kitchen table math, the sequel: Help Desk: Forming and joining sentences

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Help Desk: Forming and joining sentences

I was working with my 10 year old DS on an assignment the other day.  He wrote a sentence with the word "but" separating two independent clauses.   At first, it sounded "okay" (hard to tell sometimes because he's young and his wording is still awkward at times).  Upon further examination, I realized the second part of the statement didn't refer to the first part.  He was mimicking good sentence structure, but wasn't "connecting" the facts correctly.

So I'm wondering: Do any of you know a good curriculum we can use at home that will help him do either (or both) of these things:

1. Build solid sentences:  I would like to teach him how to take a simple sentence ("Jack ran") and "connect" elements to it to make interesting sentences that are logically correct ("Realizing the train was closer than he thought, Jack ran quickly to the end of the tunnel, diving into the bushes and avoiding certain death.").

2. Connect sentences into paragraphs that make sense and flow into the next paragraph

I'm looking for a nice, direct instruction-type approach.

Any ideas?


Crimson Wife said...

Don Killgallon's "sentence composing" books are excellent for this. Another good choice is Harry Noden's Image Grammar. If you go with the latter, there is a corresponding workbook for middle school students sold here.

palisadesk said...

For a ten-year-old, I recommend Engelmann's Reasoning and Writing levels D and E. They cover a number of skills besides the sentence specifics you mention, but are effective, easy for a parent to implement, and usually engaging, even fun and humorous. You can often pick up these Direct Instruction programs (the older versions) quite reasonably on Ebay. There is a teacher presentation book and a hardback student textbook for each level.

Arthur Whimbey's sentence combining stuff is also good --as is his book, Analyze, Organize, Write! but it is more appropriate for middle school kids.

Stacey Howe-Lott said...

I've heard great things from homeschoolers about Micheal Clay Thompson grammar program.

RMD said...

Crimson Wife, palisadesk, Stacey . .

Thank you for your help! It's great to be able to "ask around" on a forum like this and get such thoughtful responses.

After looking at everything, I think the Killgallon approach is what I'm looking for to work on this issue.

Crimson Wife said...

I first heard about Killgallon here on KTM. My DD has now done 2 of the books and I've noticed a major improvement in her ability to write interesting and varied sentences. I first heard abotu Killgallon here on KTM so a big THANK YOU to whoever recommended it to me (Catherine perhaps?)

bky said...

About the Killgallon books for elementary students, there are two books. Does anyone have a suggestion about how to use them? They seem to be very similar. Are they supposed to be used together, or do they give two approaches to the same thing? Is one better than the other? The books are

(1) Sentence Composing for Elementary School: A Worktext to Build Better Sentences

(2)Story Grammar for Elementary School: A Sentence-Composing Approach

p.s. I am not a robot but I had to refresh the "please prove you're not a robot" words about 5 times before I found some that I could at least guess at.

Jen said...

I noticed in the comments section that one of them has a free downloadable teacher guide at the website, while the other doesn't seem to have that.

I don't remember which one, though, off the top of my head. I suppose a visit to the website might clear it up?

Crimson Wife said...

Story Grammar is the one that has the teacher's guide, but Sentence Composing for Elementary actually uses the proper grammatical terminology. For example, SG calls appositive phrases "S-V splits" because the appositive usually goes between the subject and the verb. With my younger children, I'm going to start with SC because I prefer the proper terms.

RMD said...

Crimson Wife. . .

you said that that your DD did 2 books .. did she do both Story Grammar and Sentence Composing, or did she move up to the next level?


Crimson Wife said...

DD has done Story Grammar for Elementary and Grammar for Middle School. I liked the paragraph-writing assignments in the middle school book so that was why I went with that one over the other elementary book after DD completed Story Grammar.