each other What can this convention do for me as a writer?" - Lisa Thibodeaux, Director of Secondary Curriculum, TX
Pages 448
Dimensions 279 x 216
Date Published 30 Apr 2021
Publisher Stenhouse Publishers
Subject/s Education   Literacy   Secondary schools   Educational material  
For the past 25 years, Jeff Anderson has worked with writers and teachers of grades, K-12, inspiring them about the power and joy of the writing process. He has written four books for Stenhouse Publishers: Mechanically InclinedEveryday Editing10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know and his latest book with Dr. Deborah Dean of BYU Revision Decisions: Talking Through Sentences and Beyond (November 2014). He also has two middle grade novels, Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth (Sterling, 2015) and Zack Delacruz: Just My Luck (Sterling, October 2016).

Jeff grew up in Austin, where he learned to love writing through journaling, a bit of positive reinforcement, and writing stories and dramas to entertain his friends on the phone. He wanted to become a teacher early on, but his parents tried to convince him otherwise. "They wanted me to make more money." During an internship visit to a local elementary classroom, he made up his mind. "When I saw those curious eyes, kids raising their hands, asking questions, I lost all track of time and from that moment on, I was a teacher. I want to create environments that feel safe for learners at the elementary, middle, and university levels and during professional development for teachers. Working together we figure out things, surprise each other, find our strengths, and experience the joy it is to be a learner and teacher. We are students and teachers to each other."

Jeff specializes in writing, revision, and grammar. "I love the ability to spark curiosity and creativity and to support students in finding their voices. That's pure joy." When it comes to his own professional development, he wants to explore things that have meaning to him in the classroom. "I want to find out things I didn't know, be affirmed or reminded of what I do know, and be energized by thinking and action, reflection and application. Since that's what I want, that's what I give teachers. Something they can take, shape, and make their own. Something they can use right now."

Jeff's first book Mechanically Inclined, came to life from what he didn't know and what he needed to know. "I read, tried things out, played in my head and in my classroom, and read some more, permutating and refining. I thought about what worked and what didn't, as well as what sound pedagogical principles are used in other disciplines."

His other books also came from his work in his own classrooms and those across the United States. The invitational process Everyday Editing is built around was first shared in workshops until teachers wanted another book on grammar. 10 Things was Jeff's chance to share what his experience had taught him are the essential things every writer needs to know and be able to do. In his first collaboration, Jeff and Debbie came together to tackle a sentence combining and its larger effects on revision and writing.

In his free time, Jeff walks his dogs Carl and Paisley or sits on the deck with his partner Terry. When he's not doing that he reads middle grade novels and his new addiction is nonfiction.

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