Making Sense of Sentences

While some were discovering new things about familiar words this afternoon, one group introduced us to a brand new word.  Zoe found it in a book she is reading.  The word is sycophant.  It is defined as a self server; one who uses flattery to win favor with one who yields influence.  We might call such a person a “yes-man”.  It was decided that this person would not be considered sincere and should not be believed.  In Zoe’s book, the sycophant is not a person but a creature.

When it was time to practice our grammar, it felt right to incorporate our new word!  Here is another example of how we use knowledge, logic, and reason to analyze and better understand the structure of a sentence.

Grammar: Sentence Analysis

Early in the year we rushed through learning the parts of speech and the main parts of a sentence (subject, predicate, direct and indirect object, and subject complement). Since October, we have been applying that learning and beginning to understand what each part of speech’s job is in a sentence. We’re seeing how words are related to one another in a sentence. This video is in two parts. Part One demonstrates the students identifying parts of speech. With this particular sentence there were more a-ha! moments than usual. I enjoyed their enthusiasm very much. I hope you do too.

Next the students identified the important parts of the sentence and phrases. Lastly they identified the type of sentence (declarative, imperative, interrogative, exclamatory) and its sentence structure (Simple I, Compound I,ccI, Complex D,I, Complex ID).

As you can see, the students are extremely engaged in this activity. They are learning to question their previous learning (one example: that before is only a preposition) and contribute thoughtful ideas. They collaborate in this effort. Even as a whole class activity, everyone is eager to participate. They make connections to previous learning, and in the process strengthen their current learning.