Sentence Structure Using a Bike Metaphor

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  • BEGIN WITH EXAMPLES, NOT DEFINITION. CONCRETE, NOT ABSTRACT. SENTENCES OF DIFFERENT LENGTH -- BASIC WRITERS THINK LENGTH DETERMINES SENTENCEHOOD.
  • OUT OF LENGTH-MINDSET. A MEANING-CENTERED DEFINITION. MEANING OF THE WORDS, NOT ABSTRACT IDENTIFICATION OF PARTS OF SPEECH.
  • AGAIN, CONCRETE EXAMPLES. THE WHO/WHAT AND WHAT ABOUT IT MAKES SENSE TO STUDENTS. INTRODUCE TERMS BASIC SENTENCE AND INDEPENDENT CLAUSE.
  • IMAGE. ALSO STABLE STUCTURE – IMPORTANT FOR UNDERSTANDING SENTENCE BOUNDARIES. WILL SEE THIS AS WE MOVE ALONG
  • USE SENTECE AS CONTEXT. TEACH SENTENCE 1 ST AS CONTEXT FOR SPECIFIC WORDS AND PHRASES. FRAMEWORK OF SUPPORT
  • CONTEXT OF SENTENCE. SUBJECT AND PREDICATE CAN BE EXPANDED. LEARNING SENTENCE BOUNDARIES. LATER ON THEY WILL LEARN THAT BASKETS CAN BE ADDED – THAT TOO IS SENTENCE BOUNDARIES.
  • MEANING-CENTERED DEFINITION APPLIES TO ALL KINDS OF SENTENCES. EMPOWERS STUDENTS TO IDENTIFY SENTENCES – WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. WHOEVER GETS HOME FIRST SHOULD START DINNER.
  • COMMON ERROR: MARKING SUBJECT AND PREDICATE WITH A COMMA – PAUSING. LIKE MARTHA WITH SENTENCE SLOTS. ALSO, IMPORTANT TO SEE SENTENCE AS A STABLE STRUCTURE FOR ADDITIONS.
  • STUDENTS FEEL PARALYSIS WHEN TRYING TO WRITE, FEAR OF ERROR. WE BEGIN SWITCH OF FOCUS HERE. SENTENCE IS MEANING-CENTERED
  • THIS IS HOW I GET THERE
  • MOVE BASKETS FROM FRONT TO BACK. LEARNING HOW TO MANIPULATE SENTENCES – MATURE WRITER.
  • CAN EXPLAIN RESTRICTIVE AND NON-RESTRICTIVE INFORMATION BY EXPLAINING RESTRICTIVE INFO SNAPS INTO THE WHEEL ITSELF. IT EXPANDS THE WHEEL. IT’S NOT EXTRA BY-THE-WAY INFORMATION.
  • RESTRICTIVE AND NON-RESTRICTIVE. EXPLAIN RESTRICTIVE INFO SNAPS INTO THE WHEEL ITSELF. EXPANDS THE WHEEL. NOT EXTRA BY-THE-WAY INFO
  • COMMON ERROR: NOT TO HAVE BASIC SENTENCE SUPPORT ADDITION. BASKETS HELP STUDENTS SEE HOW PARTS RELATE TO THE WHOLE
  • SEEING HOW PARTS RELATE TO THE WHOLE
  • COVERS A LARGE VARIETY OF SENTENCE STRUCTURES
  • LOGIC OF PUNCTUATION
  • CAN SEE COMMAS AS HANDLES LIFTING OUT THE ADDITION. LOGIC OF PUNCTUATION
  • Sentence Structure Using a Bike Metaphor

    1. 1. The bike is a concrete image of how sentenceswork. This presentation, given at ATEG’s 2006conference, shows you how to use the bike toteach sentence structure. The slides areexamples of the kind of instruction found in An Easy Guide to Writing by Pamela Dykstra Prentice Hall, 2006 ISBN: 0 -13 –184954 - 9
    2. 2. Do Now: What are theelements needed to make up acomplete sentence?
    3. 3. A CONCRETE IMAGE OF HOW SENTENCES WORK
    4. 4. • Here are three sentences: • He smiles. • Autumn leaves twirled gently to the ground. • The park district will open an outdoor ice skating rink in November.
    5. 5. Length does not determine what is and is not asentence. Regardless of how long or short a group ofwords is, it needs two parts to be a sentence: a subjectand a predicate. •The subject tells us who or what. •The predicate tells us what about it.
    6. 6. Who or what? What about it?He smiles.Autumn leaves twirl gently to the ground.The park district will open an outdoor ice skating rink in November.These two parts connect to form a basicsentence, also known as an independent clause.
    7. 7. Another way to describe a sentence is to compare it to a bike… The subject is one wheel; the predicate is the other wheel.These two parts connect to form a stable structure.
    8. 8. We can have just one word in each wheel… Children play. Students studied.
    9. 9. But most of the time our ideas include more details.We add extra words to the wheels. The neighborhood children play basketball at the community center. Students in the biology lab studied cells under an electron microscope.
    10. 10. We can expand the wheels by adding adjectives:Old magazines are stacked under the kitchentable.The weekend seminar explains how to start asmall business.Meditation helps create a peaceful mind andhealthy body.
    11. 11. We can expand the wheels by addingadverbs:Airline employees worked diligently to reschedule our flights.We carefully loaded the van with furniture.The driver realized immediately that he hadmissed the exit.
    12. 12. We can also add prepositional phrases: The windows rattled in the winter storm. We loaded our hamburgers with ketchup, mustard, and onion. Some car dealers make most of their profit on parts and services.
    13. 13. Regardless of how much detail we add, the wheels givethe same kind of information. The subject tells us whoor what. The predicate tells us what about it. Who or what? What about it? Randy loves pizza. Companies benefit from customer loyalty. Efficient train service will decrease traffic congestion.
    14. 14. Subjects and predicates connect directly. Do notseparate them with a comma.Incorrect: Carlos and his family, showed me that honor is more important than winning.Correct: Carlos and his family showed me thathonor is more important than winning.
    15. 15. Taking StockThe bike with its subject and predicate wheels givesstudents a solid foundation of how sentences work.Concrete imageStudents see that a sentence has two parts - that these two parts can be expanded - that they connect to form a sentence.
    16. 16. Meaning-centered definitionStudents understand (remember, apply) “who or what”and “what about it.” - gives them a sentence test: “Do I have a who or what and a what about it?”-- rather thantrying to identify parts of speech - fits wide variety of sentences - connects them to the purpose of writing:creating and communicating meaning
    17. 17. Moving ForwardStudents have gained sense of sentence boundaries. - A sentence is not determined by length (2wheels, expandable) - Writers mark end of who or what and whatabout it with a period.Knowing what a sentence is, students are better able tounderstand dependent clauses.
    18. 18. Dependent clauses cannot stand alone. Theyare like baskets that need to be attached to abasic sentence.One kind of dependent clause begins with asubordinating conjunction.
    19. 19. When the music beganEveryone started to dance.When the music began,everyone started to dance.
    20. 20. Here are some more dependent clauses: As soon as it stopped raining Because I registered early When we need a quiet place to study
    21. 21. We can place these baskets on the front of a bike.As soon as it stopped raining, we saw a double rainbow.Because I registered early, I got the classes I wanted.When we need a quiet place to study, we go to the library.
    22. 22. We can also place them on the back of a bike.We saw a double rainbow as soon as it stopped raining.I got the classes I wanted because I registered early.We go to the library when we need a quiet place tostudy.
    23. 23. Another kind of dependent clause begins withthe relative pronouns who, which, and that. who works part-time which includes a swimming pool that is parked in my drivewayThese clauses are not sentences. They are likebaskets that need to be attached to a bike.
    24. 24. These baskets go after the word they describe.Sometimes they’re in the middle of the bike. Frank, who works part-time,will be our guide. The new fitness center, which includes a swimming pool, will open in February. The car that is parked in my driveway is Henry’s.
    25. 25. Sometimes they are on the back of the bike.We are making pasta for the Richardsons, who do not eat meat.I have tickets to the jazz festival, which begins at noon.Karen likes books that have a happy ending.
    26. 26. Sentence SupportRegardless of what kind of basket we add, we need abasic sentence to support it.Example: The new fitness center, which includes a swimming pool, will open in April. Basic sentence: The new fitness center will open in April. Basket: which includes a swimming pool
    27. 27. Taking StockThe baskets help students see that - dependent clauses are not sentences - they need to be attached to a sentence Moving ForwardThe basket is also useful when explaining fragmentsand sentence variety.
    28. 28. A fragment is just a part of a sentence. It maylack a subject or a predicate. Often it’s adisconnected basket.
    29. 29. Disconnected dependent clausesAs soon as I understood the problem. I thought of asolution.I was not responsible. When I was sixteen.The village will enlarge the parking lot. Whichserves weekday commuters.Let’s rent the same movie. That we saw lastweekend.
    30. 30. Disconnected description and detailIt was an easy task. Especially for someone so small.The corporation provides employees with benefits.Like medical insurance and a pension.We have ordered everything on the menu. Exceptfried buffalo wings.We put an ad in the Lake Norman Times. Our localnewspaper.
    31. 31. Disconnected -ing and –to fragmentsI sprinted down the street. Trying to catch the train.The scientists continued their research. Hoping tofind a cure.To celebrate their anniversary. They are going toAsheville for the weekend.We walked up sixteen flights of stairs. To prove toourselves we could do it.
    32. 32. We can correct these fragments by attaching them tothe sentence. As soon as I understood the problem, I thought of a solution. I sprinted down the street, trying to catch the train.
    33. 33. Sentence VarietyBaskets are excellent ways to create sentencevariety. Once we have a stable structure, we canadd a variety of baskets on the front, in themiddle, or on the back.
    34. 34. We can add a variety of baskets on the front.Earlier this spring, the viaduct was closed because offlooding.Eight months ago, we bought a truck.By the time we got home, it was dark.Irritable after a long day at work, we took a nap beforestudying.
    35. 35. A variety of baskets in the middle: My little brother, unable to sleep, turned on the light. The elderly couple, walking slowly up the driveway, waved at their grandchildren. A modern art gallery, funded by a million dollar grant, is under construction. John Jackson, a friend since grade school, is my math tutor.
    36. 36. And a variety of baskets on the back: Jeff wants a hybrid, his best hope for good gas mileage. A gentle rain fell throughout the night, lulling us to sleep. We are building a home with Habitat for Humanity, a national volunteer program. Everyone wants to leave at noon, even my sister.
    37. 37. The Logic of PunctuationReaders are looking for the who or what and whatabout it of a sentence, the main idea. Commas helpthem see that main idea.• If you begin a sentence with a basket, use acomma to show readers where the addition ends andthe basic sentence begins. According to the weather report, tomorrow will be hot and humid. If we go to the early movie, we can save money.
    38. 38. If the basket interrupts the sentence, use commas toshow readers where the addition begins and ends. The art gallery, which opens this weekend, features local artists. Ruby, my sister’s best friend, will loan me her car.
    39. 39. If the basket is attached to the end of the sentence, thecomma shows readers where the addition begins. The award was given to James Johnson, the most respected person in our town. They are living in the present, not the past.
    40. 40. SUMMARYThe bike helps students see how sentences work - how the whole communicates meaning - how the parts relate to the whole - how punctuation signals these connections.
    41. 41. Students see how the whole communicatesmeaning and how the parts relate to the whole.The subject is one wheel, giving the who orwhat. The predicate is the other wheel, givingthe what about it. These two parts connect toform a stable structure, which can then carryadditions (baskets). These additions are likebaskets that can be placed on the front, themiddle, or the back of the bike.
    42. 42. Students see how punctuation signals theseconnections. Students learn, for example,that commas are used to mark additions soreaders can see the basic sentence, themain idea of the sentence. Through similarexplanations and concrete illustrations,students realize that punctuation is not a listof arbitrary rules to be inserted on top ofsentences; it is system of signs tellingreaders how to read the writer’s thoughts.
    43. 43. BIKE STRENGTHS- Concrete (similar to diagramming)- Emphasizes Who or what/What about itdefinition- Focuses on the essential – doesn’t losestudents with overwhelming detail- Can be used with traditional terminology
    44. 44. A CONCRETE IMAGE OF HOW SENTENCES WORK

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