Grammar instruction is making a comeback but in all the wrong ways. The purpose of learning grammar is to produce well-formed sentences. To help kids master sentence structure, I describe sentences with simple English words, not unfamiliar Latin words. I won’t claim to have invented this approach; it just made sense to me when I began dealing with grammar problems in the classroom early in my career.
In my experience, this approach helps kids learn almost instantly how to write well-formed sentences. And because it’s so simple, I can start it with primary kids and ELL students with limited English proficiency.
Every Writer Serves a Sentence
Take a look at this sentence:
On a bitter-cold winter morning, Malcolm Maxwell, a young man of simple means but good intentions, left the quiet country town in which he’d been raised and set off on the bold errand he’d been preparing for all his life.
Like all sentences, this one is made up of parts. In this system, there are four kinds of sentence parts:
1. Main Parts These parts contain the main action of the sentence: “Malcolm Maxwell,…left the quiet country town in which he’d been raised,….” (Notice that I don’t have to call this a “main clause” or refer to a “main verb”.)
2. Lead-In Parts …
3. In-Between Parts
4. Add-On Parts …
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Author: Steve Phea, Edutopia