Grammar activities gr 6-8

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  • 1. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources That Really Grades 6–8 SARAH GLASSCOCK SARAH GLASSCOCK New York  •  Toronto  •  London  •  Auckland  •  Sydney Mexico City  •  New Delhi  •  Hong Kong  •  Buenos Aires
  • 2. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching ResourcesScholastic Inc. grants teachers permission to photocopy the reproducible pages from this book for classroom use. No other part of thispublication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher. For information regarding permission,write to Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.Editor: Sarah LonghiCopy editor: Jeannie HutchinsCover design: Maria LiljaInterior design: Melinda BelterIllustrations: Mike MoranISBN-13: 978-0-545-11264-2ISBN-10: 0-545-11264-8Copyright © 2010 by Sarah Glasscock.All rights reserved. Published by Scholastic.Printed in the U.S.A.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 40 16 15 14 13 12 11 10
  • 3. Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 All About Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 All About Pronouns and Antecedents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 All About Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources All About Adjectives and Adverbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 All About Prepositions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 All About Subject-Predicate Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 All About Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 All About Phrases and Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 All About Specificity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 All About Sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
  • 4. IntroductionIt may be hard to convince students that grammar is a living, breathing thing that reflectsnot only the history of our language but also how language and its rules change in ourcontemporary lives. For example, today we try to use language more precisely to reflect thechanges in our society by replacing policeman or fireman with police officer or firefighter. (We’restill grappling with the wordiness of pairing everyone with the possessive pronouns his and her.)Grammar is simply a set of rules that help us write and speak clearly so people can understandwhat we mean. The aim of this book is to present an overview of major topics that will giveyour students tools become better writers and speakers.How to Use This BookThe book contains a mini-lesson for each of the following ten major grammar topics: Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • Nouns • Subject-Predicate Agreement • Pronouns and Antecedents • Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives • Verbs • Phrases and Clauses • Adjectives and Adverbs • Specificity • Prepositions • SentencesEach mini-lesson contains the following elements to support your teaching: 4 A teaching page focuses on introducing and defining the topic, teaching it in conjunction with a model passage, and applying it. A quote related to the topic begins each lesson. In some lessons, the quote is used as a springboard for introducing, discussing, or applying the grammar topic. 4 A short model passage shows important aspects of the grammar topic in action. Important points about the grammar topic are identified in the passage and briefly discussed. You may want to display the passage onscreen to introduce or review the featured grammar points. Students can also keep this page in their notebooks or writing portfolios to guide them in their own writing. 4 Two writing prompts encourage students to write and share their work. You can photocopy the prompts on card stock and then cut them apart for students, write the prompts on the board, or display them onscreen. With the Rest of the Class tips help students extend their thinking by sharing their work with their peers. 4 Three activities for the whole class, small group, pairs, or individuals give students hands- on practice with the grammar topic. These activities require minimal preparation and appeal to a variety of learning styles; for example, students may play games, chant, or write ads and plays. Use the discussion tip, With the Class, to invite students to discuss the topic further. 4 A reproducible activity sheet goes with the activity featured in the Apply section of each teaching page. You’ll find that there is some overlapping of topics. It’s impossible to talk about subjects andpredicates without talking about nouns, pronouns, and verbs, and it’s impossible to talk aboutsentences without talking about all the other grammar topics in the book. Immerse your students in an overview of each grammar topic or dive more deeply into oneaspect of it. I hope this book encourages your students to see the powerful effect that grammarhas on our words­ and the effect we all have on our language. — 4
  • 5. All About Nouns ] All nouns are abbreviations. Instead of saying cold, sharp, burning, unbreakable, shining, pointy, we utter “dagger”; for the receding sun and oncoming darkness, we say “twilight.” —Jorge Luis Borges Nouns ground a sentence. Without nouns, there is nobody or nothing to spark the action. This mini-lesson focuses on the following aspects of nouns: • nouns and noun phrasesGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • subject-verb agreement • possessive nouns • descriptive nouns Introduction Begin a mini-lesson on nouns by writing a short definition of this part of Just exactly what is junk should you —trash, do with it— garbage, litter, deb Texas, has recycle it, ris, useless toss it, sell things, rub created a Cathedral it, or turn 1 bish—and of Junk in it into a wor what been wiri speech on the board. Here’s an example: “A noun names a person, place, ng and wel his backya k of art? ding and rd. Since A man in stringing 2 1988, Vin Austin, growing!— and stacking ce Hannem structure. ann, has Like man junk into has towers, y other cath an immens vaulted ceil edrals, this e, 60-ton ings, and one —and still animal, thing, or idea: After experiencing freedom from gravity when these arch trusses. Inst itectural ead of ston details are e, bicycle whe made out els, dolls, of discard and other ed anymore. things nob A wind chim ody wan e made of ts he somersaulted over the moon, James landed in his front yard again, music in CDs provide the cathedr 3 s al. The loca for Vince l artists’ nick Hannem name ann is “ya 4 Some of rdist.” Grammar Hannem 5 ann’s neig which surprised his Dalmatian.” Austin aren hbors and ’t so hap the City 6 py about of Activities 6 They thin the Cathed k it’s ugly ral of Jun and unsafe. k. city has insp But over That Really ected the the years, structure the down a pyr and declare amid mad d that it’s Grab ‘Em!, e of cast sturdy. On only a pile -off TVs. ce, Vince . “Well, wha The city’s did have engineer to take Teach 8 t kind of declared The Cathed pile expert 7 that the Grades 6–8 ral of Jun are you?” pyramid k is a pop Vince ask was really and musicia ular spot ed. ns have thro to visit in wn CD rele Austin. Cou © 2010 by kids wan ase parties ples have der through inside it, been mar the Cathed too. Som ried there, recogniz ral of Jun etimes, gro e things k on field ups of sch Sarah Glass they use trips. Vin ool trash wou d to own ce says tha ld end up. but threw t some visit away. The ors even y probab Distribute copies of the model passage “The Cathedral of Junk” on ly never cock, Schol imagined where the ir astic Teach page 7 to students. Allow time for them to read it on their own, or ing Resou rces ask them to follow along as you read it aloud. Then use the teaching guide on page 6 to discuss general notes on nouns and how the writer used them in the passage. Name ___ ______ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ (Also see the lessons on pronouns and antecedents on pages 11­ 16,– _______ Date ___ ______ ________ subject-verb agreement on pages 35–40, gerunds, participles, and infinitives on page 41–46, and phrases and clauses, pages 47–52.) Read the above quo te. Then write a nou Apply words and phrases tha n in the cen t your nou ter of the n stands web. Com as an abb plete the reviation web with for. On the board or a chart, make a list of nouns such as cactus, freedom, rces ing Resou astic Teach computer, adult, and pencil. Then hand out the Abbreviate! ock, Schol Sarah Glassc reproducible on page 10 and go over the directions. Encourage © 2010 by Grades 6–8 students to let their minds roam widely as they think about the Grab ‘Em!, That Really noun they have chosen. You may want to begin by assigning the Activities Grammar same noun to students. Encourage pairs of students to share their abbreviations with each other and try to identify the original noun or noun phrase. Record students’ responses to get a comprehensive definition of the noun. 5
  • 6. Nouns and Noun PhrasesA noun phrase is a group of words that begins with a noun or a pronoun and functionsas a noun.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  emind students that nouns name people, R 1 The noun junk names a thing. The nouns animals, places, things, and ideas. between the dashes are synonyms for junk.•  noun phrase contains a noun and the words A 2 In the noun phrase work of art, the prepositional that modify the noun. phrase of art modifies the noun work. It tells what•  he closest noun to the verb may not be the T kind of work it is. subject but a part of a noun phrase. Subject-Verb AgreementSubjects and verbs must always agree. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching ResourcesKEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  complete sentence needs a subject and a A 3 The subject in the noun phrase A wind chime verb. The subject and verb may be singular made of CDs, is chime. The verb must agree with or plural, but they must always agree with the singular noun chime, not the plural noun CDs. each other. 6 This compound subject, neighbors and the City of•  subject may be a single noun or a A Austin takes the plural verb, aren’t. noun phrase. Possessive NounsPossessive nouns indicate who or what possesses or owns something.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE• An apostrophe indicates possession. 4 Because the original noun artists is plural,•  n the case of a regular singular noun, an –s is I you form the plural possessive by adding an added after the apostrophe: gravity’s. apostrophe.•  n the case of a regular plural noun, the I 7 The singular possessive of city is city’s. apostrophe is added after the final –s: horses’.•  here are different schools of thought on how T to form the possessive of a noun ending in –s: Borges’ or Borges’s. The most important thing is to be consistent. Choose one of the styles and stick to it.Descriptive NounsOne descriptive noun can help you understand and visualize a writer’s message.One descriptive noun can be worth a thousand words.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  s the Borges quotation at the top of page 5 A 5 The nouns yard and artist have been combined indicates, one descriptive noun can take the to form a new noun that exactly describes what place of a string of words—including adjectives Hannemann is—a yardist. and noun phrases—and be more effective. 8 In Hannemann’s view, he had carefully stacked the TVs in a pyramid. In the city engineer’s eyes, there was nothing carefully done—or shapely— about the stack. In the inspector’s view, it was a pile. 6
  • 7. MODEL PASSAGE Nouns The Cathedral of Junk Just exactly what is junk—trash, garbage, litter, debris, useless things, rubbish—and what 1 should you do with it—recycle it, toss it, sell it, or turn it into a work of art? A man in Austin, 2 Texas, has created a Cathedral of Junk in his backyard. Since 1988, Vince Hannemann, has been wiring and welding and stringing and stacking junk into an immense, 60-ton—and still growing!—structure. Like many other cathedrals, this oneGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources has towers, vaulted ceilings, and trusses. Instead of stone, these architectural details are made out of discarded bicycle wheels, dolls, and other things nobody wants anymore. A wind chime made of CDs provides 3 music in the cathedral. The local artists’ nickname 4 for Vince Hannemann is “yardist.” 5 Some of Hannemann’s neighbors and the City of 6 Austin aren’t so happy about the Cathedral of Junk. 6 They think it’s ugly and unsafe. But over the years, the city has inspected the structure and declared that it’s sturdy. Once, Vince did have to take down a pyramid made of cast-off TVs. The city’s engineer declared that the pyramid was really 7 only a pile. “Well, what kind of pile expert are you?” Vince asked. 8 The Cathedral of Junk is a popular spot to visit in Austin. Couples have been married there, and musicians have thrown CD release parties inside it, too. Sometimes, groups of school kids wander through the Cathedral of Junk on field trips. Vince says that some visitors even recognize things they used to own but threw away. They probably never imagined where their trash would end up. In this passage, you’ll see examples of the following: • nouns and noun phrases • subject-verb agreement • possessive nouns • descriptive nouns 7
  • 8. WRITING PROMPTS Nouns Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen. $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ Who’s Responsible? Write! Who should be responsible for keeping your classroom neat— Wr ite yo ur not clean or organized, but neat? Should it be the responsibility of the ful l resp on se on a sepa ra te teacher, the students, or the entire classroom? Explain your reasons. sh eet of pa per. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Be sure to use possessive nouns in your response. Before you hand in your assignment, take another look at the possessive nouns you used. Did you use the correct form for each singular and possessive noun? If you’re not sure whether you used the correct possessive form, circle the noun. Try rephrasing the possessive noun like this: the city’s engineer/the engineer of the city, Hannemann’s neighbors/the neighbors of Hannemann, the local artists’ nickname/ nickname of the local artists. If you can rephrase it, the noun should be possessive. With the Rest of the Class: After sharing your ideas about who should be responsible for keeping your classroom neat, talk about any possessive pronouns you used.$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ Alone and With Others Write! What are your favorite things to do when you’re by yourself? Wr ite yo ur What do you like to do when you’re with family or friends? Describe ful l resp on se on a sepa ra te each set of activities in a few sentences. sh eet of pa per. Exchange work with a partner. As you read the work, think about how the writer used nouns. Do all the subjects and verbs agree? Are the nouns as precise as they could be? With the Rest of the Class: If you’d like to, share your work with the rest of the class. Even if you don’t read your work aloud, talk about how your partner helped you strengthen your use of nouns. 8
  • 9. Activities: Nouns Turning a Picture Into Words Materials: computer with Internet access Help students locate images of the Cathedral of Junk that was described in the passage. You can find videos on YouTube and/or visit the Web site www. roadsideamerica.com for photos (search for “Cathedral of Junk”). After students closely ex­ mine a the details in the images, challenge them to write their own descriptions of the Cathedral of Junk. Tell them to stretch their descriptive powers by using nouns as precisely as they can. Encou­­ rage students to use nouns the way Hannemann uses junk to create something unexpected and beautiful. With the Class: Discuss the descriptions. Ask: What did you notice about how other writers used descriptive nouns in their work?Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six Materials: number cube Have pairs work together to write a short, short story about one of the following: • a spaceship landing in your school yard • a lifeboat floating in the sea • the world’s longest skateboard (hint: It’s 30 feet, 1 inch long!) They should begin by rolling a number cube to find out how many characters will be in the spaceship or lifeboat or on the skateboard. With the Class: Let students take turns reading aloud their stories, or have one partner read it while the other pantomimes the action. Ask the other students if all the subjects and verbs in the story agree. Let Me Rephrase That Materials: examples of fine art (from posters, CD covers, postcards, and so on) that show one key subject; drawings supplies—colored pencils, markers, paints, drawing paper Write the following sentences on the board and explain that noun phrases can take different forms: • Six sneakers dangled from the limbs of the tree. • I spotted her red sneakers. • The sneakers that girl is wearing are too tight. • The sneakers sold in that store are too expensive. • Selena wants the red sneakers in the store window. Then display the art you selected and have groups choose one piece. Tell them to use noun phrases to describe the person, place, thing, or idea their piece of art shows. Then challenge groups to think of their own noun phrase to illustrate. With the Class: Display the illustrations. Can the other students guess the noun phrase each group has drawn? Write down their guesses, and ask the group to discuss how similar to and different from the original noun phrase the guesses are. 9
  • 10. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ Nouns Abbreviate! All nouns are abbreviations. Instead of saying cold, sharp, burning, unbreakable, shining, pointy, we utter “dagger”; for the receding sun and Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources oncoming darkness, we say “‘twilight.” __ Jorge Luis Borges Read the above quote. Then write a noun in the center of the web. Complete the web with words and phrases that your noun stands as an abbreviation for. 10
  • 11. All About Pronouns and Antecedents ] When a young man complains that a young lady has no heart, it’s pretty certain that she has his. —George Dennison Prentice A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun or a noun phrase in a sentence. That noun is called an antecedent. This mini-lesson focuses on the following types of pronouns: • personal pronouns and antecedents • reflexive pronouns • possessive pronouns • indefinite pronounsGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Introduction After briefly reviewing the definition of a pronoun, write the Prentice quote on the board and discuss the pronouns in it. Ask: What noun does the pronoun she refer to? What noun does the pronoun his refer to? Guide students to see that his is a possessive pronoun and that Prentice means “his [the young man’s] heart.” Point out that the contraction it’s is the combination of the subject and verb, not a possessive pronoun. Teach Hand out copies of the passage “Dear Mr. President” on page 13 or make a transparency of it to display on the overhead. Call on a volunteer to read Dear Pres Everyone ident Oba ma, in my boo k club is aloud the passage while the rest of the students follow along. Then use 1 that you reading you ’re a won r book, Dre derful writ 1 ams From very dism er! We also My Fath ayed to read agree that er. All of your wor you deliver us agree “You help ds in the speeches 2 ed shape 3 newspap that insp 2 Michelle er: ire us, so, Many of and mys I was the teaching guide on page 12 to discuss general tips on pronouns and you have elf. Man helped to 4 y of you grateful support us, have bee to all of you through n part of .” thick and our child through ren’s lives Surely you thin. And . Grammar know, Mr. so I’m just the subject Presiden very t, that the antecedents and how the writer used them in the passage. I. In fact, reflexive a reflexive pronoun Activities a sentenc pronoun myself can e are the can only only be used same. For be used with instead of example, when the That Really “She vote a person subject and d for her. would say the object you should ” To mak (or write), of have said e your than “She vote is, “You k-you add d for hers Grab ‘Em!, helped shap ress gram elf” A child mig e Michell matically ht read wha e and me. correct, wha incorrectly t you said ” t and he or Grades 6–8 in his or she might Apply her writing. 5 start to use Please rem 6 reflexive ember, Mr. pronoun Presiden s © 2010 by t, we’re liste Sincerely ning to eve yours, ry word you say! Sarah Glassc A Concern ed Citizen ock, Schola Give a copy of the list of the Types of Pronouns reproducible on page stic Teach ing Resou rces 16 to each student. Explain that this list is a good reference tool to keep Name ____ ____ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ _____ Date ____ in their writing folders. Then tell students you’re going to introduce ____ ________ _ SINGULA Subjective R Objectiv PLURAL e an activity that focuses on indefinite pronouns. Start a call-and-response Subjective Obj ective SINGULA R PLURAL activity that uses different indefinite pronouns with the same verb. Example: Teacher: Who is singing? rces ng Resou stic Teachi Student 1: Nobody is singing. ock, Schola Sarah Glassc Student 2: Many are singing. SINGULA R © 2010 by PLURAL Grades 6–8 Record the responses on the board. After every student has had a Grab ‘Em!, That Really chance to respond, go over the pronouns and verb forms in each Activities Grammar response. Point out that not every indefinite pronoun has a possessive form. Ask: Which indefinite pronouns are singular? Which are plural? 11
  • 12. Personal Pronouns and AntecedentsA pronoun takes the place of a noun. It must agree with its noun antecedent.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  n replacing a noun with a pronoun, a writer I 5 In this sentence, he or she is used because a has to think about person, number, case, and child really means any child. It doesn’t matter gender: Should I use the first person, second whether the child is a boy or a girl. Another way person, or third person? Is the noun singular to write the sentence is by making the nouns and or plural? Is the noun a subject, an object, or pronouns plural: “Children read what you said, and possessive? Does the noun refer to a male or a they might start to use reflexive pronouns in their female, or is it neutral? own writing.”•  he discussion about how we should refer to T males and females shows how changes in ideas and beliefs affect grammar. Possessive Pronouns Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching ResourcesLike a possessive noun, a possessive pronoun indicates who or what possesses something.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  ossessive pronouns have two forms: my/mine, P 3 The words your and you’re are homophones. your/yours, his/his, her/hers, its/its, our/ours, Although they sound the same, they mean your/yours, their/theirs. different things. You’re is a contraction, combining•  he decision about which form to use depends T the pronoun you and the verb are. Your is a on the noun’s role in the sentence: possessive pronoun. Tessa’s cap is covered by bees! 6 To avoid the clumsy phrasing his or her, we might say, “A child might read what you said Her cap is covered by bees! and start to use reflexive pronouns in their The hat covered by bees is Tessa’s! own writing,” which is incorrect. When writing formally, try using plural nouns and/pronouns The hat covered by bees is hers! instead of singular nouns and pronouns.Reflexive PronounsA reflexive pronoun ends in –self and refers back to the subject of the sentence.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  he reflexive pronouns—myself, yourself, T 4 The letter writer explains the rules about using himself, herself, itself, themselves—never appear a reflexive pronoun: (a) A reflexive pronoun as subjects. is never the subject of a sentence. (b) Use a•  reflexive pronoun is used only when the A reflexive pronoun when the subject and object of subject and the object of a sentence are the sentence are the same. In this sentence, the the same. subject you and the object myself don’t refer to the same person.•  reflexive pronoun appears immediately after A a verb or a preposition: He spoke softly to himself, so no one else could hear his words.Indefinite PronounsAn indefinite pronoun refers to one or more, or all, of an unspecified group or class of people,animals, things, or ideas.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  ome indefinite pronouns have possessive S 1 The subject Everyone is a singular indefinite forms, which are formed by adding apostrophe pronoun, so it takes the singular verb is reading. –s: another’s, everyone’s, nobody’s. 2 The subject All is a plural indefinite pronoun,•  n indefinite pronoun that ends in –one or A so it takes the plural verb agree. –body is singular. 12
  • 13. MODEL PASSAGE Pronouns and Antecedents Dear Mr. President Dear President Obama,Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Everyone in my book club is reading your book, Dreams From My Father. All of us agree 1 1 2 2 that you’re a wonderful writer! We also agree that you deliver speeches that inspire us, so, I was very dismayed to read your words in the newspaper: 3 “You helped shape Michelle and myself. Many of you have been part of our children’s lives. 4 Many of you have helped to support us, through thick and through thin. And so I’m just very grateful to all of you.” Surely you know, Mr. President, that the reflexive pronoun myself can only be used with the subject I. In fact, a reflexive pronoun can only be used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same. For example, a person would say (or write), “She voted for herself” instead of “She voted for her.” To make your thank-you address grammatically correct, what you should have said is, “You helped shape Michelle and me.” A child might read what you said and he or she might start to use reflexive pronouns 5 incorrectly in his or her writing. 6 Please remember, Mr. President, we’re listening to every word you say! Sincerely yours, A Concerned Citizen In this passage, you’ll see the following types of pronouns: •  ersonal pronouns and p • possessive pronouns their antecedents • reflexive pronouns • indefinite pronouns 13
  • 14. WRITING PROMPTS Pronouns Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen.$- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ He, She, or It? Write! In some languages, such as Spanish, endings often indicate gender—whether a noun is masculine, feminine, or neutral. For Wr ite yo ur example, the Spanish word for school, escuela, ends in an –a so it’s ful l resp on se Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources a feminine noun. English uses pronouns to indicate the gender of a on a sepa ra te noun—he, she, it; him, her, it. Explain whether you think places, such sh eet of pa per. as schools, or ideas, such as liberty, should be identified as masculine, feminine, or neutral. Give specific examples. With the Rest of the Class: Discuss your examples. If you speak another language, share how that language uses gender.$-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ My Best Friend Write! Who’s your best friend? Do you have more than one Wr ite yo ur best friend? What do you like to do together? What qualifies this ful l resp on se friend or these friends to be the best? Write a short description. on a sepa ra te With the Rest of the Class: Talk about any problems you sh eet of pa per. encountered in deciding whether to use the personal pronouns him, her, or them or the possessive pronouns his, her/hers, or their/theirs. 14
  • 15. Activities: Pronouns and Antecedents Who Said That? A New Spin on an Old Tale Have students refashion a favorite fairy tale or folktale. Give the following directions: •  ead the story several times and then write your own version of the story—but don’t use R any nouns to name the main characters. Use only pronouns. •  xchange stories with your writing partner. Do you recognize your partner’s story—even E though the main characters aren’t identified by name? •  hen revise your partner’s story by adding proper nouns. As you revise, think about how T to balance the use of nouns and pronouns. Also make sure that each pronoun clearly represents a specific noun.Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources With the Class: Ask students to reveal the technique they used to write their stories: Did you write a draft that included nouns and then substitute pronouns for them? Did you plunge right in and tell the story using only pronouns? If so, how did you keep the characters clear in your mind as you wrote? Respect Yourself! Materials: examples of hip-hop or rap lyrics from a source such as Kids Rap Radio Explain that hip-hop, or rap, lyrics rhyme and have a rhythmic, 4/4 beat. After students listen to some examples of hip-hop or rap lyrics, ask them to work in groups to write their own. There’s a catch: Each group has to use reflexive pronouns in its lyrics. Once a group is satisfied with the song, students can present it to the rest of the class. With the Class: Talk about the different ways in which groups used reflexive pronouns. Explain why we use the reflexive pronoun yourself in an imperative sentence such as Respect yourself. Building a Story, Pronoun by Pronoun Materials: (for each group) number cube, list of pronouns (page 16), spinner divided into four equal sections and labeled Personal Pronouns, Possessive Pronouns, Indefinite Pronouns, and Reflexive Pronouns, scissors, pencil, paper clip Share the following directions for building a story with groups: •  ou and your group are going to build a story, pronoun by pronoun, sentence by sentence. Y • To decide the order of storytellers, each member tosses the number cube. The storytellers  go in order from least number to greatest number. • The first storyteller spins. He or she must use that type of pronoun in the beginning  sentence of your story. (Use the list of pronouns to give you ideas.) • The next storyteller spins and must use that type of pronoun to build the next sentence.  • Continue spinning and building your story until you decide that it’s finished.  With the Class: Encourage groups to read aloud their stories and discuss the challenges they faced in building their stories. 15
  • 16. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ PRONOUNS: Types of Pronouns Personal Pronouns Possessive Pronouns SINGULAR PLURAL Subjective Objective Subjective Objective SINGULAR PLURAL I me we us my/mine our/ours you you you you your/yours your/yours Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources he him they them his/his their/theirs she her they them her/hers their/theirs it it they them its/its their/theirs Indefinite Pronouns and Their Possessive Forms all anything everybody/ most none several everybody’s another/ both everyone/ much nothing some another’s everyone’s any each everything neither/ one/ somebody/ neither’s one’s somebody’s anybody/ each one/ few no one/ other/ something anybody’s each one’s no one’s other’s anyone/ either/ many nobody/ others/ such anyone’s either’s nobody’s others’ Reflexive Pronouns SINGULAR PLURAL myself ourselves yourself yourselves himself, herself, itself themselves 16
  • 17. All About Verbs ] Acting is doing, because everything you say or do is some kind of an action, some kind of a verb. You’re always connected to the other person through some kind of action. —Mira Sorvino Verbs are the energy sources of sentences. They set their subjects into motion—whether a subject is walking or simply being. This mini- lesson focuses on the following aspects of verbs: • verb tenses, including the perfect tenseGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • subject-verb agreement • irregular verbs • descriptive verbs Introduction Begin a mini-lesson on verbs by writing a short definition of this Paige pul part of speech on the board. Here’s an example: “A verb shows ls a handw what’s wro ritten list out of her ng, she gro jeans poc ans again. ket and gro Antonio ans. When slides the 1 Antonio list out of doesn’t ask pick up at Paige’s han action: The dog howls. A verb also can show a state of being: will have 2 the grocer finished “I can rea y store. I the shoppi can’t rea ng by five d. “It’s oka d what the , in plenty y are, but y. There aren’t tha there are t many thin n’t too ma gs to d it,” Pai of time for ny of the ge replies m. We The dog is wet.” years. Tha as she retr our rehear t’s not it. 3 ieves the sal.” What am list. “I’ve The door I going to shopped of the dry do for my for Mr. Gan cleaners volunteer 4 try for five in the nos magically project? e. When sighs ope I can’t thin an arm thru n—so ma k of anythin automatic sts a plastic 5 gically, tha g!” ally hooks 6 -wrapped t it almost the hanger dress thro hits Antoni his own 6 on her ind ugh the o finger at ex finger. open doo Teach the dress. Antonio r, Paige “I promis “Whose points dress is tha Grammar ed Mrs. Li t?” he ask getting ma I’d pick up s. rried on her dress. Saturday,” Her great-n Activities What am Paige exp iece is I going to lains. “H do for my elp me, Ant haven’t giv project? onio! That Reall en me any My parent good sug s and my Antonio gestions brother at all.” 7 Give each student a copy of the passage “Volunteer!” on page eyes the y Grab ‘Em!, flowers tha her sick nei t Paige has ghbor; the bought to plastic-wr cheer up you ever apped dre 8 Abner, thought Grades 6–8 about vol ss; and the unteering grocery list. neighborh “Have 19. Allow time for students to read the passage on their own ood?” he to do thin asks. gs for the older peo © 2010 by “Don’t be ple in you silly.” Pai r “That’s not ge juggle s the flow volunteer ers and dre Sarah Glass ing—that ss as she ’s just hel tries to rea or ask them to follow along as you read it aloud. Then use the ping out .” d the gro cery list. cock, Schol astic Teach teaching guide on page 18 discuss how the writer used nouns ing Resou rces in the passage. (Also see the lessons on gerunds, participles, and infinitives on pages 41–46 and phrases and clauses on pages 47–52). Name ___ ______ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _______ Date ___ ______ ________ Apply (YOH-tayte) v. to allo its own: w a yo-yo a combin to unwind ation of on Distribute the Create a New Word reproducible on page 22 and TENSES: the words Present— yo-yo and yotate , Pas rotate. will yotate t—yotate . EXAMP d, Future LES: Rau — the same l yotates time! Wo four yo-yos w—Raul at share the information about sniglets. Ask: Can you see how at the sam yotated fou e time! Nex r yo-yos t, Raul will at the sam yotate fou e time! r yo-yos What? You ’ve never the words yo-yo and rotate were combined to create the sniglet heard of because the word the word yotate? You yotate is can’t find Work wit a sniglet— it in the dict h one or a word tha ionary? Tha two partne t doesn’t t’s above for rs to crea appear in yotate to te at leas a diction yotate? Before students attempt to create their own sniglets, present you t two ver ary, but sho r own ver b sniglets uld. . Use the rces b sniglets format sho . wn ing Resou _________ _________ _________ astic Teach remind them to follow the same format as the entry for _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ cock, Schol _________ _________ __ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ __ yotate. Write the dictionary entry for a verb such as swim on Sarah Glass _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ __ _________ _________ _________ © 2010 by _________ __ _________ _________ _________ the board or on chart paper and display it so students can _________ _________ _________ Grades 6–8 _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ __ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ y Grab ‘Em!, _________ _________ __ _________ _________ see the proper format. _________ _________ _________ __ _________ That Reall _________ __ Activities Grammar 17
  • 18. Verb TensesWe use verb tenses to show time. Action can occur in the past, present, or future.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  he perfect tense refers to actions completed T 2 The verb phrase will have finished is in the by a certain time. future perfect tense. Paige and Antonio’s shopping•  he perfect tense is formed by combining a T will have been completed by a certain time in present, past, or future auxiliary with the past the future. participle: have walked, had walked, will have 4 I’ve shopped is in the present perfect tense. walked. To form the past participle, you usually Point out that the auxiliary verb have has been add –ed to the verb. shortened to help form the contraction I’ve.Subject-Verb AgreementA complete sentence needs both a subject and a verb.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources•  he subject and verb may be singular T 5 Although the noun dry cleaners is closest to or plural but they must always agree with the verb sighs, it isn’t the subject—door, a singular each other. noun, is, so the verb has to be singular, too.•  emind students that they should look R 7 The subject my parents and my brother is a carefully at compound subjects and subjects compound subject. A compound subject joined by that are separated from the verb by noun the conjunction and takes a plural verb, even if the phrases to make sure they match the subject last subject is singular. and verb correctly.Irregular VerbsRegular past-tense verbs are formed by adding –ed to the present tense of the verb: construct,constructed. Irregular verbs don’t follow this rule.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  eview the differences between regular and R 3 The verb reply is an irregular verb. The singular irregular verb forms. present tense is formed by changing the y to an i•  hare the fact that many of the irregular verbs S and adding –es. in English are very old words. While the rules 8 The verb buy is an irregular verb. Its past for forming verb tenses have changed over participle is bought, not buyed. The singular the years, irregular verbs are still formed using present perfect of buy is has bought. old rules. For instance, the verb drink comes from the Old English word drincan. Its past tense was dranc, and our modern past tense is drank. Descriptive VerbsVerbs with a lot of muscle make writing more descriptive.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  mphasize that using different synonyms for E 1 The verb groans shows that Paige is being overly a common action verb such as move makes dramatic to get Antonio’s attention and sympathy. someone’s speech or writing more accurate 6 The verbs in this sentence show that the and interesting—and that each synonym movement of the person, invisible except for his or affects the action described in the sentence. her arm, is abrupt and surprises Antonio but Paige What is the difference in motion between seems to be used to the person’s behavior. saunter and scurry? 18
  • 19. MODEL PASSAGE Verbs Volunteer! Paige pulls a handwritten list out of her jeans pocket and groans. When Antonio doesn’t ask 1 what’s wrong, she groans again. Antonio slides the list out of Paige’s hand. “It’s okay. There aren’t that many things to pick up at the grocery store. I can’t read what they are, but there aren’t too many of them. We will have finished the shopping by five, in plenty of time for our rehearsal.”Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources 2 “I can read it,” Paige replies as she retrieves the list. “I’ve shopped for Mr. Gantry for five 3 4 years. That’s not it. What am I going to do for my volunteer project? I can’t think of anything!” The door of the dry cleaners magically sighs open—so magically, that it almost hits Antonio 5 in the nose. When an arm thrusts a plastic-wrapped dress through the open door, Paige 6 automatically hooks the hanger on her index finger. Antonio points 6 his own finger at the dress. “Whose dress is that?” he asks. “I promised Mrs. Li I’d pick up her dress. Her great-niece is getting married on Saturday,” Paige explains. “Help me, Antonio! What am I going to do for my project? My parents and my brother 7 haven’t given me any good suggestions at all.” Antonio eyes the flowers that Paige has bought to cheer up Abner, 8 her sick neighbor; the plastic-wrapped dress; and the grocery list. “Have you ever thought about volunteering to do things for the older people in your neighborhood?” he asks. “Don’t be silly.” Paige juggles the flowers and dress as she tries to read the grocery list. “That’s not volunteering—that’s just helping out.” In this passage, you’ll explore the following: • verb tenses • subject-verb agreement • irregular verbs • descriptive verbs 19
  • 20. WRITING PROMPTS Verbs Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen.$- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow Write! Choose one of the prompts below to write about. Pay attention to the verb tense! •  hink back to when you were in first grade. What is the best thing you remember about T being a first grader? Use only the past and past perfect tenses to describe that memory. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources •  hat is the most interesting thing you’re learning right now in school? Why is it so W interesting to you? Use only the present and present perfect tenses. Wr ite yo ur •  hat do you think high school will be like? What are you most looking W ful l respo ns e on a sepa rat e forward to learning when you’re in high school? Use only the future and sh eet of pa per. future perfect tenses to predict what will happen. Look at the verbs you used. Did you use the proper tense for each verb—and did you use it throughout your response? If you’re not sure whether you used the correct tense for a verb, circle it. With the Rest of the Class: Talk about why you chose the prompt. Was writing in that tense easier or more difficult than you thought it might be?$-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ Then I Told Abe Lincoln . . . Write! What if you could step into a time machine? What place would you visit? Would you travel to the past or to the future? What would you experience? What would you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel? Write a story about your adventures. Wr ite yo ur Exchange stories with a partner. Read the story and then think about ful l respo ns e on a sepa rat e how the writer used verbs. Did the choice of verbs really help you “see” the sh eet of pa per. story? Talk about what you liked about the story and ask any questions you have. With the Rest of the Class: Read aloud your story to the class. Share how your partner helped you revise your work. 20
  • 21. Activities: Verbs Who’s Being Disagreeable? Materials: index cards, markers, timer Four people can play this subject-verb agreement game: a host, a contestant, and two panel members. On an index card or the whiteboard, the host writes the complete subject or complete predicate of a sentence, such as one of the following: The leader of the wild dogs . . . (complete subject) . . . were skating across the thin ice on the river. (complete predicate) Each panelist writes a complete subject or a complete predicate on an index card or whiteboard to complete the sentence. The complete subject or complete predicate may or may not agreeGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources with the host’s incomplete sentence. It’s up to the contestant to identify which panelist is in agreement. (Both panelists may agree; both panelists may disagree; one may agree, and one may disagree.) Play continues for 10 minutes. The group with the most correct completions is the winner. With the Class: Talk about why nouns such as family and group take singular verbs. Who Are You Calling Irregular? Materials: number cube, dictionary, timer Challenge pairs to see how many regular and irregular verbs they can name. Give the following directions: • Take turns tossing the number cube. •  f you toss an even number, call out a regular verb. If you toss an odd number, call out an I irregular verb. (You can have up to 30 seconds to scan the dictionary.) •  rite down the present- and past-tense forms of each verb in a T-chart. If you have any W questions about an answer, look up the verb in the dictionary. With the Class: Discuss how students decided whether a verb was regular or irregular. Pose the following questions: Did any of the verbs fool you? What can you do to remember which verbs are irregular? People on the Move Materials: thesaurus Tell students to take a few minutes to look around and observe the people they see: Who do you see? What are they doing? Then have them write a paragraph describing the actions of one person—without using common verbs such as walking, running, driving, playing, dancing, and so on. Encourage students to stretch their verb vocabulary. They may consult a thesaurus for synonyms that will make pictures pop into their reader’s mind. Urge them to take chances and think of creative and original ways to use language. With the Class: As students share their descriptions, brainstorm even more verbs. Record them in a Verb Volume, a book that everyone can refer to during writing activities. 21
  • 22. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ Verbs Create a New Word { yotate (YOH-tayte) v. to allow a yo-yo to unwind on its own: a combination of the words yo-yo and rotate. { Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources TENSES: Present—yotate , Past—yotated, Future— will yotate. EXAMPLES: Raul yotates four yo-yos at the same time! Wow—Raul yotated four yo-yos at the same time! Next, Raul will yotate four yo-yos at the same time! What? You’ve never heard of the word yotate? You can’t find it in the dictionary? That’s because the word yotate is a sniglet—a word that doesn’t appear in a dictionary, but should. Work with one or two partners to create at least two verb sniglets. Use the format shown above for yotate to present your own verb sniglets. { _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ { _________________________________________________________________ { _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ { _________________________________________________________________ 22
  • 23. All About Adjectives and Adverbs ] When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them—then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. —Mark Twain Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. This mini-lesson focuses on the following aspects of adjectives and adverbs: • adjectives: modifying nouns and pronounsGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • adverbs: modifying verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs • positive, comparative, and superlative forms  • descriptive adjectives and adverbs Introduction Begin a mini-lesson on adjectives and adverbs by writing a short definition of these parts of speech such as the following on the Remember board: “An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun. It can answer the rhyme contented about Litt ly eating le Miss Mu 1 her curds ffet, spider dro and whey pped in on until that her? In the disruptive was written 1800s, wh 2 these questions: Which one? (smelly socks) What kind of? (yellow , curds and en the rhy whey refe me Today, you rred to cot can find tage che cottage che ese. of cheese ese—soft —in sala and crea d bars. No my pearls w, cottag plaid socks), How many? (three pairs of socks). An adverb modifies mostly cur e cheese ds and a contains scant am people thin ount of liqu k whey tast id whey. es pretty (Some In fact, you vile.) can make Cottage it at hom cheese is 3 one of the 4 a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. It can answer questions temperatu e. Pour one easiest che re of 120 gallon of eses to ma degrees fat-free mil 5 ke. than oth Fahrenhei k into a pan er times.) t. (Some Grammar Turn off times, this . Heat the the heat heating pro milk to a sit for hal and add cess hap f an hou three-fourth pens mo r and wa including How? (skipped fast) When? or How often? (never re rapidly Activities and thicker, tch what s cup of happens! white vin coagulatin As the hot egar. Let 6 g into soli mixture coo the mixture nasty wh ds and liqu That Reall ey. id. The soli ls, it will ds are the become thicker Line a cola soft curds, nder with and the liqu y Grab ‘Em!, growled) Where? (skipped downstairs). the whey wrap the drain thro cottage che ugh the cheeseclot h. Dump porous che esecloth the conten ts of the pan into the colande id is that Grades 6–8 ese in the 7 for about r and let and give cheeseclot 3 minute it some dee h, run it s. When p, satisfyi under coo that’s don ng squeez l water for e, © 2010 by into a con about 3 tainer. Add 8 es with you more min 9 fruit or hon r fingers. utes Put the fini Teach ey and nut shed cot s, and spo Sarah Glass on it up— tage che but watch ese out for cur ious spid ers! cock, Schol astic Teach Distribute copies of the model passage “Curds and Whey” on ing Resou rces page 25 to students. Allow time for them to read the passage on their own or ask them to follow along as you read it aloud. Then use the teaching guide on page 24 to discuss how the writer used adjectives and adverbs in the passage. Name ___ ______ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _______ Date ___ ______ ________ Apply After you’ve read and discussed the model passage, hand out a copy of the Get Rid of ‘Em! reproducible on page 28 to each student. Go over the directions to make sure students understand the task. Encourage them to overload their Write a sho rces rt paragr aph describ ing Resou your adje ing yoursel ctives and f. Be gen adverbs. erous—ext adjectives Then give remely gen astic Teach and adverb your par erous—wit s you cou agraph to h paragraph with adjectives and adverbs. Crowding so many of paper, ld get rid a partner revise you of to stre to read. r paragraph ngthen you Discuss wh cock, Schol _________ . r writing ich _________ . On a sep _________ arate she _________ et _________ Sarah Glass _________ _________ into their work may help them find just the right adjectives _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _______ 2010 by _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _______ © _________ _________ _________ Grades 6–8 and adverbs to use as they weed them out. _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _______ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _______ y Grab ‘Em!, _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _______ _________ _________ That Reall _________ _________ _________ _______ _________ _________ _______ Activities Grammar 23
  • 24. AdjectivesAn adjective modifies nouns and pronouns.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  he word modify means “to change or alter.” T 2 Adjectives such as a, an, the, that, and some When we modify a noun, pronoun, verb, go at the beginning of a series of adjectives. adjective, or adverb, we give it more specific Adjectives that describe size and shape, age, and qualities and characteristics. color follow in that order.•  djectives usually appear before the noun or A 4 The adjective vile appears after the verb tastes, pronoun they follow—but they can follow verbs but it modifies the noun whey. When you ask this such as be, feel, smell, sound, taste, look, appear, question, “What kind of whey is it?” the answer and seem. is “It’s vile.” It doesn’t answer the question, “How does it taste?” because whey can’t taste, only people and animals can.Adverbs Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching ResourcesAn adverb modifies verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  n adverb can appear almost anywhere A 1 The adverb contentedly describes how Little Miss in a sentence; it depends upon which part Muffet is eating her curds and whey. You could of speech the adverb is modifying and the also write, eating her curds and whey contentedly. emphasis the writer wants to use. 3 Pretty is an adverb because it modifies the•  n adverb may go before or after a simple A adjective vile. To test this, reword the sentence verb. For emphasis, it can be placed at the to read, Some people think whey tastes pretty. This beginning of a sentence. confirms that pretty is not an adjective in this case.•  t’s okay to separate parts of a verb with an I 9 The prepositional phrase into a container acts as adverb: We will probably go to the game. an adverb because it tells where to put the cheese.Positive, Comparative, and Superlative FormsAdjectives and adverbs can describe one thing or compare two or more things.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  n adjective or adverb in a positive state A 5 Since cottage cheese is being compared to all describes one thing. the other kinds of cheeses, the superlative form of•  he comparative form compares two things. T easy is used. (Add –er to the end of positive adjectives or 6 Because the adverb rapidly ends in –ly, the adverbs or add more or less in front of them.) word more is added to form the comparative form.•  he superlative form compares more than T For more rules on forming comparatives and two things. (Add –est to the end of positive superlatives, see the activity on page 27. adjectives or adverbs or add most or least in front of them.) Descriptive Adjectives and AdverbsA well-chosen adjective or adverb can turn up the volume of a writer’s voice, open thereader’s eyes, and make meaning much clearer.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  escriptive adjectives and adverbs are as D 7 Describing the cheesecloth as porous helps the important to use in nonfiction writing as they reader see that the cloth’s loose weave allows the are in fiction. whey to drain through easily.•  iscuss the Mark Twain quote at the top of D 8 Deep, satisfying squeezes shows that a little bit of page 23 with students. Do they think the quote muscle is required to squeeze the cottage cheese. applies to adverbs, too? 24
  • 25. MODEL PASSAGE Adjectives and Adverbs Curds and Whey Remember the rhyme about Little Miss Muffet, contentedly eating her curds and whey until that disruptive 1 2 spider dropped in on her? In the 1800s, when the rhyme was written, curds and whey referred to cottage cheese. Today, you can find cottage cheese—soft and creamy pearlsGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources of cheese—in salad bars. Now, cottage cheese contains mostly curds and a scant amount of liquid whey. (Some people think whey tastes pretty vile.) 3 4 Cottage cheese is one of the easiest cheeses to make. 5 In fact, you can make it at home. Pour one gallon of fat-free milk into a pan. Heat the milk to a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. (Sometimes, this heating process happens more rapidly 6 than other times.) Turn off the heat and add three-fourths cup of white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for half an hour and watch what happens! As the hot mixture cools, it will become thicker and thicker, coagulating into solids and liquid. The solids are the soft curds, and the liquid is that nasty whey. Line a colander with cheesecloth. Dump the contents of the pan into the colander and let the whey drain through the porous cheesecloth for about 3 minutes. When that’s done, 7 wrap the cottage cheese in the cheesecloth, run it under cool water for about 3 more minutes and give it some deep, satisfying squeezes with your fingers. Put the finished cottage cheese 8 into a container. Add fruit or honey and nuts, and spoon it up—but watch out for curious spiders! 9 In this passage, you’ll explore the following: • adjectives modifying nouns and pronouns • adverbs modifying verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs • p  ositive, comparative, and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs • descriptive adjectives and adverbs 25
  • 26. WRITING PROMPTS Adjectives and Adverbs Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen.$- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ One and Only Write! Some adjectives—such as unique, final, and fatal—don’t Wr ite yo ur have comparative and superlative forms. Explain why you think this full resp on se is so. Why can’t one object be more unique than another? Why can’t on a sepa ra te Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources an event be the most fatal event? sh eet of pa per. With the Rest of the Class: Brainstorm other adjectives that you think don’t have comparative and superlative forms. Consult a dictionary to check your ideas.$-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ What Color? How Fast? Materials: ball, yo-yo, or other moving toy Write! Your teacher will demonstrate a toy that moves. After Wr ite yo ur watching several demonstrations, write about what you saw. Focus full resp on se on a sepa ra te on answering the following questions: Which one? What kind? sh eet of pa per. How many? How? When? Where? Why? With the Rest of the Class: Which adjectives and adverbs did you use to describe the teacher showing the toy’s motion? Did anyone use an adjective or adverb that really surprised you and helped you see the demonstration in a new way? 26
  • 27. Activities: Adjectives and Adverbs Move That Adverb! Have students work together to write a sentence about something a classmate is doing. If their sentence doesn’t already have an adverb, they should include one. Then members take turns moving the adverb to different places in the sentence. With the Class: Ask groups to talk about what conclusion they can draw about the position of the adverbs in their sentences. How Many Words Is One Picture Worth? Materials: photographs of New York City by Helen Levitt Search on the Internet for photographs of New York City by Helen LevittGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources and display several onscreen. Explain that Helen Levitt photographed street scenes in New York both in black and white and in color. Then give the following directions: •  hoose a photograph that makes you curious. Study it for one minute, jotting down the C important details you see. Without looking at the photo, write what’s happening in it. •  ead your work aloud to a partner while he or she looks at the photo. Does your partner R think you left out any important details? Are your adjectives and adverbs strong rather than weak? •  isten as your partner reads his or her work, look at the photo, and discuss the work. L With the Class: Discuss how many words students think their pictures are worth. Is Less More? Material: coin, dictionary Display these rules for forming the comparative and superlative forms of regular adjectives and adverbs. • If an adjective has one syllable, you usually add –er and –est: red, redder, reddest. • If an adverb has one syllable, you add –er and –est: soon, sooner, soonest. • If an adverb ends in –ly, add more and most: quickly, more quickly, most quickly. • If you’re not sure, look up the adjective or adverb in the dictionary. If you don’t see the  comparative or superlative right after adj. or adv., then you add more and most. Have two groups compete to form comparatives and superlatives, following these directions: Toss a coin to see which team goes first. That team will think of and chant the comparative or superlative form of an adjective or adverb three times. The other team must respond with the same form of a different adjective or adverb. Example: TEAM 1: “Redder, redder, redder!” TEAM 2: “Better, better, better!” The first team goes three times or until they stump the second team. Then the second team chooses an adjective or adverb and a form. With the Class: Discuss which adjectives and adverbs gave students the most trouble in forming their comparative or superlative forms. 27
  • 28. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ Adjectives and Adverbs Get Rid of ‘Em! Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them__then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. __ Mark Twain Write a short paragraph describing yourself. Be generous—extremely generous—with your adjectives and adverbs. Then give your paragraph to a partner to read. Discuss which adjectives and adverbs you could get rid of to strengthen your writing. On a separate sheet of paper, revise your paragraph. _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ 28
  • 29. All About Prepositions ] Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put. —Winston Churchill A preposition shows the relationship between a noun or pronoun and the rest of the sentence. This mini-lesson focuses on the following aspects of prepositions: • simple and compound prepositions •  repositions with nouns and pronouns in the pGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources objective case • prepositional phrases • ending a sentence with a preposition Introduction Begin a mini-lesson on prepositions by writing a short definition of A softwar piranhas the world.1 e program of the gene sent the ra Serrasal following mus and text mes sage in just 16 seconds: In reality Pygo cent The razo this part of speech such as the following on the board: “A preposition they seld rus are the r-toothed That was om attack most fero a world reco a human. cious fresh rd until Tess water fish was tied in behind her a Flurry tack back, Tess led the text in less than a beat that . In spite 10 seconds. record. She of the fact Tessa Flur sent the 2 that one before mos 3 ry is the message hand connects a noun or pronoun to the rest of the sentence: Bandit hid t people’s fastest text into cybe thumbs or er in the rspace many mes fingers even West. She 3 sages into touch thei can send cyberspa r keypads. 104 mes Some say ce gives Just thinking sages that bab my fingers y Tessa was the cram about send in the dese found craw ps! ing so rt, carrying ling on one a cell pho hand for a sign ne in her under the table.” al. By the other han time she d, searchin walk and was two g talk and years old, Grammar text diffe 4 Tessa coul cell phones— rent mes d sages from at the sam three diffe Activities e time! rent Nobody knows Tess Flurry beca a’s real last name. The That Really use she text y call her s so rapidly Tessa on the key that the pad mak flurry of es people her fingers Teach Grab ‘Em!, Texter in dizzy. Tess the West, a Flurry, is the nam the Fastest At last coun e she’s stuc Grades 6–8 t, there wer 5 k with. 3,765 of e about 6,70 them! Som 0 different e people languages say that in the wor © 2010 by Tessa. Who soon ever knows? May yone in the ld. Tessa be Tessa can text right now Flurry is world will in ! tapping mes have rece ived a text Sarah Glassc sages to from you and me on her 6 keypads Distribute copies of the passage “The Fastest Texter in the West: A ock, Schola stic Teachi ng Resour Cyber Tall Tale” on page 31 to students. Allow time for them to read ces the passage on their own or ask them to follow along as you read it aloud. Then use the teaching chart on page 30 to discuss how the writer used prepositions in the passage. Name ____ ____ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ _____ Date ____ ____ (Also see the lesson on phrases and clauses, pages 47–52 and ________ _ A simple prepositi on is only it has a lot one word—a of power nd some sentences on pages 59–64.) in a sent simple prep ence. ositions are short words, too— but about above behind after beside against into between at of beyond before toward off for in Apply under on up onto upon to To understa with nd how muc without sentence h power s—witho a prepositi ut using on has in adjective a prepositi a sentence s, adverbs, on. You can , try rewr and so on. add any iting one original sent other part of these Your revis s of spee ence. ed sentence ch—nou should have ns, verbs, Michael the same hid his lock meaning er key in ces as the Distribute a copy of the reproducible A Preposition Puzzle on page 34 to ________ the fish tank ng Resour ________ . ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ stic Teachi ________ ________ ________ ________ Don’t leav ________ ________ e without ________ ________ me! ________ ock, Schola ________ __ ________ ________ each student. Before students work on their own, tackle the revision of ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ Sarah Glassc ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ Beyond the ________ ________ trees, the ________ ________ sun is setti ________ ________ _ © 2010 by ________ ng. ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ the first sentences with them. Ask students to identify the preposition ________ ________ _ ________ ________ Grades 6–8 ________ ________ ________ ________ Stella quic ________ ________ kly slide ________ ________ s between ________ ________ Jason and _ Grab ‘Em!, ________ me. ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ _ (in), which noun it connects to the rest of the sentence (tank), and what ________ ________ ________ That Really ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ _ Activities ________ ________ ________ _ Grammar kind of relationship it shows (space). Point out that the prepositional phrase in the fish tank acts as an adverb because it tells where the key is. Since the phrase acts as an adverb, students might suggest a sentence such as the following: Michael hid the key where the fish live. Compare the clarity and sound of the original and revised sentences. 29
  • 30. Simple and Compound PrepositionsMost prepositions show the relationship of time or space between a noun or pronoun and therest of the sentence.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  he English language contains about 70 simple T 1 The simple preposition of shows the relationship prepositions, including about, between, on, between the noun, genera Serrasalmus and Pygo through, and with. Then there are compound centrus, and piranhas. It helps shows what kind of prepositions, such as with respect to and at that piranha are the most ferocious. point in time. 2 In spite of is a compound preposition. It could•  t’s usually better to replace compound I be replaced with a simple preposition: With one prepositions with simple prepositions or other hand tied behind her back, Tessa Flurry beat that parts of speech, for example, at that point in record. time could be rewritten as then.Prepositions and Pronouns in the Objective Case Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching ResourcesOnly pronouns in the objective case—me, you, him, her, it, us, you, them—gowith prepositions.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  eople often have trouble when they use a P 6 Students might be tempted to write this preposition followed by a noun and a pronoun prepositional phrase as to you and I, but have them or two pronouns: Mr. Luna spoke to Link and I try using each pronoun independently. They about talking in class. We wouldn’t say or write wouldn’t say or write Maybe Tessa Flurry is tapping the following: Mr. Luna spoke to I about talking messages to I on her keypads right now! in class, so I is incorrect. Testing one pronoun at a time with the preposition will help students use the correct case. Prepositional PhrasesA prepositional phrase begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or pronoun (theobject of the preposition).KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  prepositional phrase can function as an A 3 Both of these prepositional phrases are adverbs; adjective or an adverb. they both modify the verb sent.•  sentences can have more than one A 4 Try moving the prepositional phrase to different prepositional phrase. places. Here’s one example:•  arying the position of prepositional phrases V Tessa could walk and talk and text different in your sentences can help writing flow more messages from three cell phones—all at the same smoothly. time—by the time she was two years old!Ending a Sentence With a PrepositionA preposition can go at the end of the sentence if it is necessary in the sentence.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  he Churchill quote at the top of page 29 T 5 Some people might write this sentence as shows how contorted writing can become follows: Tessa Flurry, the Fastest Texter in the West, if we try to avoid ending a sentence with a is the name with which she’s stuck. The revised preposition. If a preposition is necessary to sentence doesn’t fit the tone of the rest the sentence, it’s okay to end the sentence of the tall tale. with it: The bicycle wheel came off. If the preposition isn’t necessary, get rid of it. Write the Churchill quote on the board and ask students how they would rephrase it. 30
  • 31. MODEL PASSAGE Prepositions The Fastest Texter in the West: A Cyber Tall Tale A software program sent the following text message in just 16 seconds: The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygo centrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in 1 the world. In reality they seldom attack a human. That was a world record until Tessa Flurry tackled the text. In spite of the fact that one hand 2 was tied behind her back, Tessa beat that record. She sent the message into cyberspaceGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources 3 in less than 10 seconds. Tessa Flurry is the fastest texter in the West. She can send 104 messages 3 before most people’s thumbs or fingers even touch their keypads. Just thinking about sending so many messages into cyberspace gives my fingers the cramps! Some say that baby Tessa was found crawling on one hand in the desert, carrying a cell phone in her other hand, searching for a signal. By the time she was two years old, Tessa could 4 walk and talk and text different messages from three different cell phones—at the same time! Nobody knows Tessa’s real last name. They call her Tessa Flurry because she texts so rapidly that the flurry of her fingers on the key pad makes people dizzy. Tessa Flurry, the Fastest Texter in the West, is the name she’s stuck with. 5 At last count, there were about 6,700 different languages in the world. Tessa can text in 3,765 of them! Some people say that soon everyone in the world will have received a text from Tessa. Who knows? Maybe Tessa Flurry is tapping messages to you and me on her keypads 6 right now! In this passage, you’ll explore the following: • simple and compound prepositions • prepositions and pronouns • prepositional phrases •  nding a sentence with a e preposition 31
  • 32. WRITING PROMPTS Prepositions Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen.$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ A Classroom Makeover Write! Have you seen home makeover programs on television? Take a look around your classroom and think about how you would Wr ite yo ur make it over. Consider questions such as these: Would the classroom ful l respo ns e Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources on a sepa rat e have a theme? What colors would you paint it? What kind of coverings sh eet of pa per. would you put on the windows and the floor? How would you rearrange the furniture? Write a plan describing your makeover. With the Rest of the Class: Which makeover ideas of other students’ did you like? Then talk about how important prepositions were in your plan.$- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ My Place in the Class Write! Where do you sit in the classroom? Write a short chant Wr ite yo ur describing your position in relation to at least two other students who ful l respo ns e are nearest to you. For example, who sits in front of you? Behind you? on a sepa rat e Next to you? To the left of you? Across from you? Here’s an example: sh eet of pa per. Sitka sits behind me. I sit behind Jason. With the Rest of the Class: Share your chant with the class. Talk about whether you had to think about using objective pronouns in the prepositional phrases you created, or if they seemed to come naturally. 32
  • 33. Activities: Prepositions Preposition Poetry Ask pairs to collaborate to write a preposition poem. Each line of the poem should begin with a different prepositional phrase. Remind students that a prepositional phrase begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or a pronoun in the objective case: between you and me/from him and me. Encourage pairs to practice doing a choral reading of their poem, in which partners take turns reciting the lines. With the Class: Have pairs perform a choral reading of their poem for the other students. Let them share their creative processes and then ask: How did the prepositional phrases drive the construction of your poem? Is It Under the Clock?Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Choose a classroom object but don’t reveal what it is. Then give the following directions to the class: • Your job is to locate an object I’ve picked out in the classroom. Each of you must ask me  a question containing a prepositional phrase to try to narrow down the location of the object. For example, you might ask, “Is it under the clock?” • If the answer is “Yes,” then you get to try to guess what the object is. If the answer is “No,”  or you guess incorrectly, then another student takes a turn. Remember to use the answers to help you refine your own question when it’s your turn. The first student to locate the object and identify it gets to choose another object for the class to attempt to identify. With the Class: Call on students to describe how they used prepositions in their questions to help them figure out where the object was and what it was. Move That Phrase! Materials: books and magazines Tell individuals to look through books and magazines to find examples of sentences that use prepositions and prepositional phrases especially well. Have them share some with the group, noting the different positions in which prepositions and prepositional phrases occur in the sentences. Then challenge the group members to take turns adding different prepositional phrases to the following sentence: The bird sat. One group member should write down each new version of the sentence. After everyone has had a chance to contribute a prepositional phrase, the entire group should discuss whether they’d like to revise the sentence and move any of the phrases. Use examples from the groups to discuss what students learned about the placement of prepositional phrases. With the Class: Suggest that groups share and discuss their sentences. Talk about how they decided where to place each prepositional phrase. Ask: What did you learn about the placement of prepositional phrases? Which can be moved easily within a sentence, and which can’t? Why do you think this is so? 33
  • 34. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ Prepositions A Preposition Puzzle A simple preposition is only one word—and some simple prepositions are short words, too—but it has a lot of power in a sentence. Some Common Simple Prepositions Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources about above after against at before behind beside between beyond for in into of off on onto to toward under up upon with without To understand how much power a preposition has in a sentence, try rewriting one of these sentences—without using a preposition. You can add any other parts of speech—nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and so on. Your revised sentence should have the same meaning as the original sentence. Michael hid his locker key in the fish tank. _________________________________________________________________________________ _ ________________________________________________________________________________ Don’t leave without me! _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Beyond the trees, the sun is setting. _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Stella quickly slides between Jason and me. _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 34
  • 35. All About Subject-Predicate Agreement ] He [William Faulkner] uses a lot of big words, and his sentences run from here back to the airport. —Carolyn Chute No matter how long a sentence is—or how challenging the words in it are—its subject and predicate must agree. This agreement grounds readers. Understanding what the subject and predicate are helps the reader understand what the sentence is about. This mini-lesson focuses on the following aspects of subject-predicate agreement:Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • subjects • compound subjects • predicates • compound predicates Note: Earlier in the book, you’ll find the phrase subject-verb agreement. This chapter expands the concept of the verb as the predicate (or the key part of the predicate.) Many citie s and tow have bee ns have elec n elected 1 ted young mayors of mayors. but the you Union, Ore Eighteen gon; Mo -year-olds ngest may unt Carbon have run or in the , Pennsy for and Crabb, Tex United Stat lvania; and 2 as, selected es was 11 Roland, Iow Brian Zim 3 years old! a, Crabb, Tex merman Voters in as, is clos as their may the small e to Hou or in 198 town of governm ston. It was 3. ent. Instead an unincorp , taxes, road orated tow was wor repairs, or n, so it didn ried that traffic was ’t have a Houston handled city Houston might ann by the cou Introduction . The peo ex Crabb. 4 nty. Brian ple who If that hap Zimmerman city taxe lived in Cra pened, his s. Zimmer bb would town wou man tho be governe ld become Houston ught Cra d by Hou part of or another bb should 5 ston and large com incorporate would hav munity. Cra . Then it e to pay There’s a bb could couldn’t catch, tho govern itse be gobbled 5 ugh. If Cra lf. up by Zimmerman 6 bb did inco Grammar would lose rporate, his job. Acc Mayor mayor of ording to an incorpo Texas law Begin a mini-lesson on subject-verb agreement by writing a short rated city , the Activities he was aske has to be d what he 18 years would do old. When Zimmerman if he lost That Really replied, “I his job as don’t kno mayor, around here 7 w. There . I’ll go fish isn’t that much to definition of this essential part of a sentence on the board, such as: ing, probab Grab ‘Em!, The bad ly.” do news is that incorporatio the voters of Crabb, Grades 6–8 n, so it didn Texas, vote Zimmerman ’t need a d against mayor or remained a city gov the mayor. ernment. “The subject is what or whom the sentence is about. The predicate © 2010 by Paris, Fran Instead of The good ce, and app going fish news is that eared on ing, he atte 8 Brian called The the “Today nded a may Sarah Glassc Lone Star ” show. or’s confere Kid. There was nce in even a mov ie made about his tells who or what the subject is or does. The subject determines life, ock, Schola stic Teach whether the verb in the predicate should be singular or plural: The ing Resou rces students in the band practice twice a week.” Teach Name ___ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ ____ Date ___ ______ ________ Distribute copies of the passage “The Youngest Mayor” on page 37 to Here are simple sub the first and last sentenc es from wel ject and l-known predicate students. Allow time for the students to read it on their own or ask them in each one works of ? Do they literature. agree? Com Can you identify the from plete eac by Louis h chart. Sachar FIRST: to follow along as you read it aloud. Then use the teaching guide on page “There is no lake at Subject Camp Gre Predicate LAST: en Lake.” Agree? “And hard ly anythin g was gree n.” 36 to discuss the agreement of subjects and predicates in the passage. from FIRST: by Walker Percy “This mor (Also see the lessons on nouns, pages 5­­ –10; verbs, pages 17–22; and ning I got Subject asking me a note from to come my aunt Predicate for lunch.” Agree? LAST: rces “I watch her walk ing Resou toward St sentences, pages 59–64.) cape jasm Charles, ine held my brother against her cheek, unt stic Teach s and siste il rs call out behind me. ” ock, Schola from by Harper Sarah Glassc FIRST: Lee “When he Apply was nearly Subject Jem got thirteen, 2010 by his arm bad my brother Predicate ly broken Agree? LAST: at the elbo w.” © Grades 6–8 “He wou ld be ther would be e all nigh there whe t, and he Grab ‘Em!, in the mor n Jem wak ning.” ed up That Really Give a copy of the Those Are Some Sentences! reproducible on Activities Grammar page 40 to each student. It shows sentence structures from different works of literature. Go over the first one with students and work with them to identify the simple subject and predicate and then the complete subject and predicate. Talk about differences in structure between the first and last sentences of each work and among the different authors. You can also use this reproducible with the lesson on sentences, pages 59–64. 35
  • 36. SubjectsThe most important part of the subject is its noun, or simple subject.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  ther nouns may be closer to the simple O 3 The noun United States is part of a prepositional predicate than the simple subject is, so it’s phrase that separates the simple subject mayor important to identify the correct noun as from the simple predicate was. the subject. 8 Since news is a singular noun, the predicate•  he words there and here are never the T must contain a singular verb. subjects of a sentence. Remind students to rewrite sentences such as There are sixteen people in the class, to make the subject and predicate clear: Sixteen people are in the class.PredicatesThe main verb, or simple predicate, helps us identify the subject. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching ResourcesKEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  emind students to watch out for using plural R 6 The subject in this sentence is catch. You can subjects with the contraction there’s: see that it’s singular when you rewrite it: A catch is There’s no rules about doing homework. there, though. (incorrect agreement) 7 The simple predicate is replied. Who replied? There are no rules about doing homework. Zimmerman replied. You could also rewrite (correct agreement) this sentence: Zimmerman replied, when he was asked what he would do if he lost his job as mayor,•  f students are unsure what the subject is, I “I don’t know.” they can find the verb and then ask, “Who or what did that?”Compound SubjectsA compound subject is two or more subjects joined by a conjunction—and, or.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  f and joins the subjects, the subjects are I 1 Each of these subjects is plural, but subjects plural and take a plural verb. joined by and always take a plural verb.•  f or joins the subjects, the subject I 4 Traffic—a collective noun, which is always immediately before the verb determines singular—determines that the verb (was) is whether the verb is singular or plural: My singular. father or my sisters are coming to the show. Compound PredicatesA compound predicate is two or more predicates joined by a conjunction.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  o matter which conjunction is used, all the N 2 The predicate, have run for and have been verbs in the compound predicate must agree elected, refers to the same subject—eighteen-year- with each other—and the subject. olds. It could also be written as, Eighteen-year-olds have run for and been elected. . . . 5 Ask who would be governed by Houston and who would have to pay city taxes. The people would. Again, this compound predicate shares the same subject, people. 36
  • 37. MODEL PASSAGE Subject-Predicate Agreement The Youngest Mayor Many cities and towns have elected young mayors. Eighteen-year-olds have run for and 1 2 have been elected mayors of Union, Oregon; Mount Carbon, Pennsylvania; and Roland, Iowa, but the youngest mayor in the United States was 11 years old! Voters in the small town of 3 Crabb, Texas, selected Brian Zimmerman as their mayor in 1983. Crabb, Texas, is close to Houston. It was an unincorporated town, so it didn’t have a cityGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources government. Instead, taxes, road repairs, or traffic was handled by the county. Brian Zimmerman 4 was worried that Houston might annex Crabb. If that happened, his town would become part of Houston. The people who lived in Crabb would be governed by Houston and would have to pay 5 5 city taxes. Zimmerman thought Crabb should incorporate. Then it couldn’t be gobbled up by Houston or another large community. Crabb could govern itself. There’s a catch, though. If Crabb did incorporate, Mayor 6 Zimmerman would lose his job. According to Texas law, the mayor of an incorporated city has to be 18 years old. When he was asked what he would do if he lost his job as mayor, Zimmerman replied, “I don’t know. There isn’t that much to do 7 around here. I’ll go fishing, probably.” The bad news is that the voters of Crabb, Texas, voted against incorporation, so it didn’t need a mayor or a city government. The good news is that Brian 8 Zimmerman remained the mayor. Instead of going fishing, he attended a mayor’s conference in Paris, France, and appeared on the “Today” show. There was even a movie made about his life, called The Lone Star Kid. In this passage, you’ll explore the following: • simple and compound subjects • simple and compound predicates 37
  • 38. WRITING PROMPTS Subject-Predicate Agreement Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen.$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ Listen to Our Voices Write! Most towns and cities have city councils. Explain whether you Wr ite yo ur think your town or city should have a student representative on the city ful l resp on se on a sepa ra te council—and whether you’d be interested in running for the position. sh eet of pa per. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Read over your work to make sure that all subjects and predicates agree. With the Rest of the Class: What do most students think about this issue? Are many interested in serving as a student representative in your community? Then share any subjects and predicates whose agreement you’re unsure about.$-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ Striped Pants, a Yellow Tank Top, and No Socks Write! Suppose you could judge a book by its cover. What would your clothing reveal about you? Write in detail about one of the following Wr ite yo ur ful l resp on se outfits, and how your clothing might affect people’s ideas about you: on a sepa ra te • the outfit you’re wearing today sh eet of pa per. • your favorite outfit Read over your work, paying special attention to any compound subjects and/or compound predicates you used. For compound subjects, did you follow these rules? • If the subjects are joined by and, use a plural verb. • If the subjects are joined by or, the verb in the predicate should agree with the last subject: A yellow tank top or green socks are on my list. Green socks or a yellow tank top is on my list. With the Rest of the Class: Share the details of your outfit, and explain why you chose to describe that outfit. How did you use compound subjects and/or compound predicates? 38
  • 39. Activities: Subject-Predicate Agreement “Agreement or No Agreement?” Game Show Materials: 10 envelopes numbered 1–10, slips of paper, marker, paper bag, play money This game is based on the game show “Deal or No Deal.” Write five different singular verbs and five different plural verbs on slips of paper and put each slip in a numbered envelope. Then write five different singular nouns (including collective nouns) and five different plural nouns on slips of paper and put them in the paper bag. The game will need a host, a player, ten students to hold envelopes, a banker, and an audience. The player draws a noun from the bag. Then play begins. The player selects envelopes one at a time. If the simple subject and simple predicate agree, the banker gives him or her a set amount of money. If they don’t agree, then the player can earn the money by making them agree. The player can earnGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources more money by creating a sentence containing the simple subject and predicate. With the Class: Talk about the following questions: Which subjects and predicates were the trickiest to place in agreement? How could you make the game more difficult? That’s a Fine Kettle of Hawks Materials: computer, index cards, markers Collective nouns name different groups of the same kind of animals. For instance, a group of hippos is called a bloat and a group of hawks is called a kettle. Challenge groups to find out the collective nouns for at least five different animals. A good resource on the Internet is the San Diego Zoo Web site at http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/got_questions_groups_list.html. Students should create a fact card for each group of animals, including the group name, text with full sentences, and photos or illustrations. With the Class: Ask: Why does it make sense that a collective noun would take a singular verb? Compound Meals Materials: a variety of take-out menus, drawing paper and markers Ask groups to study the take-out menus and then design one of their own. They should decide what kind of food they want to serve and divide their menu into the following categories: appetizers, salads, main courses, and desserts. For each food item, groups should write a brief description, using complete sentences, and make the food, sound as mouth-wateringly delicious as they can. Then they trade menus with another group and look at its menu with the eyes of a restaurant critic. Each group draws up several sample meals that the members might order to review the restaurant and explain why those foods appeal to them. They should use compound subjects in their sample meals, and include the conjunctions or and and. Remind students to try to use compound predicates whenever they can. With the Class: Discuss these questions: How did the descriptions on the menu influence your choice of food to try? Which was more difficult—creating compound subjects or compound predicates? 39
  • 40. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ Subject-Predicate Agreement Those Are Some Sentences! Here are the first and last sentences from well-known works of literature. Can you identify the simple subject and predicate in each one? Do they agree? Complete each chart. from Holes by Louis Sachar Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Subject Predicate Agree? FIRST: “There is no lake at Camp Green Lake.” LAST: “And hardly anything was green.” from The Moviegoer by Walker Percy Subject Predicate Agree? FIRST: “This morning I got a note from my aunt asking me to come for lunch.” LAST: “I watch her walk toward St Charles, cape jasmine held against her cheek, until my brothers and sisters call out behind me.” from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Subject Predicate Agree? FIRST: “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.” LAST: “He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.” 40
  • 41. All About Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives ] The words of the world want to make sentences. —Gaston Bachelard Gerunds, participles, and infinitives are formed from verbs, but each performs a different function in a sentence. This mini-lesson focuses on the following: • gerunds: nounsGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • participles: adjectives • infinitives: nouns, adjectives, and adverbs Introduction Begin a mini-lesson by reading aloud the Bachelard quote at the top of the page. Explain that some of those “words of the world” are gerunds, participles, and infinitives. Write a short definition of each and an example, such as the following, on the board: • A gerund is formed by adding –ing to a verb. It always acts as a noun: Dancing to music makes me happy. • A participle is formed by adding –ing or –ed to a verb. It always acts as an adjective:  The dancing girl turned up the volume on her overloaded iPod. • An infinitive is formed by adding to in front of the verb. It can act as a  noun, adjective, or adverb: Waking up 1 see, my bed on the wron sits tight g side of the bed sent me swim in a corn ming in spac and so does er of my the right bedroom 2 e—literal . The head ly. Really! To dance is my dream. (noun: subject) side. I wok of the bed You through e up on the butts up my bedroom right side against a wall and of the bed, wall ounce gupp into an alter which mea y in a huge nate univ ns I wen fish tank erse. Sudd t right sink. Look . My arms enly, I felt ing down, and feet as weightles 4 I realized began to s as a two- Then I reali that I wasn move invo zed that ’t treading 3 luntarily I was drift water—I as I bega I have a date to dance on Saturday. (adjective modifying date) Saturn. I ing past 4 was tread n to grabbed the hazy ing air! one of the rings of 4 figure out rings and how to quic held on until kly get hom I could but I was e. A com able to reac 5 et shot past h out and me, comet drop grab its tail. ped me off The spee 500,000, ding I went to the gym to dance. (adverb modifying went) left only 000 mile 2,569,83 s from hom Grammar 8,008 mile e. That I was too s to go! close to an Activities into its orbit undiscov ered plan . Burned et and got by the sun pulled planet for and then That Really hours and 6 bitten by hours. Fortu the cold, me out of nately, a 6 I spun arou the planet’s shuttle ship nd that hot (Also see the lesson on phrases and clauses, pages 47–52.) orbit. Wat from anot and cold Grab ‘Em!, sight mad ching Earth her galaxy e me hom from the stopped esick. I mad 7 shuttle’s and pluc Don’t ask e a whispere window ked was fun, Grades 6–8 me to tell d wish: I but then you how wish I were the . I wonder home in how muc bed. Then h money I was! I owe for © 2010 by that shut tle ride? ... Sarah Glassco Name ____ ____ ________ ________ Teach ________ ________ ________ ck, Scholas ________ _____ Date ____ ____ ________ _ tic Teachin Add exam g Resour ples of geru nds, parti ciples, and ces infinitive s you com e across in the pass verb + –ing age. : smiling, going Distribute copies of the passage “Wrong Side of the Bed” on page 43 to Gerunds are used as nouns. Smiling for too long makes my He was sent face hurt to the princ . students. Allow time for them to read the passage on their own, or ask them to Terrence ipal’s offic was upse e for goin t by our g to the leaving the gym with party early out perm . ission. verb + –ing or –ed: grinn Present parti ing, grinn ed; teari follow along as you read it aloud. Use the teaching chart on page 42 to discuss ciples are ng, torn Past parti formed by ciples are adding –ing formed by to the end have irreg adding –ed of the verb ular form to the end . s: bringing, of the verb ces Participle brought; . However, g Resour s are used seeing, saw. some past as adjective parti s. ciples how the writer uses gerunds, participles, and infinitives in the passage. tic Teachin The grinn ing boy mad e me smile ck, Scholas A dusty lace , too. (pres curtain, tatte ent parti red and torn ciple) , swung Sarah Glassco in the lazy breeze. (pas to + verb t participle : to smile, ) to break, Infinitive to be © 2010 by s are used as nouns, adjective Apply s, and adve rbs. Grades 6–8 My goal is to smil e for a total Displayin of three Grab ‘Em!, g all your hours ever teeth is the y day. (nou To smile best way n) genuinely to smile , a person widely. (adje That Really must be ctive) truly happ y. (adverb) Activities Grammar Distribute a copy of the Who We Are reproducible on page 52 to each student. Use it with students to document all the gerunds, participles, and infinitives in the model passage. Encourage them to record the gerunds, participles, and infinitives they see in other print sources. You also may want to refer them back to this reproducible in the next lesson, on phrases and clauses, pages 47–52. 41
  • 42. GerundsTo create a gerund, add –ing to the end of a verb.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE• A gerund is used as a noun. 1 To find the subject of this sentence, ask•  tudents may find it difficult to tell the S yourself, “What sent the writer swimming in difference between a gerund and a present space?” The complete subject is Waking up on the participle. Emphasize that to identify a gerund wrong side of the bed. Since Waking is used as a correctly they will have to understand which noun, it’s a gerund. part of speech the word is. 7 Notice that there is no punctuation setting off the gerund from the rest of the sentence. Gerunds don’t require any punctuation.ParticiplesTo create a present participle, add –ing to the end of a verb. To create a past participle, add–ed to the end of a verb. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching ResourcesKEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE• A participle is used as an adjective. 2 Swimming is a present participle because it acts•  present participle ends in –ing. A past A as an adjective modifying me. participle usually ends in –ed. 4 Both uses of treading are verbs; they go with the•  ome past participles have irregular forms: the S verb was. Looking is a present participle. bent or broken branch. 6 Burned by the sun and bitten by the cold are adjectives describing the writer. Both are past participles, and bitten is an irregular participle.InfinitivesTo create an infinitive, add to before a verb.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  n infinitive can be used as a noun, adjective, A 3 Some verbs, such as begin, decide, agree, and or adverb. want, are followed by infinitives.•  tudents may confuse infinitives with S 5 This sentence contains a split infinitive—the prepositional phrases. Remind them that an adverb quickly splits the infinitive to get. infinitive consists of to plus a verb, while a prepositional phrase consists of to plus a noun or a pronoun.•  t’s really okay to split an infinitive. This myth I got started because a lot of our language comes from Latin words. You can’t split infinitives in Latin because in Latin the infinitive is simply the verb without to before it. 42
  • 43. MODEL PASSAGE Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives Wrong Side of the Bed Waking up on the wrong side of the bed sent me swimming in space—literally. Really! You 1 2 see, my bed sits tight in a corner of my bedroom. The head of the bed butts up against a wall and so does the right side. I woke up on the right side of the bed, which means I went right through my bedroom wall and into an alternate universe. Suddenly, I felt as weightless as a two- ounce guppy in a huge fish tank. My arms and feet began to move involuntarily as I began toGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources 3 sink. Looking down, I realized that I wasn’t treading water—I was treading air! 4 4 4 Then I realized that I was drifting past the hazy rings of Saturn. I grabbed one of the rings and held on until I could figure out how to quickly get home. A comet shot past me, 5 but I was able to reach out and grab its tail. The speeding comet dropped me off 500,000,000 miles from home. That left only 2,569,838,008 miles to go! I was too close to an undiscovered planet and got pulled into its orbit. Burned by the sun and then bitten by the cold, I spun around that hot and cold 6 6 planet for hours and hours. Fortunately, a shuttle ship from another galaxy stopped and plucked me out of the planet’s orbit. Watching Earth from the shuttle’s window was fun, but then the 7 sight made me homesick. I made a whispered wish: I wish I were home in bed. Then I was! Don’t ask me to tell you how. I wonder how much money I owe for that shuttle ride? . . . In this passage, you’ll explore the following: • gerunds • participles • infinitives 43
  • 44. WRITING PROMPTS Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen.$- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ Don’t Make Me Do That! Write! What is your least favorite chore or job to do around the Wr ite yo ur house? Explain why you dislike doing this chore so much. Make full resp on se readers really feel how much you dislike it. on a sepa ra te Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources With the Rest of the Class: Exchange your writing with a partner. sh eet of pa per. After reading each other’s work, compare and contrast the chores and your response to them. Then talk about how you used gerunds, participles, and/or infinitives in your writing.$-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ The Three Faces of . . . Write! Read the passage “Wrong Side of the Bed” again. Wr ite yo ur Think about the elements that go into writing a fantasy. full resp on se Then write your own fantasy passage. Before you begin writing, on a sepa ra te think of a verb. In your passage include three forms of that verb— sh eet of pa per. gerund, participle, and infinitive. Read over your work to make sure you’ve used all three forms of the verb, and that you’ve used each one correctly. With the Rest of the Class: Exchange passages with a partner. See if you can identify which verb he or she included and find all its forms. 44
  • 45. Activities: Gerunds, Participles, And Infinitives What Did Shakespeare Mean? The title character in Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, says the following: To be or not to be, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to—’tis a consummationGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep; To sleep, perchance to dream. . . . Write Hamlet’s soliloquy on the board or make copies for the group. Have members take turns reading it aloud. What do they think Hamlet means? Guide them in a rewrite of his speech using modern-day language. With the Class: As a class, talk about Shakespeare’s use of infinitives. How do the infinitives help the rhythm and flow of the speech? How did groups incorporate infinitives into their revision? Participle Poetry Have students think about a noun to write a poem about. It could be something as concrete as leaf or as abstract as freedom. The title of the poem is the noun selected. Challenge pairs to write the poem using only participles to describe the noun. With the Class: After pairs practice, ask them to perform a choral reading of their poem for the class and then discuss how they created their poem. Is “to” Your BFF? Does “–ing” Follow You Around? Play a grammar game featuring gerunds, participles, and infinitives. Here are the rules: Three people are contestants and the rest of the class is the audience. The teacher assigns the gerund, participle, or infinitive form of the same verb to each contestant, for example: Contestant 1—irritating (gerund), Contestant 2—irritating (present participle), Contestant 3—to irritate. Then the teacher challenges the audience to ask questions to identify one of the forms, for example: “Which contestant is a participle that means ‘annoying’”? The audience takes turns asking each contestant a question to find the answer— without asking obvious questions such as “Are you a participle?” With the Class: Discuss the following questions: Which was the easiest form to identify—gerunds, participles, or infinitives? What made it difficult to identify irregular forms of participles? Which questions helped you tell the difference between a gerund and a present participle? 45
  • 46. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives Who We Are Add examples of gerunds, participles, and infinitives you come across in the passage. Gerunds verb + –ing: smiling, going Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Gerunds are used as nouns. EXAMPLES: Smiling for too long makes my face hurt. He was sent to the principal’s office for going to the gym without permission. Terrence was upset by our leaving the party early. Participles verb + –ing or –ed: grinning, grinned; tearing, torn Present participles are formed by adding –ing to the end of the verb. Past participles are formed by adding –ed to the end of the verb. However, some past participles have irregular forms: bringing, brought; seeing, saw. Participles are used as adjectives. EXAMPLES: The grinning boy made me smile, too. (present participle) A dusty lace curtain, tattered and torn, swung in the lazy breeze. (past participle) Infinitives to + verb: to smile, to break, to be Infinitives are used as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. EXAMPLES: My goal is to smile for a total of three hours every day. (noun) Displaying all your teeth is the best way to smile widely. (adjective) To smile genuinely, a person must be truly happy. (adverb) 46
  • 47. All About Phrases and Clauses ] [Henry] James would agonize for hours over a single sentence, refining and refining it until sometimes only his most devoted readers cared to thread their way through the innumerable clauses he found necessary for communication of his exact meaning. —Myrick Land A phrase is a group of words without a subject or a predicate. A clause contains a subject and a predicate. This mini-lesson focuses on the following aspects of phrases and clauses:Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • prepositional phrases • gerund, participial, and infinitive phrases • independent and dependent clauses • restrictive and nonrestrictive clause Introduce Share the quote at the top of the page with students. Then write the following sentence from The Golden Bowl by Henry James on the board or display it onscreen: “This situation has been occupying for months and months the very centre of the garden of her life, but it had reared itself there like some strange tall tower of ivory, or perhaps rather some wonderful beautiful but outlandish pagoda, a structure plated with hard bright porcelain, coloured and figured and adorned at the overhanging eaves with silver bells that tinkled ever so charmingly when stirred by chance airs.” Are students able to thread their way through the sentence? Do they agree with Myrick Land’s quote? Tell them that they’ll be learning about the kinds of phrases and clauses Henry James used in this long sentence. Share with students the definitions in the box. Teach Give a copy of the passage “Wild Horse Annie” on page 49 to each student. When Velm a B. John Johnston 1 ston got was tryin the nicknam g to stop e of “Wi the killin ld Horse of the wes g of wild Annie,” t. The pers 2 horses and it wasn’t on who nick burros in a complim Before 195 named her Nevada and ent. 9, it was didn’t wan the rest Allow time for students to read the passage on their own or ask them to 4 legal in Nev 3 t the wild Riding in ada to hun animals to airplanes t wild hors be saved. and on hors es and burr and burr 5 eback, hun os on pub os, packed ters chas lic land from into truc ed and then the air. Johnston ks, were captured began her 6 taken to the anim factories als. The hors the prob campaig where they es n to prot follow along as you read it aloud. Use the teaching chart on page 48 to lem to peo 7 ect the wild ’d be sold ple in Stor for food. ey County, animals in children, 1950. She ranchers Nevada, started talki , politician where she ng about up. Nevada s, and ranc lived. John enacted hers. Alth ston spok legislatio ough she e to scho animals, n to prot received ol and then ect the wild death thre 8 ats, she didn discuss how the writer used phrases and clauses in the passage. the federal ’t give The fede 9 governm ent did, too. ral Wild Grammar Free-Roa Act protects ming Hor se and Burr these wild o animals on Activities Wild Hor public land se Annie, s. who had also wen polio as a (Also see the lessons on prepositions, pages 29–34; gerunds, That t on to crea child, te refuges10 Really Grab Today, whe for wild hors n the num es. ber of wild grows too horses and large, they burros ‘Em!, Grades are placed Peo Name ____ple who for adoptio ________are intereste n. participles, and infinitives, pages 41–46; and sentences, pages 59–64.) can cont ________ d in givin act the Bure ____________g them homes 6–8 © 2010 au of Land ________ ________ http://w Managem ________ ww.blm.gov ent at _____ /wo/st/en/p Date ____ rog/wild ________ _____ by Sarah _horse_and _burro.h tml. Glasscock, A phrase is a grou p of wor predicate ds without a subject Scholastic . There are Apply different or a pred types of icate. A clau phrases, se contains including a subject Teaching the ones and a shown belo w. prepositi Resources onal phra adjective se can be or an adve used as an rb. Let’s go gerund out to the phrase adverb show ball game is always ! (preposi used as a ing wher tional phra noun. e) se as an Driving to participi the ball game al phrase as the subje took over an adjective. is always ct) an hour. used as Hand out the Mind Your Ps and Cs reproducible on page 52 and go (gerund The fan, phrase infinitive alarmed phrase him. (par by the spee noun, an can be used ticipial ding ball, adjective, as a phrase ducked befo or an adve To see her as an adjec re it hit rb. favorite tive mod player, Jorga ifying fan) dressing stood outsi room. (infi nitive phra de the team se as an ’s over the information at the top about phrases and clauses. As you lead adverb show ing why) indepen dent clau also be joine se can stand d to anot alone, but coordinat her indep it can ces ing conju endent claus The traffi nction—a e by a ng Resour yet, for, nd, but, c was even so—or a or, nor, neith so I close worse on semicolon er, d my eyes the way home, students through the activity at the bottom of the reproducible, have a depend . and went ent clau indepen to sleep. stic Teachi se begin dent clau (two pronoun— s with a ses joine who, whic relative d by so) whicheve h, that, what r, whatever— , whoever, Although ock, Schola such as when or a subo music was , before, rdinating drivers were blaring out after, since conjunctio honking of the cars restricti , or altho n, their horn and ve clause ugh. way hom s, I slept Sarah Glassc e. (depend few bumper sticker slogans ready to share. The slogans should consist It begins is necessary ent clau the whole with the to a sente although) se introduce relative pron nce. d by nonrest oun that The Toyo rictive clau or who. ta that had © 2010 by sentence. se is not loudest car. the buste It begins necessary (restricti d muffler who and with the to a ve clause) was the is set off relative pron The Toyo by comm oun whic ta, which h or Grades 6–8 as. is the kind the loudest of only a phrase or a clause. car. (non of car I want restricti , was On your ve clause) way hom Grab ‘Em!, e today, down som look at the e of the cars in the bumper school park Save spac sticker slog ing lot and That Really e by usin ans you on the road g only a see. Now . Write phrase or create you a clause r own bum for your per sticker slogan. Activities slogan. 47 Grammar
  • 48. Prepositional PhrasesA prepositional phrase doesn’t contain a subject or a verb.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  prepositional phrase begins with a A 4 The word before can be a preposition or a preposition and ends with the noun or subordinating conjunction. Before 1959 is a pronoun it connects to the rest of the sentence. prepositional phrase because it doesn’t have a•  prepositional phrase can function as an A subject or a verb. adjective or adverb in a sentence. 7 The phrase to factories is a prepositional phrase because there is no verb.Gerund, Participial, and Infinitive PhrasesThese phrases are formed from verbs.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  riefly review how gerunds, present and past B 2 This is an infinitive phrase because it begins Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources participles, and infinitives are formed from with the infinitive to stop. Notice that it also verbs, and which part(s) of speech each can contains a gerund phrase and two prepositional become. phrases.•  ou’ll often see prepositional phrases Y 5 Riding in airplanes and on horseback is a gerund embedded in these types of phrases. phrase because it begins with the gerund Riding and is the subject of the sentence. 6 This is a participial phrase because it begins with the past participle packed.Independent and Dependent ClausesA clause contains a subject and a verb.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  n independent clause can stand alone as a A 1 The subordinating conjunction when introduces sentence or be joined to another independent this dependent clause. clause with a coordinating conjunction or a 8 Since the dependent clause Although semicolon. she received death threats appears before an•  n independent clause following a dependent A independent clause, it’s set off by a comma. clause is set off with a comma. 9 The coordinating conjunction and joins these•  lthough a dependent clause has a subject and A two independent clauses. Each clause could be a predicate, it can’t stand alone because it begins separate sentence. with a relative pronoun—who, that, which, what—or a subordinating conjunction—if, when, before, since. Restrictive and Nonrestrictive ClausesRestrictive clauses are necessary in the sentence. Nonrestrictive clauses are not.KEY POINTS•  estrictive clauses contribute to the meaning R TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE of the sentence, while nonrestrictive clauses 3 Without the clause who nicknamed her, the can be cut from a sentence without affecting sentence wouldn’t make sense. the meaning. 10 The fact that Wild Horse Annie had polio as•  or consistency and simplicity, advise students F a child is interesting, but it’s not essential to the to use that with restrictive clauses and which meaning of the sentence. That’s why this non- with nonrestrictive clauses. restrictive clause is set off by commas.•  onrestrictive clauses are set off with commas. N 48
  • 49. MODEL PASSAGE Phrases and Clauses Wild Horse Annie When Velma B. Johnston got the nickname of “Wild Horse Annie,” it wasn’t a compliment. 1 Johnston was trying to stop the killing of wild horses and burros in Nevada and the rest 2 of the west. The person who nicknamed her didn’t want the wild animals to be saved. 3 Before 1959, it was legal in Nevada to hunt wild horses and burros on public land from the air. 4 Riding in airplanes and on horseback, hunters chased and then captured the animals. The horses 5Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources and burros, packed into trucks, were taken to factories where they’d be sold for food. 6 7 Johnston began her campaign to protect the wild animals in 1950. She started talking about the problem to people in Storey County, Nevada, where she lived. Johnston spoke to school children, ranchers, politicians, and ranchers. Although she received death threats, she didn’t give 8 up. Nevada enacted legislation to protect the wild animals, and then the federal government did, too. 9 The federal Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act protects these wild animals on public lands. Wild Horse Annie, who had polio as a child, 10 also went on to create refuges for wild horses. Today, when the number of wild horses and burros grows too large, they are placed for adoption. People who are interested in giving them homes can contact the Bureau of Land Management at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro.html. In this passage, you’ll explore the following: • prepositional phrases • g  erund, participial, and infinitive phrases • independent and dependent clauses • r  estrictive and nonrestrictive clauses 49
  • 50. WRITING PROMPTS Phrases and Clauses Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen.$- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ Taking the Lead Write! Choose one of the following phrases or clauses and include it in the lead of a scary short story. • in the darkness at the top of the stairs Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • whose hair turned white overnight Wr ite yo ur full resp on se • that made the dog howl on a sepa ra te • listening to the black silence sh eet of pa per. • to reach the safety of my room • which hurtled through the window • burned into the wallpaper With the Rest of the Class: Discuss the following questions: How did you use the phrase and clause to help you set the mood of your story? What other phrases and clauses appear in your story?$-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ We Want You! Write! Think about your class. What qualities and characteristics do students have that help the class function well? What kinds of behavior throw the class off track and make it difficult to learn? Based on your thoughts, write a Want Ad for the perfect student for your class. Spell out the following requirements, and add any others that you think of: What kind of experience should the student have? What skills should the student possess? What will the student be expected to do? Check your use of phrases and clauses to make sure your ad is clear. With the Rest of the Class: Post your ads on the bulletin board. Then find an ad that you want to respond to. Write a brief letter explaining your interest in the job and why you would be perfect for it. 50
  • 51. ACTIVITIES: Phrases and Clauses It’s Just a Phrase I’m Going Through Each member of the group chooses a favorite song and writes down the title and lyrics. Then, as a group, they point out and identify any phrases—prepositional, gerund, participial, and infinitive—that they notice, including a phrase within a phrase, such as “standing in the shadows of love.” Next, groups use their knowledge of phrases to write the lyrics to a group song. Here are the guidelines: •  tart with a song title that’s a phrase. Don’t force a phrase into the song just because it’s a S phrase, but make it a natural and rhythmic addition to the song. • If anyone is musical or plays an instrument, set your lyrics to music. With the Class: Ask each group to share its lyrics with another group and talk about how theGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources phrases they chose enhance the meaning of the song. I’m an Independent! I Am, Too! As a class, decide on a topic to write about. Have individual students write one independent clause about that topic. Then let everyone circulate around the room and try to join his or her independent clause with another independent clause to create a sentence that makes sense. Students have to decide whether to use a coordinating conjunction—and which one—or a semicolon to join the clauses. Keep students circulating to see how many independent clauses they can add to their original clause. With the Class: Ask: Who created the sentence with the most clauses? Does the sentence make sense? Who created the most pleasing sentence? How did using a semicolon or a certain conjunction change the flow of the sentence? Is That Really Necessary? Present the following activity to pairs: An aside is a remark that not everyone is supposed to hear. For instance, an actor may say something directly to the audience that the other characters can’t hear. Nonrestrictive clauses make great asides. Write a short skit about an argument between two characters. Include asides in the form of nonrestrictive clauses. You can use a format like the one shown below or develop your own. Lars: The piece of pie that you ate was mine. I can’t believe you ate it, Max! (to the audience) Max! Who is always doing something like this! Max: I didn’t see your name carved into the crust. (to the audience) The crust! Which was so light and flaky and tasty! Practice your skit, and be sure to place special emphasis on the asides. With the Class: Pairs should perform their skit for the class. After each performance, pose the following questions: Does everyone agree that all the asides are nonrestrictive clauses because they are unnecessary to the skit? If some of the asides are really restrictive clauses, how can you incorporate them into the body of the skit? 51
  • 52. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ Phrases and Clauses Mind Your Ps & Cs A phrase is a group of words without a subject or a predicate. A clause contains a subject and a predicate. There are different types of phrases, including the ones shown below. Types of Phrases Examples Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources •  prepositional phrase can be used as an A Let’s go out to the ball game! (prepositional phrase as an adjective or an adverb. adverb showing where) •  gerund phrase is always used as a noun. A Driving to the ball game took over an hour. (gerund phrase as the subject) •  participial phrase is always used as A The fan, alarmed by the speeding ball, ducked before it hit an adjective. him. (participial phrase as an adjective modifying fan) •  n infinitive phrase can be used as a A To see her favorite player, Jorga stood outside the team’s noun, an adjective, or an adverb. dressing room. (infinitive phrase as an adverb showing why) Types of Clauses Examples •  n independent clause can stand alone, but it can A The traffic was even worse on the way home, also be joined to another independent clause by a so I closed my eyes and went to sleep. (two coordinating conjunction—and, but, or, nor, neither, independent clauses joined by so) yet, for, so—or a semicolon. •  dependent clause begins with a relative A Although music was blaring out of the cars and pronoun—who, which, that, what, whoever, drivers were honking their horns, I slept the whole whichever, whatever—or a subordinating conjunction, way home. (dependent clause introduced by such as when, before, after, since, or although. although) •  restrictive clause is necessary to a sentence. A The Toyota that had the busted muffler was the It begins with the relative pronoun that or who. loudest car. (restrictive clause) •  nonrestrictive clause is not necessary to a A The Toyota, which is the kind of car I want, was sentence. It begins with the relative pronoun which or the loudest car. (nonrestrictive clause) who and is set off by commas. On your way home today, look at the cars in the school parking lot and on the road. Write down some of the bumper sticker slogans you see. Now create your own bumper sticker slogan. Save space by using only a phrase or a clause for your slogan. 52
  • 53. All About Specificity ] Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up. —George Orwell Specificity is in the details—not too many and not too few. SpecificityGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources is finding the one word that will take the place of two or four or more. This mini-lesson focuses on the following aspects of specificity: • adding details to enhance clarity • adding details to make writing more descriptive • removing unnecessary words and phrases • using technical terms Introduction Write a short definition of specificity, such as the following, on the A cumulon and its hea imbus clou d rises in d, the talle st type of cloud, form a towerin 1 s in the sky. a giant mus g column. board: “Specificity isn’t a part of speech, but it uses every part of speech. hroom in At its very Its base is the sky. Ligh top, the 2 several mile unravels tning flas cloud spre s wide, from the hes insid ads out aga base of the e the clou in. It look the funnel cloud. Tou d. Then a s like spins at 100 ching the long, thin miles per ground, , funnel Rapidly rota hour. It’s Specificity isn’t a part of a sentence—it is the sentence: The sun sparked ting winds a tornado 3 create oth ! weather er kinds phenomena of (events? dust dev 4 ) includin ils, fire whi g gustnad rls, and stea oes, phenomena m devils. a fire in the crispy grass.” don’t des Because cend from these classified clouds, they as tornado aren’t es. A gustnad o occurs on the gus thundersto t front of rm. In a a Grammar gust fron down and t, cool air out of the rushes, or storm. The gusts, Activities 5 like a wea swirling fun Teach k tornado nel may , but it buil look ds from the That Really A dust dev ground up il forms on instead of turning the hot, clea from the r days. This clouds dow same colo swirling colu r as the eart n. Grab ‘Em!, h as it pick mn of air A fire whi skips alon rl is a spin s up dirt g the gro ning vort and other 6 und, The whirl ex (?) of debris. hot air and Grades 6–8 carries smo ke, flames, 7 gases that A steam and debris rises from devil can inside it. an intense form at plac wildfire. Ask students to define the word specific and to give synonyms for © 2010 by plant smo es that emi kestacks t large amo and desert unts of smo rotating hot springs ke or stea column of . The smo m, such Sarah Glassc rising air. ke or stea as power m is wra pped and trapped inside a it such as exact, detailed, precise. Then distribute copies of the passage 8 ock, Schola stic Teach “Like a Tornado” on page 55 to students. Allow time for them to read ing Resou rces the passage on their own or ask them to follow along as you read it aloud. Explain that the writer has already revised the first paragraph for specificity. Then use the teaching guide on page 54 for tips for Name ___ ______ _________ _________ discussing specificity. _________ _________ _________ _______ Date ___ ______ ________ What do you think of when Apply the word you hear black? Doe or read s it matter adjective if the wor describing d’s an a black cat Find at leas Do you pict or a blac ure the sam k coat? t two obje e color? cts in the and diffe classroom rences betw that are blac een the colo k. How wou rs of the ld you desc _________ two obje ribe the simi cts? Com larities _________ pare them _______ in the Ven Bring in several familiar items such as a pair of dress shoes and n diagram _________ below. _________ _______ a coffee mug that are black, and place them around the room. Distribute the reproducible Shades of Black on page 58. If possible, rces ing Resou stic Teach Now des cribe the display a copy onscreen. Model the activity by selecting two items color of eac ock, Schola h object without using the adjective _________ black. Sarah Glassc _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ and beginning to describe them. Ask students for their input _________ _________ 2010 by _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ __ © _________ _________ Grades 6–8 _________ _________ _________ __ _________ _________ _________ to add specificity and contrast. Then have them complete the _________ _________ _________ Grab ‘Em!, Repeat this _________ _________ activity for _________ _________ other sen _________ _________ and a swe ses: a salt _________ __ et smell. y or sour That Really taste, a soft _________ _________ sound, a __ rough surf reproducible on their own. ace, Activities Grammar 53
  • 54. Adding Details to Enhance ClarityDon’t assume that your reader knows everything you know about a subject.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  t’s always surprising to realize that the ideas I 4 As she wrote, the writer wondered whether she in our mind didn’t make it to the page. This needed to define the word phenomena. is why it’s particularly important to have 5 The details in this sentence not only help someone read our work and ask us questions. explain what a gust front is, but also show how a gustnado got its name. 6 This sentence describes what a dust devil looks like and how it moves.Adding Details to Make Writing More DescriptiveLook for words that don’t stretch you or the reader. Replace them with words that maysurprise the reader—and you. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching ResourcesKEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  dding sensory details involves more A 3 Deleting long and inserting cone-shaped creates than describing a cat as black or a rose as a more specific picture of the tornado as it’s sweet-smelling. being born.•  s students refine the nouns, verbs, adjectives, A 8 The compound predicate wrapped and trapped and adverbs they use in a piece of writing, accurately describes what happens to the smoke or urge them to take creative risks. steam—and it rhymes.•  ncourage students to make their own E associations with certain colors, smells, tastes, sounds, and textures to add freshness to their writing. Removing Unnecessary Words and PhrasesAs you revise your work, look for words and phrases that are repeated unnecessarily.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  n our eagerness to make a point, it can be I 2 The prepositional phrase in the sky isn’t easy to oversell it. Writers have to read their necessary because the only place clouds form is work to spot repeated words or phrases that in the sky. don’t help emphasize a point or intensify an experience. We also have to seek out adjectives and adverbs that smother the words they modify. Using Technical TermsDefine technical terms or give solid context clues so readers will understand them.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  n speaking or writing, it’s essential that our I 1 In this sentence, the tallest type of cloud helps audience understands what we’re saying. define the technical word cumulonimbus.•  emind students to define technical terms R 7 The writer includes “(?)” because she wasn’t clearly in their writing and to ask for your sure if readers would understand that a vortex is a help if the terms are confusing. spinning flow of air.•  ontext clues may help some readers, but a C simple and concise definition will reach more of the audience. 54
  • 55. MODEL PASSAGE Specificity Like a Tornado A cumulonimbus cloud, the tallest type of cloud, forms in the sky. Its base is several miles wide, 1 2 and its head rises in a towering column. At its very top, the cloud spreads out again. It looks like cumulonimbus cone-shaped a giant mushroom in the sky. Lightning flashes inside the ^ cloud. Then a long, thin, ^ funnel 3 unravels from the base of the cloud. Touching the ground, the funnel spins at 100 miles per hour. It’s a tornado!Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Rapidly rotating winds create other kinds of weather phenomena (events?) including gustnadoes, 4 dust devils, fire whirls, and steam devils. Because these phenomena don’t descend from clouds, they aren’t classified as tornadoes. A gustnado occurs on the gust front of a thunderstorm. In a gust front, cool air rushes, or gusts, 5 down and out of the storm. The swirling funnel may look like a weak tornado, but it builds from the ground up instead of from the clouds down. A dust devil forms on hot, clear days. This swirling column of air skips along the ground, 6 turning the same color as the earth as it picks up dirt and other debris. A fire whirl is a spinning vortex (?) of hot air and gases that rises from an intense wildfire. 7 The whirl carries smoke, flames, and debris inside it. A steam devil can form at places that emit large amounts of smoke or steam, such as power plant smokestacks and desert hot springs. The smoke or steam is wrapped and trapped inside a 8 rotating column of rising air. In this passage, you’ll explore the following: • adding details to enhance clarity • adding details to make writing more descriptive • removing unnecessary words and phrase • using technical terms 55
  • 56. WRITING PROMPTS Specificity Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen.$- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________A Penny for Your Thoughts/Your Thoughts for a Penny Materials: penny, magnifying glass Write! Take a few minutes to examine a penny. Use a magnifying glass to help you see details on the coin that you may have missed before. Think about how the penny feels in your Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources hand or when you rub your finger across its surface. How does it smell? Based on the smell, how do you think the penny would taste? (Don’t put it in your mouth—use your other senses to help you describe what the taste would be like!) Jot down any ideas or images you think of. Then write a paragraph describing the penny. Be as specific as you can about the coin. With the Rest of the Class: Exchange descriptions with a partner. Read over each other’s work. Write down any questions you have and any words and phrases you thought were specific and original. How did those words and phrases help you see the penny even more clearly?$- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date ______________ What?! Materials: dictionary Write! Rewrite the paragraph below to make it more specific and descriptive. Carrion flowers smell bad. (Buzzards eat carrion.) Flowers that smell sweet attract bees and hummingbirds. Flowers that smell bad attract flies and beetles and other ugly insects. Starfish flowers grow in Africa. They’re pretty, but they smell really bad. They look like starfish. With the Rest of the Class: Talk about how you tackled the rewrite. Which details did you add? Which details did you remove? How were you able to make the paragraph more descriptive, even though you probably haven’t ever seen—or smelled—a carrion flower? 56
  • 57. ACTIVITIES: Specificity A Tantalizingly Tasty Menu Materials: drawing paper, colored paper, colored pencils and markers Tempt students with the following activity: Suppose you walk into a pizza kitchen that holds any ingredient you could wish for, and you get to create your own special pizza. You can choose the kind of crust—thick, thin, whole wheat, peanut butter—sauce, toppings, and cheese. Write and illustrate a detailed description of your pizza for a class pizza menu. Even if your favorite pizza is a cheese pizza, be specific about the kind of cheese(s) and how tantalizingly tasty it is—and why. Finally, give your pizza a name that will make everyone’s mouth water. With the Class: Call on students to share the description of their special pizza. Find out whichGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources specific details in the descriptions made the other students’ stomachs flip with hunger. Then have the class create a pizza menu that features all their special pizzas. (Maybe you can convince a local pizzeria to add them to its menu!) Just the Facts, Please Materials: large index cards, markers or pens Ask pairs who they think the five most important people in the world are and to create a list. After pairs research each person’s life and accomplishments, they should make a set of Top Five trading cards featuring their top five picks. Tell them to choose their words carefully and to be specific and concise—because they can use only 25 words, in complete sentences, on each card. With the Class: Based on everyone’s Top Five trading cards, compile a class list of the most important people in the world. Combine and refine the information from the original trading cards to create a new set of the Top Five trading cards for the class choices. Technical Translation “Hire” groups to write and produce a television commercial for one of the following businesses: • bicycle shop • iPod/MP3 player repair shop • dental clinic • fish and reptile store • sandwich shop They must use technical words and phrases in the script for their commercial—without translating them into everyday English. Then groups should write simple definitions for each technical word or phrase. After rehearsing their commercial, have groups present it to the rest of the class. Everyone in the group should have a role in the commercial. With the Class: Set aside time for groups to act out their commercials. When an audience member is confused by a technical term, he or she calls out, “Translation, please!” Everyone in the group should respond with the definition. 57
  • 58. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ SPECIFICITY Shades of Black What do you think of when you hear or read the word black? Does it matter if the word’s an adjective describing a black cat or a black coat? Do you picture the same color? Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Find at least two objects in the classroom that are black. How would you describe the similarities and differences between the colors of the two objects? Compare them in the Venn diagram below. _________________________ _________________________ Both Now describe the color of each object without using the adjective black. Object 1 ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ Object 2 ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ Repeat this activity for other senses: a salty or sour taste, a soft sound, a rough surface, and a sweet smell. 58
  • 59. All About Sentences ] For me, the big chore is always the same: how to begin a sentence, how to continue it, how to complete it. —Claude Simon A sentence can be one word—Go!—or it can be constructed out of layers of phrases and clauses. At the bare minimum, every sentence must consist of a subject and a predicate. It’s up to the writer to decide what other parts of speech to hang on it. This mini-lesson focuses on the following aspects of sentences:Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources • simple, compound, and complex sentences • combining sentences • varying sentence patterns • parallel construction Introduction To begin a mini-lesson on sentences, read aloud the Claude Simon quote at the top of the page. Engage students in a discussion of the quote and whether they can identify with this writer’s dilemma. Then ask them to define what a sentence is and to explain whether all sentences are equal. Teach The city about 20,0 of Cahokia 00 people sits on the banks of the Miss was as large issippi Rive empty. Now as the city r. In 1250, all that’s of London its populat Distribute copies of the passage “What Happened to Cahokia?” on left of the ’s. By 140 ion of The large city are 80 0, the hom st mound mounds es of Cah is called and seve okia wer Although Monk’s Mou ral circles 1 e the build nd, and it of wooden ers had only probably 2 posts. baskets with stone tool 3 took abo earth to s, sticks, ut 300 year build the 4 and their s to build leader may mound. hands, they . page 61 to students. Allow time for them to read it on their own or have lived A huge build filled 15,0 there. ing once 00,000 These peo sat on top ple also erec of Monk’s ted several Mound; calendars. a A henge Woodhe is a large nges, circl 5 earth or prehistor es of woo built it up. ic earthwo den pole rk—a plac s that wer ask them to follow along as you read it aloud. Use the teaching guide Usually cons e where e used as wood, or tructed in ancient peo soil. (You the shap ple dug into ’d see slab e of a circl Certain pole s of ston e, a henge the e set in a could be Grammar s in the circl circle if you made of circle had e marked visited Ston stone, a different the beginnin ehenge in numbers g of wint England.) Activities never finis of poles, er and sum 6 on page 60 to discuss the variety of sentences in the passage. hed. Tha yet all the mer and t gave scien poles wer spring and 7 tists a clue e made of fall. Each That Really After 120 about wha red ceda 0, the clim t may have r. One circl changed 8 ate e was . This chan happened 7 ge may have to Cahokia . Grab ‘Em!, harmed or killed plan 9 ts, animals, and othe r resource Grades 6–8 s like red trees in the cedar area. Oth er theories Apply © 2010 by about wha t happen ed to Cah Nobody okia inclu knows wha de war, dise Sarah Glassc t our citie ase, and will be won s might look rebellion dering wha by the citiz like in 100 ens. t happen 0 years. ed to the Maybe histo ock, Schola people who rians and used to live scientists in your city. stic Teachi Bring in an assortment of newspapers—including sensational ng Resour ces tabloids, such as the World Weekly News—that feature stories about alien and Bigfoot sightings. You can also access front pages Name ____ ____ ________ of newspapers on the Internet. Ask students what the purpose of ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ _____ Date ____ ____ ________ _ a headline is. Talk about how a headline is similar to and different How do these head lines grab you? from a sentence (similar: usually has a subject and predicate, complete thought; different: no punctuation, capitalization, some words left out). After distributing the Read All About It! Choose one headline. ces reproducible on page 64, work with students to rewrite the first as the first Turn it into ng Resour line of a a complex news stor or compou y. nd sentence ________ and use ________ stic Teachi ________ the sentence ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ock, Schola ________ ________ ________ ________ headline as the first sentence in a corresponding news story. ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ___ ________ ________ Sarah Glassc ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ___ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ © 2010 by ________ ________ ___ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ___ ________ ________ ________ ________ Grades 6–8 ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ___ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ Grab ‘Em!, ________ ________ ___ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ___ That Really ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ___ ________ ________ ________ Activities ___ Grammar 59
  • 60. Simple, Compound, and Complex SentencesWhen a writer adds one or more clauses to a simple sentence, the sentence becomescompound or complex.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  simple sentence has a subject and a A 1 Although the first three sentences are simple predicate and conveys a complete thought: sentences, not every one begins with a subject. Sami banged the drum. Some begin with prepositional phrases.•  n a compound sentence, the writer joins two I 4 This sentence begins with a dependent clause, or more independent clauses: Sami banged the set off from the independent clause with a comma, drum, and his sister covered her ears. so it’s a complex sentence.•  n a complex sentence, the writer joins one I 6 This complex sentence contains a dependent or more dependent clauses to an independent clause if you visited Stonehenge in England. This clause: When Sami banged the drum, his sister clause also could have begun the sentence. covered her ears because she couldn’t concentrate 8 After 1200 is a prepositional phrase and not a on her homework. Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources clause; it doesn’t contain a subject and predicate.Combining SentencesCoordinating conjunctions or semicolons are used to combine sentences.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  writer can use a coordinating conjunction or A 3 The coordinating conjunction and joins these a semicolon to create compound sentences. two sentences (independent clauses).•  comma should not be used to connect A 5 The semicolon takes the place of a coordinating independent clauses; a comma splice creates conjunction in this compound sentence. Ask a run-on sentence. (See the exception below.) students which coordinating conjunction they would replace it with.Varying Sentence PatternsA strong piece of writing contains a variety of sentence patterns.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE•  n sticking to a subject-verb, subject-verb, I 7 You might be tempted to begin this sentence subject-verb pattern, a writer runs the risk of with but to make it more dramatic: But one circle boring the reader. was never finished—but the sentence is dramatic•  xception: Repeating the same sentence E enough as it is. pattern can create a poetic rhythm or suspense or can emphasize a point. For example: The boat rocked on the waves, their white caps washed the deck, my life vest washed out to sea.Parallel ConstructionAll the parts of a compound subject or a compound predicate must be parallel.KEY POINTS TEACHING WITH THE MODEL PASSAGE •  arallelism helps a reader understand the P 2 80 mounds and several circles of wooden posts are connection between the parts of a sentence. both noun phrases. To play basketball and marching in the band 9 The verbs in this sentence are parallel. You wear me out. (not parallel) don’t need to write may have harmed or may have Playing basketball and marching in the band killed because readers understand that may have wear me out. (parallel) goes with each verb. 60
  • 61. MODEL PASSAGE Sentences What Happened to Cahokia? The city of Cahokia sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. In 1250, its population of about 20,000 people was as large as the city of London’s. By 1400, the homes of Cahokia were 1 empty. Now all that’s left of the city are 80 mounds and several circles of wooden posts. 2 The largest mound is called Monk’s Mound, and it probably took about 300 years to build. 3 Although the builders had only stone tools, sticks, and their hands, they filled 15,000,000Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources 4 baskets with earth to build the mound. A huge building once sat on top of Monk’s Mound; a 5 leader may have lived there. These people also erected several Woodhenges, circles of wooden poles that were used as calendars. A henge is a large prehistoric earthwork—a place where ancient people dug into the earth or built it up. Usually constructed in the shape of a circle, a henge could be made of stone, wood, or soil. (You’d see slabs of stone set in a circle if you visited Stonehenge in England.) 6 Certain poles in the circle marked the beginning of winter and summer and spring and fall. Each circle had a different numbers of poles, yet all the poles were made of red cedar. One circle was 7 never finished. That gave scientists a clue about what may have happened to Cahokia. 7 After 1200, the climate 8 changed. This change may have 9 harmed or killed plants, animals, and other resources like red cedar trees in the area. Other theories about what happened to Cahokia include war, disease, and rebellion by the citizens. Nobody knows what our cities might look like in 1000 years. Maybe historians and scientists will be wondering what happened to the people who used to live in your city. In this passage, you’ll explore the following: • simple, compound, and complex sentences • combining sentences • varying sentence patterns • parallel construction 61
  • 62. WRITING PROMPTS Sentences Teachers: Duplicate these prompts on sturdy paper and then cut them apart. You may also write the prompts on the board or display them onscreen.$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date _______________ That Will Be History One Day Write! Some of the events that happened in your lifetime will be historical events to people 50 or 100 years from now. Think about the important events in America that have happened since you’ve been born. When people Wr ite yo ur Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources ful l resp on se look back at this time period, what do you think they’ll be talking on a sepa ra te about? What will they want to know about? Write a description of an sh eet of pa per. event from your point of view to help future historians really understand what happened. With the Rest of the Class: Exchange work with a partner. As you read the work, look for places where sentences could be combined or rewritten as separate sentences.$-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------------- - - - - - - -Name _______________________________________________________________ Date ______________ A Desert Island Survival Kit Write! Imagine you were shipwrecked on a desert island with Wr ite yo ur no electricity or running water. (Maybe you’re on a reality TV show, ful l resp on se or maybe your expensive yacht hit a sandbar and sank.) What items on a sepa ra te would you absolutely, positively have to have with you? Narrow your sh eet of pa per. list to five essential items. Write a paragraph about how those items would help you survive. With the Rest of the Class: Compare your list of items and record them on the board. Trade one of your original items for an item on the board and rewrite your paragraph. As you write, look at the structure of your sentences. Do they all start the same way? If so, vary your sentence patterns. Be sure to read aloud your work to see how the new sentences fit and flow together. 62
  • 63. ACTIVITIES: Sentences That’s Simple! Materials: bells, clackers, or other noisemakers Prepare an overhead or whiteboard with simple, compound, and complex sentences from a variety of sources. Then have students play the following game: A group of three student contestants competes in this game to identify different types of sentences. The teacher, as game-show host, reveals one sentence at a time and asks whether it’s a simple, compound, or complex sentence. Each contestant rings a bell or uses another noisemaker to answer. Whichever contestant is first must identify the sentence and explain why it is simple, compound, or complex. The host keeps score. With the Class: The winner from each group meets and competes in a class-wide contest. TheGrammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources other members of the original groups help the contestants review the elements of simple, compound, and complex sentences. Spin a Conjunction Materials: spinner divided into five sections and labeled with the following coordinating conjunctions: and, or, but, for, yet; pencil, paper clip In this game, one partner thinks of a simple sentence. He or she spins the spinner. The other partner uses the coordinating conjunction the spinner lands on and thinks of a sentence to add to create a compound sentence that makes sense. Pairs take turns and build their compound sentences into a story. To create complex sentences, they can make a spinner that’s divided into at least six sections and labeled with some of the following subordinating conjunctions: when, while, before, after, since, if, although, so, where. One partner thinks of a sentence and spins. The other partner comes up with a dependent clause that begins with the subordinating conjunction and adds the clause to the sentence. With the Class: Have pairs share their stories with the class and then discuss how they created the first sentence and how it set the tone for the story. A Parallel Universe Materials: a variety of age-appropriate graphic novels, paper, colored pencils or markers Display the graphic novels and explain that a graphic novel tells a story with words and illustrations. It’s like a comic book or comic strip but longer. Ask partners to work together to create the idea for a graphic novel about a pair of siblings or friends. They are so close that they complete each other’s sentences—however, one is invisible to everyone but the other main character. (In other words, the characters are working together to create simple sentences with compound subjects or predicates, compound sentences, or complex sentences.) Then have pairs create at least two sample pages for their graphic novel, including words and illustrations. Remind pairs to make sure their compound subjects and predicates are parallel. With the Class: Post sample pages on a bulletin board. Have the writers/illustrators answer any questions about their books. If students get really inspired, encourage them to keep working together on their novel. 63
  • 64. ACTIVITYName _____________________________________________________________ Date _________________ SENTENCES Read All About It! How do these headlines grab you? White House to Be Painted Sky Blue Grammar Activities That Really Grab Em © Sarah Glasscock, Scholastic Teaching Resources Soda Machines Banned in Local Schools UFO Lands in Grand Canyon Buster Named Top Mixed Breed at Dog Show Route 49 Wiped Out After Heavy Spring Rains Blue Dogs Bite Back to Beat the Panthers in Overtime Choose one headline. Turn it into a complex or compound sentence and use the sentence as the first line of a news story. ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ 64