Constance Hale’s Resources for Teaching Writing to Teens

teaching writingDoes your high schooler need an extra English credit? Constance Hale’s Lesson Plans for Teachers offers two semesters worth of material to prepare novice writers not just for college but for a lifetime of professional-grade work. Unlike traditional composition classes, a writing course based on the lessons in this ebook will ignite the spark of literary creativity in your students. The author makes the task of teaching writing – and learning to write – approachable, understandable, and even fun! –Ed.

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By Constance Hale

Are you a parent trying to help your teenagers pass grammar tests, write high school papers, and craft college application essays? 

Are you a writing teacher trying to guide your students over Zoom and finding that you are desperate for new approaches to old subjects?

Read on…

Greetings, courageous souls on the frontlines—or the frontiers—of academia.

I am the author of several popular books on writing, including Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose, which is used in AP English classes and college composition classes across the globe. In 2019, I published a companion ebook, Constance Hale’s Lesson Plans for Teachers. It has two suites of lesson plans:

  • The lessons in Suite One (“Working With Words” and “Working With Sentences”) focus especially on grammar and writing. They are organized to correspond to chapters of the book, marching through the parts of speech and then the dynamics of a sentence.
  • The Lessons in Suite Two (“Making Music”) are especially appropriate if you are teaching writers at a more advanced level. In some cases, I have given different iterations of exercises for different age levels.

The idea behind the lesson plans is to share presentations, exercises, and writing prompts that I have developed for workshops all over the country. Some of these exercises and prompts appear in the book as “catechisms.” Others I have road-tested by teaching writing to students of varying ages and levels of accomplishment.

The 372-page ebook also includes readings, discussion ideas, homework assignments, answer keys, and even a grammar test. You can compress the lessons into a few weeks or stretch them out for an entire year.

From now to September 1, 2020, I’d like to extend a special offer to teachers and homeschoolers. I would be happy to email you a free PDF of Constance Hale’s Lesson Plans for Teachers. (If you can afford $4.99 to buy the e-book, all the better.) If you’d like the free copy, please send me a note at connie [at]

You may find you’ll want a copy of Sin and Syntax to help with the lessons; if so, you can find it online and in many libraries.

I am not a full-time schoolteacher and have never had to work with core curricula or government guidelines. I am a working writer, a long-time editor, and a veteran teacher who loves helping novice writers grow into a greater command of language and literary arts. I want to share the very last paragraph of the e-book, in which I try to state my purpose:

The motivating idea of all my language books is that we are all born with the gift of language and the love of words. This early infatuation (the cooing and the babbling, the riddles and the rhyming, the love of nonsense and the taste for the slightly scatological) is often beaten out of us. I don’t want to assign blame, but there are many wrongheaded ideas floating around about what is “correct” and what is “incorrect,” what is “standard” and what is “nonstandard.” There are too many red pens and too few opportunities to cut loose and play. So I thank you for reading this e-book, using this e-book, and adapting it to your own needs. Please keep insisting that your wards rediscover that early love for the way words work—on the page and in the air.

You are the ones to figure out how best to use this material. I just hope it makes your job of teaching writing a little easier.


Constance Hale


On Hawaii: The Natives Are Restless

On Language: Sin and Syntax and Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch

For Children: ‘Iwalani’s Tree

Web: ~~~

Twitter: @sinandsyntax ~~~ @conniehale


What types of activities and courses have you used as electives? Leave a comment and we may include yours in a future column!

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