Monday, January 21, 2008
Saturday, September 8, 2007
"Altruistic are the long distance mentors who endlessly share their experience and their knowledge to those of us who are still in our infant state. I thank them profusely"
Early sentence work
1st presentation: Subject + Verb
2nd presentation: 2 Subjects + Verb (=> two big black circles!)
3rd presentation : 1 Subject + verb + 1 direct object,...1 subject + verb + 2 direct objects ==>> the objects get one circle!
The material only has one circle per category:
one red circle for the predicate
one large black circle for the subject
one medium black circle for the direct object
one small black circle for the indirect object.
Compounds (plurals) go on the same circle in each category.
In the elementary sentence analysis material there are several orange circles for adverbial extensions, but each one has a unique function/question so you could have compound words on one circle.
The compound subject:
I see on an introduction to the sentence analysis with arrows and circles, that in one sentence, there is only one circle (on the right) used for direct objects, even if there are more than one:
"I see a cat and a dog"- the cat and the dog are in one circle;but if there are more than two subjects, there are as many circles (on the left) used as subjects.
"Mary and Paul see the animals"- Mary and Paul has each a circle.
Why for subjects the same number of circles as for subjects, and for many objects only ONE
Yes, The compound subject gets one circle. (by compound I mean more than one.) We could also use the word plural.You were asking about the circles so that I what I wrote about. Yes, there are arrows also. You use both. We write the sentence on strips of paper and then tear it apart as we answer the questions. I'm using "we" meaning myself and the children in the presentation.
We start by finding the predicate. In the early work we ask for the action.
Find the predicate, tear it, and place on the red circle. In the beginning work there might be more words than just the verb.
Then ask the question on the subject arrow. Who is it that? or What is it that?
Find the answer, tear, and place on the large black circle.
Then continue with the direct object questions if they apply
John bounced what?
You do not make extra circles for more than one.
Not a good sentence, but for example...John and Mary threw and bounced the football and basketball.
threw and bounced would be torn out together and placed on the red circle
John and Mary would be torn out together and placed on the subject circle
football and basketball would be torn out together and placed on the direct object circle
There should be only one subject circle because each clause has only one subject. In the case of "Jack and Jill went up the hill," the subject is "Jack and Jill" not "Jack" and "Jill". The subject is what answers the question
"Who is it that did the action?" and the answer is "Jack and Jill." The answer isn't "Jack" because Jill also did it, and vice versa. Subjects can be simple or compound, but there's only one per clause.
This is true even when the sentence is complex and the subject is actually one or more dependent clauses, as in "That Jack and Jill went up the hill is of no consequence to me." In that case you have one dependent clause as the subject of the main clause, and that dependent clause has a compound subject.I love the Montessori sentence analysis material because it makes the structure of English sentences so crystal clear for the children -- much more so than traditional sentence diagramming, IMHO.
The children (who will have already done a good deal of sentence analysis) put down the materials to build a certain sentence structure, then they see how many actual sentences they can write that share that same structure.
This is especially fun with complex sentences; I find the older children enjoy it even more than taking apart someone else's sentences. And I also think it is good practice for their own writing. An especially valuable variation is to start with a brilliant and complicated sentence from literature (some classic book the children know), analyze it, then do the synthesis game. If they do enough of this, you'll start to see their own writing growing more varied and complex.
My son had a rhetorical grammar class in high school where they had assignments similar to this to write sentences and paragraphs that mimicked the structure of some excerpt from a famous author. He loved it more than anyone else and was very, very good at it ... but then he was the only student in the class who had had the experience of working with the Montessori circles and arrows.