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Teaching Grammar

By Alicia35 Feb 24, 2013 9059 Words
PARTICIPANT’S GUIDE

What have I done in my own classroom lately?
1. List what you have done to teach a grammar or mechanics pattern/skill in your own classroom. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Did you thoroughly share many correct models of the skill, both visually and verbally? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Have you modeled the grammar and/or mechanics skill/pattern in your own writing? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Have you modeled how to correct these kinds of errors when they occur? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Have you given the students enough time to practice?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Is this mechanical or grammatical pattern, skill, or error important enough in the “grand scheme of things” to demand all of this work? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Conventions Domain

5th grade
Conventions
Conventions are essential for reading, writing, and speaking. Instruction in language conventions will, therefore, occur within the context of reading, writing, and speaking, rather than in isolation. The student writes to make connections with the larger world. A student’s ideas are more likely to be taken seriously when the words are spelled accurately and the sentences are grammatically correct. Use of Standard English conventions helps readers understand and follow the student’s meaning, while errors can be distracting and confusing. Standard English conventions are the “good manners” of writing and speaking that make communication fluid. ELA5C1 The student demonstrates understanding and control of the rules of the English language, realizing that usage involves the appropriate application of conventions and grammar in both written and spoken formats. The student a. Uses and identifies the eight parts of speech (e.g., noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, adjective, conjunction, preposition, interjection).

b. Expands or reduces sentences (e.g., adding or deleting modifiers, combining or revising sentences).
c. Uses and identifies verb phrases and verb tenses.
d. Recognizes that a word performs different functions according to its position in the sentence.
e. Varies the sentence structure by kind (declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences and functional fragments), order, and complexity (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex).

f. Uses and identifies correct mechanics (e.g., apostrophes, quotation marks, comma use in compound sentences, paragraph indentations) and correct sentence structure (e.g., elimination of sentence fragments and run-ons). g. Uses additional knowledge of correct mechanics (e.g., apostrophes, quotation marks, comma use in compound sentences, paragraph indentations), correct sentence structure (e.g., elimination of fragments and run-ons), and correct Standard English spelling (e.g., commonly used homophones) when writing, revising, and editing. 6th grade

Conventions
Conventions are essential for reading, writing, and speaking. Instruction in language conventions will, therefore, occur within the context of reading, writing, and speaking, rather than in isolation. The student writes to make connections with the larger world. A student’s ideas are more likely to be taken seriously when the words are spelled accurately and the sentences are grammatically correct. Use of Standard English conventions helps readers understand and follow the student’s meaning, while errors can be distracting and confusing. Standard English conventions are the “good manners” of writing and speaking that make communication fluid. ELA6C1 The student demonstrates understanding and control of the rules of the English language, realizing that usage involves the appropriate application of conventions and grammar in both written and spoken formats. The student a. Identifies and uses the eight basic parts of speech and demonstrates that words can be different parts of speech within a sentence.

i. Identifies and uses nouns – abstract, common, collective, plural, and possessive.
ii. Identifies and uses pronouns – personal, possessive, interrogative, demonstrative, reflexive, and indefinite.
iii. Identifies and uses adjectives – common, proper, and demonstrative. iv. Identifies and uses verbs – action (transitive/intransitive), linking, and state-of-being.
v. Identifies and uses verb phrases – main verbs and helping verbs. vi. Identifies and uses adverbs.
vii. Identifies and uses prepositional phrases (preposition, object of the preposition, and any of its modifiers).
viii. Identifies and uses conjunctions – coordinating, correlative, and common subordinating.
ix. Identifies and uses interjections.
b. Recognizes basic parts of a sentence (subject, verb, direct object, indirect object, predicate noun, predicate adjective).
c. Identifies and writes simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, avoiding fragments and run-ons.
d. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound and complex sentences, appositives, words in direct address).
e. Uses common spelling rules, applies common spelling patterns, and develops and masters words that are commonly misspelled.
f. Produces final drafts that demonstrate accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and capitalization.
7th grade
Conventions
Conventions are essential for reading, writing, and speaking. Instruction in language conventions will, therefore, occur within the context of reading, writing, and speaking, rather than in isolation. The student writes to make connections with the larger world. A student’s ideas are more likely to be taken seriously when the words are spelled accurately and the sentences are grammatically correct. Use of Standard English conventions helps readers understand and follow the student’s meaning, while errors can be distracting and confusing. Standard English conventions are the “good manners” of writing and speaking that make communication fluid.

ELA7C1 The student demonstrates understanding and control of the rules of the English language, realizing that usage involves the appropriate application of conventions and grammar in both written and spoken formats. The student a. Identifies and writes simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences correctly, punctuating properly, avoiding fragments and run-ons, adding or deleting modifiers, combining or revising sentences. b. Identifies and writes correctly punctuated adjective and adverb clauses. c. Uses standard subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement. d. Identifies and uses verb tenses consistently (simple and perfect). e. Demonstrates correct usage of comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs.

f. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, and split dialogue).
g. Distinguishes differences in meaning and spelling of commonly confused homonyms.
h. Produces final drafts/presentations that demonstrate accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and capitalization.
8th grade
Conventions
Conventions are essential for reading, writing, and speaking. Instruction in language conventions will, therefore, occur within the context of reading, writing, and speaking, rather than in isolation. The student writes to make connections with the larger world. A student’s ideas are more likely to be taken seriously when the words are spelled accurately and the sentences are grammatically correct. Use of Standard English conventions helps readers understand and follow the student’s meaning, while errors can be distracting and confusing. Standard English conventions are the “good manners” of writing and speaking that make communication fluid.

ELA8C1 The student demonstrates understanding and control of the rules of the English language, realizing that usage involves the appropriate application of conventions and grammar in both written and spoken formats. The student a. Declines pronouns by gender and case, and demonstrates correct usage in sentences. b. Analyzes and uses simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences correctly, punctuates properly, and avoids fragments and run-ons. c. Revises sentences by correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers. d. Revises sentences by correcting errors in usage.

e. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, split dialogue, and for clarity). f. Analyzes the structure of a sentence (basic sentence parts, noun-adjective adverb clauses and phrases).

g. Produces final drafts/presentations that demonstrate accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and capitalization.

9th grade
Conventions
Conventions are essential for reading, writing, and speaking. Instruction in language conventions will, therefore, occur within the context of reading, writing, and speaking, rather than in isolation. The student writes to make connections with the larger world. A student’s ideas are more likely to be taken seriously when the words are spelled accurately and the sentences are grammatically correct. Use of standard English conventions helps readers understand and follow the student’s meaning, while errors can be distracting and confusing. Standard English conventions are the “good manners” of writing and speaking that make communication fluid. ELA9C1 The student demonstrates understanding and control of the rules of the English language, realizing that usage involves the appropriate application of conventions and grammar in both written and spoken formats. The student a. Demonstrates an understanding of proper English usage and control of grammar, sentence and paragraph structure, diction, and syntax. b. Correctly uses clauses (i.e., main and subordinate) and mechanics of punctuation (i.e., end marks, commas, semicolons, and quotation marks). c. Demonstrates an understanding of sentence construction (i.e., subordination, proper placement of modifiers) and proper English usage (i.e., consistency of verb tenses). .. Sample Tasks for Conventions

Because conventions are assessed within the context of the other strands, the sample tasks designed for those other strands also serve as sample tasks for conventions. ELA9C2 The student demonstrates understanding of manuscript form, realizing that different forms of writing require different formats. The student a. Produces writing that conforms to appropriate manuscript requirements. b. Produces legible work that shows accurate spelling and correct use of the conventions of punctuation and capitalization. c. Reflects appropriate format requirements, including pagination, spacing, and margins, and integration of source material with appropriate citations (i.e., in-text citations, use of direct quotations, paraphrase, and summary, and weaving of source and support materials with writer’s own words, etc.). d. Includes formal works cited or bibliography when applicable. .. Sample Tasks for Conventions

Because conventions are assessed within the context of the other strands, the sample tasks designed for those other strands also serve as sample tasks for conventions. ***Sample tasks are attached to specific standards; however, because of the interrelated nature of the standards and the strands, each task may provide evidence of learning for multiple standards in multiple strands.

A Tale of Three Lessons
Read the three middle school lessons which follow. Rate each lesson on its effectiveness, interest, usefulness, and relevance.

LESSON ONE

Title: Sentence Combining
Lesson Annotation:
The teacher will show a series of simple sentences on an overhead transparency and ask for student reaction. After students offer such comments as “simple,” “basic,” “boring,” or “babyish,” the teacher will ask them how they would combine the sentences. The teacher will show various techniques, ranging from taking out a word to make sentences connect to using coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. The teacher will briefly teach the use of a semicolon. Next, the teacher will challenge the students to revise a paragraph. The students will work in pairs, arguing and developing ideas, until the teacher asks for examples. Finally, the class will revise the entire paragraph together. After the revision of the paragraph is completed as a class, the teacher will give the students the night’s homework: A worksheet containing 25 sets of sentences ready to be combined.

LESSON TWO

Title: Sentence Combining
Lesson Annotation:
The teacher will show the students several “professional” examples of sentence variation and sentence combining. The teacher will also show some literary examples which may contain functional fragments. After showing these examples, the teacher will ask the students to make judgments about the writing, asking them, as fellow authors, which sentences and paragraphs they like, and how the authors convey meaning, voice, and emotion through sentence rhythm and variation. The students will then practice varying their own sentences and adding the skill to their repertoire, ready to be used again in their current and future writing projects.

LESSON THREE

Title: Sentence Combining
Lesson Annotation:
The teacher will begin the lesson by deconstructing a passage from a mentor text into a paragraph of simple constructions, limited syntax, and minimal description. The students will give their opinions of this paragraph and, working together, fix the “choppy” sentences by combining, reworking, and rewriting them. After the students have completed the task of “fixing” the sentences, the teacher will give them the original, unaltered text, and they will discuss the grammatical choices the author made. Subsequently, the teacher will prompt the students to use these grammatical constructions and sentence-combining techniques in their own writing. Support Information for A Tale of Three Lessons

LESSON ONE
There is no correlation necessary for mentor text.
LESSON TWO
Example of analogy used by teacher #2 to support students’ writing:
DO WE FORCE SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLDS TO LEARN EVERY GEAR AND FUNCTION WITHIN A CAR’S ENGINE BEFORE WE LET THEM HIT THE ROAD? NO. KNOWING HOW EACH GEAR WILL WORKWILL NOT IMPROVE THE PROCESS OF DRIVING…WHAT HELPED US TO IMPROVE, OUR CAR MANUAL, OR HOURS OF DRIVING PRACTICE? THE SAME GOES WITH WRITING. WE NEED TO LET OUR STUDENTS PRACTICE, AND IT’S THROUGH AUTHENTIC PRACTICE THAT WE CAN EXPLAIN WHY THE GEARS GRIND WHEN ONE DOES NOT SHIFT PROPERLY. A “professional” example of sentence variation and sentence combining from Make Your Words Work, by Gary Provost (2001):

This sentence has five words. This sentence has five words too. Five word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes when I am certain the reader is rested I engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, and crash of the cymbals, and sounds that say listen to this, it is important. (p. 55) A “literary example” by Norman Mailer (1975):

Foreman threw a wild left. Then a right, a left, a left, and a right. Some to the head, some to the body, some got blocked, some missed, one collided with Ali’s floating ribs, brutal punches, jarring and imprecise as a collision at slow speed in a truck. (p. 181) LESSON THREE

Example of a deconstructed passage used by teacher three from Lois Lowry’s The Giver (1993):
His training had not yet begun. He left the auditorium. He felt apartness. He made his way through the crowd. He was holding the folder she had given him. He was looking for his family unit. He was also looking for Asher. People moved aside for him. They watched him. He thought he could hear whispers.

Activity #3 Worksheet
“A Tale of Three Lessons”
I would rank the three lessons in the following order:
1. __________________________
2. __________________________
3. __________________________

Examples of professional sentences from mentor texts which support my favorite lesson: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Activities for Sharpening Descriptive Powers
1. The More Detail, the Better
This activity develops students’ ability to study detail. Choose any object and ask the students to observe as many details as possible, keeping in mind the unusual details. After one minute, remove the object and allow one minute for the students to record as many details as possible. Share ideas.Repeat this activity at least once a week. Students will learn to be observant and specific in their details. Another angle to take with this activity is to ask the students to describe the object in writing. This can be done after the students have observed several different objects. The descriptions could then be placed with the objects.

2. Is More Always Better?
Sometimes when students are first introduced to the idea of using descriptive words in their writing, they go overboard. An activity to try in order to show students that more is not always better would be to rewrite the information found on common road signs. For example, take a stop sign. All it says is stop. This is very short and to the point. Have the students rewrite the meaning of the sign using flowery, descriptive language. Compare and contrast the effects. 3. Describe it, Then Build It.

Gather several sets of identical boxes of building materials: blocks, sticks, cardboard, paper, pipe cleaners, corks, buttons, paper clips, etc. Students should be placed in teams of three. One student will proceed to build something from the box of materials while the second student watches. The third student is not present during this initial construction but is instead waiting on student #2. Student #2 will describe in detail to student #3 what student #1 constructed. Student #3 will recreate an object based on the descriptions of student #2. After about 15 minutes, the teams should stop their constructions and compare what was built. At this point, after the team discussions, the class should discuss the role of specific and accurate details, particularly when giving directions or instructions.

4. Descriptive Limits:
This activity helps students break comfortable writing habits by forcing them to experiment with language. Even more accomplished writers will be pushed out of their comfort zones.
1. Choose a topic. Example: “A moment when you have been unbelievably scared.”
2. Together as a class, discuss all of the possible ways you could attack the topic. This discussion helps students begin to wrap their heads around the thinking necessary in order to write.
3. At this point, the students should be motivated to write and should have begun to form their first sentences, etc. Tell them that there will be limits to the words they can use in their pieces. Make the following list: scare, frighten, fear, fright, fearful, afraid, alarm, spook, startle, terror, terrorize, terrify, petrify, panic, cold sweat, shock, surprise, dread, turn pale, flesh creep, hair stand on end, blood run cold, and teeth chatter. All of these words are off limits!

4. After giving the students time to write, ask them how the list may have helped or hindered them in their writing. (Culham, R. (2003). 6 + 1 Traits. New York: Scholastic Professional Books) Activities for Using Exact Language

1. Active and Passive Verbs: The hardest working part of a sentence is the verb. If students are taught the power that verbs bring to their sentences, their writing will be impacted in a positive way. While precise nouns and modifiers also carry a big punch for a sentence, it is the verbs that make the writing more vigorous. Look at the following examples:

While running, Frankie passed Johnny. (active voice)
While running, Johnny was passed by Frankie. (passive voice) ***Tip: If the subject is the doer, the verb is active. If the subject is the receiver, the verb is passive. Activity: Practice changing passive verbs to active verbs.

1. Write a letter of application, a memo, or another piece of standard business transaction. Tell the students to add punch by using powerful, active verbs. 2. Write a traditional piece of the above examples in 1 using passive voice. 3. Compare the two documents. Which would get the most attention right away? Which is the most credible? Which tells the reader more about who you are and what you care about? How important was the use of active verbs in delivering a strong written message?

2. Words, Words Everywhere: (This is a spin on traditional word walls.)
1. On 4x6 strips of bright neon paper that doesn’t fade over time, print in bold the words you are discovering during reading and writing activities. Focus on precise nouns, descriptive adjectives, and energetic verbs.

2. Write each word on a slip of paper that is color coded according to part of speech: for example, red for verbs, green for nouns, and blue for adjectives.
3. Whenever the class comes across new words that stand out, have the students look of the definitions of the words and write them on the colored slips of paper according to the word’s part of speech. As they write, they will incorporate the words into their writings. (Culhum, R. (2003). 6 + 1 Traits of Writing. New York: Scholastic Professional Books.)

Activities for Choosing Colorful Words and Phrases
1. Expanding Small Phrases to Bigger Ones:
Students will compare and contrast a small sentence to its bigger counterpart. Example: Kendra was ten minutes late for breakfast. OR
Kendra huffed to the breakfast table ten minutes late, flung herself into her chair, and snagged the Cheerios. Give students the following sentences and see if they can enhance the meaning by punching up the verbs and throwing a few colorful adjectives and precise nouns:

1. The dog was hungry.
2. The house was empty.
3. My sister got mad.
4. The rain came down.
5. My shoes were tight.
Look for examples of short sentences within the books and short stories you are reading in class. 2. Said is Dead, etc….:
Make a list of all of the ways to say said. Encourage students to avoid using said in their writing and replace the word with words from the list. Likewise, think of other words that are also often overused and apparently boring, such as good and nice. The students should identify the overused word’s part of speech and begin a list of synonyms to use in place of the word. These lists of words could be placed around the classroom and incorporated into the students’ writings.

3. Shaping Up:
This is a creative activity wherein students are introduced to vivid verbs and colorful adjectives. The students will create a model of the vivid verb or the colorful adjective. The word itself must be included within the model. When these words are displayed, the students will have yet another list of words to use in their writing. (Culhum, R. (2003). 6 + 1 Traits of Writing. New York: Scholastic Professional Books.)

Twelve Principles Supporting the Three P’s
1. Teaching grammar divorced from writing doesn’t strengthen writing and, therefore , wastes time. 2. Few grammatical terms are actually needed to discuss writing. 3. Sophisticated grammar is fostered in literacy-rich and language-rich environments. 4. Grammar instruction for writing should build on students’ developmental readiness. 5. Grammar options are best expanded through reading and in conjunction with writing. 6. Grammar conventions taught in isolation seldom transfer to writing. 7. Marking corrections on students’ papers does little good. 8. Grammar conventions are applied most readily when taught in conjunction with editing. 9. Instruction in conventional editing skills is important for all students but must honor their home language or dialect. 10. Progress may involve new kinds of errors as students try to apply new writing skills. 11. Grammar instruction should be included during various phases of writing. 12. More research is needed on effective ways of teaching grammar to strengthen writing.

Using Mentor Sentences to Develop Concepts
Purpose: To promote quick, daily instruction and practice.
Time: Best if done at the beginning of class as a bell activity, class starter, etc., for no more than 10 minutes. Benefits: A shared experience with grammar and mechanics

Sample mentor sentences for 6th grade:
6th grade: Prepositional phrases [ELA6C1a(vii.) Identifies and uses prepositional phrases (preposition, object of the preposition, and any of its modifiers).] Sample sentence:
And before the thunder followed, in a pause while wind and rain held back for one brief moment, she thought she heard, fading in the distance, the tinkling little melody of the music box.
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, pg. 126
6th grade: Direct objects [ELA6C1b. Recognizes basic parts of a sentence (subject, verb, direct object, indirect object, predicate noun, predicate adjective).] Sample sentence:
“He took his shotgun and pointed it at hisself the best way he could, and before we could stop him, he pulled the trigger,” said Mae Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, p. 40

6th grade: Comma usage in appositives [ELA6C1d. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound and complex sentences, appositives, words in direct address).] Sample sentence:
On his last day of school, his math teacher, Mrs. Bell, taught ratios. Holes by Louis Sachar, p. 7

6th grade: Comma usage in complex sentences [ELA6C1d. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound and complex sentences, appositives, words in direct address).] Sample sentence:
As Stanley dug up another shovelful of dirt, it occurred to him that Armpit wasn’t the biggest. Holes by Louis Sachar, p. 53

Sample mentor sentences for 7th grade:
7th grade: writing compound-complex sentences correctly (ELA7C1a. Identifies and writes simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences correctly, punctuating properly, avoiding fragments and run-ons, adding or deleting modifiers, combining or revising sentences.) Sample sentence:

He placed an exploring foot on the ice, and when it did not break, he put his other foot beside it.Stormy by Jim Kjelgaard, p. 2

7th grade: Comma usage in split dialogue [ELA7C1f. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, and split dialogue).] Sample sentence:
“Suppose,” Sam said slowly and deliberately, “you two had to go to town.”Frightful’s Mountain by Jean Craighead George, p. 194

7th grade: Superlative adjectives (ELA7C1e. Demonstrates correct usage of comparative and superlative forms of adjectives.) Sample sentence:
And what with Mama running after Little Arliss, hollering for him to shut up and quit throwing those rocks, it was altogether the biggest and loudest commotion that had taken place around our cabin for a good long while.Old Yeller by Fred Gipson, p. 82

7th grade: Semicolon use (ELA7C1f. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, and split dialogue.) Sample sentence:
Her joy on the road that morning had completely disappeared; the wide world shrank and her oldest fears rolled freely in her consciousness. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, p. 68

Sample mentor sentences for 8th grade:
8th grade: Noun clauses (ELA8C1f. Analyzes the structure of a sentence (basic sentence parts; noun, adjective, adverb clauses and phrases.) Sample sentence:
No one had noticed that I was gone.Tangerine by Edward Bloor, p.73-74 8th grade: Adverb clauses (ELA8C1f. Analyzes the structure of a sentence (basic sentence parts; noun, adjective, adverb clauses and phrases.) Sample sentence:

Winnie’s shyness returned at once when she saw the big man with his sad face and baggy trousers, but as he gazed at her, the warm, pleasing feeling spread through her again. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, p. 48 8th grade: Adjective clauses (ELA8C1f. Analyzes the structure of a sentence (basic sentence parts; noun, adjective, adverb clauses and phrases.) Sample sentence:

There was a little pea vine that grew wild all over the hills during wet winters and bloomed pale lavender in the spring.Old Yeller by Fred Gipson, p. 131 8th grade: Revises sentences by correcting errors in usage (ELA8C1d) Sample sentence:

“And we figured it’d be very bad if everyone knowed about that spring,” said Mae. “We begun to see what it would mean.” Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, p. 41

8th grade: Commas in complex sentences [ELA8C1e. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound, complex, and compound-complex, split dialogue, and for clarity).] Sample sentence:
While Mom gave my name to the secretary, I looked through a glass door at a field full of small wooden shacks.Tangerine by Edward Bloor, p. 24 USING MENTOR SENTENCES 6TH GRADE
a. Identifies and uses the eight basic parts of speech and demonstrates that words can be different parts of speech within a sentence.

i. Identifies and uses nouns – abstract, common, collective, plural, and possessive.

ii. Identifies and uses pronouns – personal, possessive, interrogative, demonstrative, reflexive, and indefinite.

iii. Identifies and uses adjectives – common, proper, and demonstrative.

iv. Identifies and uses verbs – action (transitive/intransitive), linking, and state-of-being.

v. Identifies and uses verb phrases – main verbs and helping verbs.

vi. Identifies and uses adverbs.

vii. Identifies and uses prepositional phrases (preposition, object of the preposition, and any of its modifiers).

viii. Identifies and uses conjunctions – coordinating, correlative, and common subordinating.

ix. Identifies and uses interjections.

b. Recognizes basic parts of a sentence (subject, verb, direct object, indirect object, predicate noun, predicate adjective).

c. Identifies and writes simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, avoiding fragments and run-ons.

d. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound and complex sentences, appositives, words in direct address).

e. Uses common spelling rules, applies common spelling patterns, and develops and masters words that are commonly misspelled.

f. Produces final drafts that demonstrate accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and capitalization.

USING MENTOR SENTENCES 7TH GRADE
a. Identifies and writes simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences correctly, punctuating properly, avoiding fragments and run-ons, adding or deleting modifiers, combining or revising sentences.

b. Identifies and writes correctly punctuated adjective and adverb clauses.

c. Uses standard subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.

d. Identifies and uses verb tenses consistently (simple and perfect).

e. Demonstrates correct usage of comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs.

f. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, and split dialogue).

g. Distinguishes differences in meaning and spelling of commonly confused homonyms.

h. Produces final drafts/presentations that demonstrate accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and capitalization.

USING MENTOR SENTENCES 8TH GRADE
a. Declines pronouns by gender and case, and demonstrates correct usage in sentences.

b. Analyzes and uses simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences correctly, punctuates properly, and avoids fragments and run-ons.

c. Revises sentences by correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.

d. Revises sentences by correcting errors in usage.

e. Demonstrates appropriate comma and semicolon usage (compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, split dialogue, and for clarity).

f. Analyzes the structure of a sentence (basic sentence parts, noun-adjective adverb clauses and phrases).

g. Produces final drafts/presentations that demonstrate accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and capitalization.

How Important are Prepositional Phrases?

Example #1: Omit the prepositional phrases
My neighbor said she wanted to ask me. Little did I know what was when I agreed to feed her cat. After my neighbor left, I walked. Once I got, I was overwhelmed. I looked and couldn’t believe what I saw. My eyes fell sitting, which was completely covered. The volume was turned up all the way. I walked. I saw these red velvety mushrooms coming up. This filth was I’d ever seen. The cat was fed and I was out. Since she returned, I have never been available to watch her cat again.

Example #2: Insert the prepositional phrases
My neighbor said she wanted to ask me for a small favor. Little did I know what was in store for me when I agreed to feed her cat. After my neighbor left on her trip, I walked across the street to her house. Once I got inside the house, I was overwhelmed by the stench of cat urine. I looked around the house and couldn’t believe what I saw. My eyes fell on two salad dressing containers sitting on a table beside the couch, which was completely covered with dirty laundry, except for this one worn area by the table. The volume on the TV was turned up all the way. In disbelief and despite my better judgment, I walked toward the restroom. Around the base of the tub, I saw these red velvety mushrooms coming up between the tub and tile floor. This filth was beyond anything I’d ever seen in my life. Within two minutes, the cat was fed and I was out of there. Since she returned from her trip, I have never been available to watch her cat again.

(Anderson, J. Mechanically Inclined, p. 74)
Creating Mind Movies
Choose several types of sentences: compound, complex, and compound-complex. Choose the sentences from the text you are currently reading in your class. List the examples on the blanks below: Compound Sentence examples:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Complex Sentence examples:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Compound-complex Sentence examples:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Directions for using sentence examples:

1. Students will close their eyes as the teacher reads the sentence/s aloud. 2. The teacher will ask the students to see the sentence in their minds. 3. The teacher will guide the students to see the parts of the sentence as they act like a camera, gliding across a scene and giving a close-up of the details. 4. The students will write what they think the sentence should look like using commas correctly. 5. Students will emulate sentences of their own to match the original sentences. An Activity for Preventing Dangling Modifiers

Students will close their eyes and practice visualizing sentences. The teacher will provide a scene for them to visualize, such as: “Close your eyes and picture a dog approaching you.” Once they have a “picture” in their minds, the teacher will write a sentence. Example: The dog approached me. Next, the teacher will instruct the students to add action, pictures, or sound to the sentence. A list will be created and posted.

Then the students will close their eyes again, and the teacher will read the list of words. Example: “Barking, scowling, snarling, the dog approached me.” The teacher repeats the sentence a few times. Next, the class will move the –ing words to the end of the sentence and discuss which is liked better. Finally, the class adds an –ing clause, such as “wagging its tail.” This activity allows students to move sentence parts around and see the possible placement patterns while discovering the differing effects and punctuation.

Double Negatives and Other Mistakes…..
Read the excerpt from Katherine Paterson’s novel, Bridge to Terabithia. “I got plenty of chores need doing around here this morning,” his mother announced as they were finishing the grits and red gravy. His mother was from Georgia and still cooked like it.

“Oh, Momma!” Ellie and Brenda squawked in concert. Those girls could get out of work faster than a grasshopper could slip through your fingers.
“Momma, you promised me and Brenda we could go to Millsburg for school shopping.”
“You ain’t got no money for school shopping!”
“Momma. We’re just going to look around.” Lord, he wished Brenda would stop whining so. “Christmas! You don’t want us to have no fun at all.”
“Any fun,” Ellie corrected her primly.
“Oh, shut up.”
Ellie ignored her. “Miz Timmons is coming to pick us up. I told Lollie Sunday you said it was o.k. I feel dumb calling her and saying you changed your mind.”
“Oh, all right. But I ain’t got no money to give you.”
Any money, something whispered in Jess’s head. “I know, Momma. We’ll just take the five dollars Daddy promised us. No more ‘n that.” Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia, pp. 6-7

What do we know about the characters of Momma and Brenda as a result of Paterson’s use of the double negative? When is it ok to use formal language as opposed to informal language? Think of other questions regarding conventions use from this passage.

ELA8C1 The student demonstrates understanding and control of the rules of the English language, realizing that usage involves the appropriate application of conventions and grammar in both written and spoken formats. The student d. Revises sentences by correcting errors in usage.

Original text without punctuation:

When Jamie saw him throw the baby saw Van throw the little baby saw Van throw his little sister Nin when Jamie saw Van throw his baby sister Nin then they moved that very night or was it early morning some time of day or night that felt like it had no hour at all Jamie and his mother and Nin left the house where they’d been living with Van Van’s house and they drove to Earl’s apartment above Daggert’s Sand ‘n Gravel in Stark New Hampshire and from there they went on to the trailer

Original text with punctuation:

When Jamie saw him throw the baby, saw Van throw the little baby, saw Van throw his little sister Nin, when Jamie saw Van throw his baby sister Nin, then they moved. That very night---or was it early morning?---some time of day or night that felt like it had no hour at all, Jamie and his mother and Nin left the house where they’d been living with Van --- Van’s house--- and they drove to Earl’s apartment above Daggert’s Sand ‘n Gravel in Stark, New Hampshire, and from there they went on to the trailer.

~What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman

Activities for Constructing Sentences that Enhance Meaning
1. Which is Better? This activity allows students to discuss why the flow of the sentence enhances meaning. You will need to share a number of examples before students begin to hear the differences. Students should discuss which version of the ideas they prefer and why. Examples: A. We went to the beach. It was sunny. It was warm. We had fun. We flew kites and ate hot dogs. B. We spent a warm, sunny day at the beach eating snacks and flying kites. An alternate lesson would be to provide the students with the short sentences and ask that they combine the ideas into a better example that is now one sentence.

2. Long and Short to Make It Interesting This activity asks the students to craft a long, suspense-building, starter sentence by describing the scene. This activity works well with crafting horror stories. Ask the students to begin their writing with one or two long sentences and end the paragraph with three short sentences. Example: “Sarah walked into the hallway, noticing the crystal chandeliers, the gilded wallpaper, and the polished imitation marble tiled floor that appeared to be waxed this morning. The scream pierced her brain. She turned to the door. The bullet zipped past her ear. Fear.” Students should practice writing a long set-up sentence and then be challenged to write several short sentences right after to create energy in the story and to move it along. The very last sentence will be a functional fragment.

3. Pass It On This activity works best if the students are in groups. Each group is given a short beginning sentence. The object is for each group to take the last word of the sentence and begin the next sentence with that word. This two sentence example is now passed on to one more group. The activity works best if the sentence does not go beyond one additional group because the writing tends to get silly and ineffective. The benefits from this activity are the focus on staying on the topic and the creation of an almost poetic voice within the writing. Example: “It hadn’t been this windy and rainy in years, and I felt a little scared all alone. Alone in my grandparents’ house for the first time, my common sense told me I had nothing to be frightened of, but every time the wind rattled the windows, I trembled. Trembled was the best word to describe my insane attempt at keeping my brain in check at a time when I knew my imagination was running wild.”

4. Extra, Extra, Read All About It! This activity allows students to explore sentence structure used in newspapers. First of all, explain to the students that reporters need to make sense of the information they receive. When they tell their readers what was said, they may restate the questions and even quote some of the answers. Reporters will use various kinds of sentences in their articles. Secondly, hand out sections of the newspaper to small groups and ask students to find examples of different sentence patterns: simple, compound, complex, compound-complex, declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, and imperative. The students should be able to locate an example in their section of the newspaper for each pattern. The examples discovered should be shared. As a follow-up, ask the students to look for the patterns of sentences they use in their own writing. Using different colored highlighters is a great way to code the sentences.

5. Lean and Mean: This is a useful activity for students who add unnecessary words in order to make their writings more lengthy. Often, these extra words prevent the writing from being fluent. Look for examples of sentences that contain unnecessary information, and show the students how to make the sentences fluent. A sample follows from Richard Lederer’s book, The Write Way: Guide to Real-Life Writing: Original: The stadium has ample parking space available for fans’ automobiles. Revision: The stadium has ample parking space.

The best place to find sentences for students to practice is often within their own writings.

(Culhum, R. (2003). 6 + 1 Traits of Writing. New York: Scholastic Professional Books.)

Teaching Adjective, Adverb, and Noun Clauses
There are three basic types of dependent clauses: adjective clauses, adverb clauses, and noun clauses. (Adjective clauses are also called relative clauses.) I. Adjective Clauses: Adjective clauses perform the same function in sentences that adjectives do: they modify nouns. The teacher has a car. (Car is a noun.)

It’s a new car. (New is an adjective which modifies car.)
The car that she is driving is not hers.
(That she is driving is an adjective clause which modifies car. It’s a clause because it has a subject (she) and a predicate (is driving); it’s an adjective clause because it modifies a noun.) Note that adjectives usually precede the nouns they modify; adjective clauses always follow the nouns they modify. A sentence which contains one adjective clause and one independent clause is the result of combining two clauses which contain a repeated noun. You can combine two independent clauses to make one sentence containing an adjective clause by following these steps: 1. You must have two clauses which contain a repeated noun (or pronoun, or noun and pronoun which refer to the same thing). Here are two examples: The book is on the table. + I like the book.

The man is here. + The man wants the book.
2. Delete the repeated noun and replace it with a relative pronoun in the clause you want to make dependent. See below for information on relative pronouns. The book is on the table. + I like which

The man is here. + who wants the book
3. Move the relative pronoun to the beginning of its clause (if it is not already there). The clause is now an adjective clause. The book is on the table. + which I like
The man is here. + who wants the book
4. Put the adjective clause immediately after the noun phrase it modifies (the repeated noun): The book which I like is on the table.
The man who wants the book is here.
The subordinators in adjective clauses are called relative pronouns. 1. These are the most important relative pronouns: who, whom, that, which. These relative pronouns can be omitted when they are objects of verbs. When they are objects of prepositions, they can be omitted when they do not follow the preposition. WHO replaces nouns and pronouns that refer to people. It cannot replace nouns and pronouns that refer to animals or things. It can be the subject of a verb. In informal writing (but not in academic writing), it can be used as the object of a verb. WHOM replaces nouns and pronouns that refer to people. It cannot replace nouns and pronouns that refer to animals or things. It can be the object of a verb or preposition. It cannot be the subject of a verb. WHICH replaces nouns and pronouns that refer to animals or things. It cannot replace nouns and pronouns that refer to people. It can be the subject of a verb. It can also be the object of a verb or preposition. THAT replaces nouns and pronouns that refer to people, animals or things. It can be the subject of a verb. It can also be the object of a verb or preposition (but that cannot follow a preposition; whom, which, and whose are the only relative pronouns that can follow a preposition). 2. The following words can also be used as relative pronouns: whose, when, where. WHOSE replaces possessive forms of nouns and pronouns (see WF11 and pro in Correction Symbols Two). It can refer to people, animals or things. It can be part of a subject or part of an object of a verb or preposition, but it cannot be a complete subject or object. Whose cannot be omitted. Here are examples with whose: The man is happy. + I found the man’s wallet. =

The man whose wallet I found is happy.
The girl is excited. + Her mother won the lottery. =
The girl whose mother won the lottery is excited.
WHEN replaces a time (in + year, in + month, on + day,...). It cannot be a subject. It can be omitted. Here is an example with when: I will never forget the day. + I graduated on that day.=
I will never forget the day when I graduated.
The same meaning can be expressed in other ways:
I will never forget the day on which I graduated.
I will never forget the day that I graduated.
I will never forget the day I graduated.
WHERE replaces a place (in + country, in + city, at + school,...). It cannot be a subject. It can be omitted but a preposition (at, in, to) usually must be added. Here is an example with where: The building is new. + He works in the building. =

The building where he works is new.
The same meaning can be expressed in other ways:
The building in which he works is new.
The building which he works in is new.
The building that he works in is new.
The building he works in is new.
Adjective clauses can be restrictive or nonrestrictive.
1. A restrictive adjective clause contains information that is necessary to identify the noun it modifies. If a restrictive adjective clause is removed from a sentence, the meaning of the main clause changes. A restrictive adjective clause is not separated from the main clause by a comma or commas. Most adjective clauses are restrictive; all of the examples of adjective clauses above are restrictive. Here is another example: People who can’t swim should not jump into the ocean.

2. A nonrestrictive adjective clause gives additional information about the noun it modifies but is not necessary to identify that noun. If a nonrestrictive adjective clause is removed from a sentence, the meaning of the main clause does not change. A nonrestrictive adjective clause is separated from the main clause by a comma or commas. The relative pronoun that cannot be used in nonrestrictive adjective clauses. The relative pronoun cannot be omitted from a nonrestrictive clause. Here is an example: Billy, who couldn’t swim, should not have jumped into the ocean.

II. Adverb Clauses: Adverb clauses show relationships such as time, cause and effect, contrast, and condition

A sentence which contains one adverb clause and one independent clause is the result of combining two clauses which have one of the relationships above. You can combine two independent clauses to make one sentence which contains an adverb clause by following these steps: 1. You must have two clauses which have one of the relationships in A above: Billy couldn’t swim.

He jumped off the pier. (contrast)
2. Add a subordinating conjunction to the beginning of the clause you want to make dependent: Although Billy couldn’t swim
He jumped off the pier.
3. Place the two clauses next to each other. Usually, the order of the clauses is not important. When the adverb clause precedes the independent clause, the two clauses are usually separated by a comma: Although Billy couldn’t swim, he jumped off the pier.

When the independent clause precedes the adverb clause, there is usually no comma: Billy jumped off the pier although he couldn’t swim.
The subordinators in adverb clauses are called subordinating conjunctions. They cannot be omitted. They cannot be subjects. Here are some of the subordinating conjunctions: Time: after, before, when, while, as, by the time, whenever, since, until, as soon as, once, as long as Cause and effect: because, since, now that, as, as long as, inasmuch as, so (that), in order that Contrast: although, even though, though, whereas, while

Condition: if, unless, only if, whether or not, even if, providing (that), provided (that), in case, in the event (that). Here are some examples of sentences which contain one adverb clause (underlined) and one independent clause. The two sentences in each pair have the same meaning: After he took lessons, George could swim well.

George could swim well after he took lessons.

Because he couldn’t swim, Billy drowned.
Billy drowned because he couldn’t swim.

Although he isn’t interested in food, Fred works as a cook. Fred works as a cook although he isn’t interested in food.

If you want to write well, you must practice.
You must practice if you want to write well.

III. Noun Clauses: Noun clauses perform the same functions in sentences that nouns do: A noun clause can be a subject of a verb:
What Billy did shocked his friends.
A noun clause can be an object of a verb:
Billy’s friends didn’t know that he couldn’t swim.
A noun clause can be a subject complement:
Billy’s mistake was that he refused to take lessons.
A noun clause can be an object of a preposition:
Mary is not responsible for what Billy did.
A noun clause (but not a noun) can be an adjective complement: Everybody is sad that Billy drowned.
You can combine two independent clauses by changing one to a noun clause and using it in one of the ways listed above. The choice of the noun clause marker (see below) depends on the type of clause you are changing to a noun clause: To change a statement to a noun clause use that:

I know + Billy made a mistake =
I know that Billy made a mistake.
To change a yes/no question to a noun clause, use if or whether: George wonders + Does Fred know how to cook? =
George wonders if Fred knows how to cook.
To change a wh-question to a noun clause, use the wh-word:
I don’t know + Where is George? =
I don’t know where George is.
The subordinators in noun clauses are called noun clause markers. Here is a list of the noun clause markers:

that
if, whether
Wh-words: how, what, when, where, which, who, whom, whose, why Wh-ever words: however, whatever, whenever, wherever, whichever, whoever, whomever Except for that, noun clause markers cannot be omitted. Only that can be omitted, but it can be omitted only if it is not the first word in a sentence: correct:

Billy’s friends didn’t know that he couldn’t swim.
correct:
Billy’s friends didn’t know he couldn’t swim.
correct:
Billy’s mistake was that he refused to take lessons.
correct:
Billy’s mistake was he refused to take lessons.
correct:
That Billy jumped off the pier surprised everyone.
not correct:
* Billy jumped off the pier surprised everyone.
Sequence of tenses in sentences containing noun clauses:
When the main verb (the verb in the independent clause) is present, the verb in the noun clause is: future if its action/state is later
He thinks that the exam next week will be hard.
He thinks that the exam next week is going to be hard.
present if its action/state is at the same time
He thinks that Mary is taking the exam right now.
past if its action/state is earlier
He thinks that George took the exam yesterday.
When the main verb (the verb in the independent clause) is past, the verb in the noun clause is: was/were going to or would + BASE if its action/state is later He thought that the exam the following week was going to be hard. He thought that the exam the following week would be hard.

past if its action/state is at the same time
He thought that Mary was taking the exam then.
past perfect if its action/state is earlier
He thought that George had taken the exam the day before.
If the action/state of the noun clause is still in the future (that is, after the writer has written the sentence), then a future verb can be used even if the main verb is past. The astronaut said that people will live on other planets someday. If the action/state of the noun clause continues in the present (that is, at the time the writer is writing the sentence) or if the noun clause expresses a general truth or fact, the simple present tense can be used even if the main verb is past. We learned that English is not easy.

The boys knew that the sun rises in the east.
Here are some examples of sentences which contain one noun clause (underlined) and one independent clause: Noun clauses as subjects of verbs:
That George learned how to swim is a miracle.
Whether Fred can get a better job is not certain.
What Mary said confused her parents.
However you learn to spell is OK with me.
Noun clauses as objects of verbs:
We didn’t know that Billy would jump.
We didn’t know Billy would jump.
Can you tell me if Fred is here?
I don’t know where he is.
George eats whatever is on his plate.
Noun clauses as subject complements:
The truth is that Billy was not very smart.
The truth is Billy was not very smart.
The question is whether other boys will try the same thing.
The winner will be whoever runs fastest.
Noun clauses as objects of prepositions:
Billy didn’t listen to what Mary said.
He wants to learn about whatever is interesting.
Noun clauses as adjective complements:
He is happy that he is learning English.
We are all afraid that the final exam will be difficult.
http://faculty.deanza.edu/flemingjohn/stories/storyReader$20

Adjective, Adverb, and Noun Clauses
I. Adjective Clauses:
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II. Adverb Clauses:
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