Partner Sentence Analysis

Normally, I would put a sentence up on the whiteboard and call on students to identify the

A) Parts of speech
B) Parts of the sentence (subject/predicate/direct object/indirect object/subject complement)
C) Phrases (prepositional/appositive/infinitive/gerund/participial)
D) Type of sentence (declarative/interrogative/exclamatory/imperative) and sentence structure (Simple Independent Clause/Compound I,cc I/Complex ID/Complex D,I)

But since our work with word investigations, I’ve noticed how much the students love figuring things out in small collaborative groups.  So I wrote out sentences on long pieces of construction paper.  Each pair of students was given a sentence and asked to analyze it.  I created two of each sentence so that when groups were finished they could compare their analysis with the other group that analyzed the same sentence.  The last step will be for the four who analyzed each sentence to present their analysis on the whiteboard.

I was so pleased to hear the students use reason and logic in making their decisions.  Team members felt comfortable challenging suggestions being made, and each pair ultimately made their decisions based on evidence from either a dictionary, their brochure, or their Grammar Examiner notebook.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are past the days of wild guessing and instead, expecting the order of things to make sense!

I was particularly impressed that with such interesting and complicated looking sentences, they ended up making very few errors.  At this point in the semester, the students are discovering that one word can be more than one part of speech, depending on its use in the sentence.  It’s interesting to listen to them critically think about which identification is most likely.


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.