A few days ago, my brother, Bill, googled us all. One of my hits is always the Rate Your Teachers website. "I'm a little disturbed your class isn't considered harder," Bill joked, "especially considering my sons both took it." We also laughed at the grammar and spelling mistakes of those students who praised me as an excellent teacher.
It's true that grammar for grammar's sake is not my focus, but I do love those cases where conventions make a big difference, and they are the texts I use as my lessons. Fortunately, I had an example at hand.
Consider the difference between the following sentences:
Let's eat Grandma.
Let's eat, Grandma.
Since Grandma was sitting right there, we got a good laugh out of that one. Today, Annabelle and Richard supplied a good exercise in pronoun reference. They were playing with their kitten when Annabelle raised her voice to complain. "Mom! Richard stuck his butt in my face!"
We were shocked. It seemed very out of character. How did he do that? we asked.
"Not Richard's butt," Annabelle told us, "the kitten's, and it was really stinky!"