chapter  7.3
The Creative and the Critical
Grammar and punctuation
WithDebra Myhill
Pages 11

Grammar and punctuation are somewhat paradoxical aspects of the primary curriculum and certainly shrouded with controversy. On the one hand, all teachers would probably agree that grammar and punctuation are important; on the other hand, few teachers are excited by the prospect of teaching grammar and punctuation. In this unit, I hope to challenge this paradoxical ambivalence and inspire you to see grammar and punctuation as the lifeblood of being creative and critical readers and writers. Reflecting on the challenge of writing, children’s author Tim Bowler observed:

Why is writing so tricky? Because it requires mastery of two conflicting skills: a creative skill and a critical skill. The former is of the imagination, the latter of the intellect, and they come from different brain hemispheres. To write well, we have to employ both to maximum effect.

(Bowler, 2002)