Grammar Crash Course: Day 2

Today, the students took a trip through the world of sentence diagramming…but not in the way one would usually think.

Sentence Diagramming vs Sentence Trees


Today, after watching a brief video outlining how sentence trees are made, the students followed along with me as I created four sentence trees for sentences of varying lengths.  They then set about creating their own.


  • Read for 30 minutes.
  • Complete Genius Hour project (DUE BY FRIDAY of THIS WEEK).


Friday, March 29th, 2013

We capped off this week with a continuation of our ELA Olympics.  Each of the teams in class were competing quite hard to gain the most points.  Today, we put our emphasis on two things: the ELA Infographic Project and sentence trees.  I had a Q & A session with the students to make sure that everyone was clear on the expectations of the project (which is due next Friday, April 5th and no later).  We then broke sentences down into their parts of speech and then looked at how the words came together to make phrases, clauses, complete subjects, complete predicates, etc.

Just as a refresher (for those of you parents who might not be familiar with sentence trees):

Sandy likes candy with chocolate.Sentence Tree

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.  Continue work on the ELA Infographic Project (due Friday, April 5th).

PowerPoint: Status Report 3.29.13

Monday, October 8th, 2012 in Review

It’s always important to review concepts in a fun way.  Today we reviewed the sentence parts, phrases, and clauses that had been covered in class thus far (minus gerunds, next time) through a Sentence Auction.  Each sentence part, phrase, or clause was assigned a dollar amount.  This will serve as the minimum bid price for each sentence.  As the students work in pairs (or groups of three) to create the most expensive sentence that makes sense, one “expert student” served as the “appraiser” to verify that the sentences were grammatically correct.  Our end goal is to put the sentences on a sentence strip which will be auctioned off to other student groups.  This assignment will be concluded tomorrow.

We watched a video clip from the Discovery Channel Show “Auction Kings” where the students were able to see what an auction looked like in real-life.  This served to give everyone background on exactly what the Sentence Auction would entail.

Sentence Auction Guidelines

HOMEWORK: Take a look at the homework for the week (which can be found here).

PowerPoint: 10-8-12 Fun Times at the Sentence Auction


Friday, October 5th, 2012 in Summation

Ahh, the end of the week.  Friday was our usual assessment day where the students took an open-note quiz on sentence trees, dependent clause types, and independent versus dependent clauses.  The students then created a 1-page essay during the remainder of class to the topic below:

Topic: A lot of schools hand out “Participation Awards” or “Perfect Attendance” certificates at award ceremonies.  However, there are those who think that this encourages people to not try their hardest.  Therefore, at an award ceremony, is it better to recognize everyone for trying or should only the people who did the best be recognized?  Write an essay to convince Mr. Bivens to agree with you.  Be sure to include specific details to support your claim.

For the students who finished the 1-Pager essay, they were directed to begin working on creating sentences for the Sentence Auction taking place on Monday.

HOMEWORK: No homework.  Have a wonderful weekend!

PowerPoint: 10-5-12 Quiz Timed Writing Mission Completion Day

Sentence Auction Guidelines

Thursday, October 4th, 2012 Recap

Thursday’s class began with our usual grammar practice.  After a review of the focus standards for the day, we picked up where we left off yesterday.  A “mission briefing”set the tone: follow the clues some more, complete the tasks, and move on to the beginnings of our Sentence Auction.  This Sentence Auction, which will begin Friday and finish Monday, the 7th of October, is where the students will sell sentences they have created.  The monetary value of each sentence will be determined by what each sentence contains.

Sentence Auction Guidelines:

HOMEWORK: Re-read pages 141-148 in your Reader/Writer Interactive Workbook.  This time, answer ALL of the questions on pages 149-150.

PowerPoint: 10-4-12 Follow the Context Clues

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 Recap

Tuesday was a fun and exciting day as we mixed grammar and music to diagram sentences using sentence trees.  The students had the opportunity to work in pairs while listening to current hits.  Once the music stopped, we all worked together whole group to come up with the correct answers.  Below is an example of a sentence we broke into a sentence tree:

The sentence, “Sandy likes candy with chocolate,” became:

HOMEWORK: Write 4 sentences. Each must one must represent a different sentence structure. Then choose 2 of the sentences to diagram with a sentence tree.

PowerPoint: 10-2-12 Branching Out with Grammar

Monday, October 1st, 2012 in Review

We started a new month and a new approach to grammar.   Instead of the age-old tradition of sentence diagramming, we learned about syntax (or sentence) trees.  Sentences diagrammed show grammar as a flat concept.  Syntax trees, on the other hand show sentences as dynamic because you are always working to show how the words relate to one another.

Before tackling this new concept, we took a look at Friday’s quiz through an item analysis using the graphic organizer below.

HOMEWORK: The students were made aware of the homework for the week.

PowerPoint: 10-1-12 Sentences DO Grow on Trees!