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Books in Common NW: Geraldine Woods & JP Kemmick

May 20 at 6:30 PM PDT

Virtual Event

Dive back into the fascinating world of the sentence with Geraldine Woods and JP Kemmick.

Sometimes it’s better to start small, with a Sentence. Geraldine Woods takes the Books in Common NW screen again to share her latest book Sentence.: A Period-To-Period Guide to Building Better Readers and Writers. Woods takes us carefully and methodically through these small powerhouses of communication alongside writer JP Kemmick from Hugo House.

Every English teacher has experienced it: students staring at an empty page, seemingly paralyzed by a writing assignment. When this happens, it may be time to back off from the Big Idea approach to the art of reading and writing, and zero in on a single sentence.

In this book, a master teacher offers a complete guide to a sentence-level approach. Helping students recognize the techniques that make sentences great is the first step, and there are plenty of examples here from YA novels, TV shows, and song lyrics as well as the novels, poetry, and nonfiction pieces that form the canon of middle and high school reading lists. Lesson plans include activities to introduce the featured element of style; questions to guide students in their analysis; and writing prompts and activities to spark students’ interest and creativity.

With this Little-to-Big strategy, students move quickly from analysis of the words between two periods to the universe of ideas of which that sentence is a part. They may even be eager to write their own.


About the speakers

Geraldine Woods has taught English at every level from fifth grade through Advanced Placement, most recently at the Horace Mann School. She is the author of numerous nonfiction books for adults and children, including 25 Great Sentences. She lives in New York City.


JP Kemmick grew up in Billings, Montana. He has been working as a youth writing mentor across the Northwest for over a decade. He holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana and is currently at work on a novel about love, cults, and tunneling to the center of the planet. When not writing and reading, he’s usually on a bike.