Posts Tagged ‘sentences’

Scrambled Paragraph Lesson Plan

July 20, 2013

scrambled p

Here’s an activity which demonstrates how the sentences in a well-constructed paragraph should fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The following scrambled paragraph is a true story that happened to me when I was around ten years old.

____ Unfortunately, I also got my foot.

____ I got his shadow.

____ I will never forget the time I stuck an awl through my foot.

____ I pulled it out, ran into the house, and shouted, “Mom, Dad, I
        just stuck an awl through my foot.”

____ They did not believe me until they saw it.

____ The knife not only penetrated Andy’s shadow, it went through
        the top of my foot and came out the other side.

____ This happened one day when I was stabbing the awl from my
        dad’s pocket knife into my front lawn.

____ My neighbor Andy and I were playing a game in which I
        attempted to stab his shadow as he ran across the yard.


#1. Pass out this Scrambled Paragraph to students and have them number it.
#2. Show them the answers and let them correct their own papers.
#3. For homework, have the students write a first-person narrative paragraph between eight and eleven sentences long about something interesting or exciting that has happened to them. Then they should “scramble” their paragraphs like the example above. (Answers should go on the back of their papers.)
#4 Classroom activity: Students swap each other’s paragraphs and number them.

(Scrambled Paragraph answer: 5,4,1,7,8,6,2,3)

Richard W. Bray

A Lesson Plan on Simple Sentences

April 23, 2013

grammar puppy

Step 1. Teach this lesson on parts of speech.

Step 2. Ask students what a simple sentence is. Correct working answer for the purposes of this exercise: A group of words that tells us what someone or something is or a group of words that tells us what someone or something does.

Step 3. Present the following examples of simple sentences.

N-V (noun/action verb)

Love hurts.

Batman returns.

N—V—N (noun/action verb/noun)

Horton heard a Who.

Mr. Blandings builds his dream house.

Note: In a N–V–N sentence the second noun must receive the action of the verb. Thus, Antonia eats pizza. is a N–V–N sentence, but Tuan walks around the lake. is a N–V sentence. (Around the lake is a prepositional phrase.)

(noun/linking verb/noun)

Jeremiah was a bullfrog.

Time is a thief.

N–LV–ADJ (noun/linking verb/adjective)

The weather outside is frightening.

I feel pretty.

Note: Linking verbs include all the forms of the verb to be: is, are, was, were, be, being, been. The following words can act as linking verb, but only when they describe or rename the subject: feel, smell, taste, look, appear, seem, remain, stay, turn, grow.

In the sentence This soups tastes funny., tastes is acting as a linking verb.

However, in the sentence Guinevere tastes the soup., tastes is acting as an action verb.

Step 4. Group students in threes.

Step 5. Have each group generate a list of two N–V sentences, two N–V–N sentences, two N–LV–N sentences, and two N–LV–ADJ sentences on paper.

Step 6. Groups show sentences to teacher.

Step 7. Students write sentences on the board.

Step 8. Teacher reviews sentences as a whole–class activity.

Coming up: Lessons on complex and compound sentences that will knock your socks off.

Richard W. Bray

Some More Provocative Sentences

January 27, 2013

The power of grief to derange the mind has in fact been exhaustively noted.


She did not use her poetry as prayer; she did not write to mollify God, to ward off evil; she wrote because she and she alone could find in religion the adventures of her utterly independent, endlessly speculative soul.


The rich everyday exhort a part of their daily allowance from the poor not only by private fraud but by public law.


The lesson in education was vital to these young men, who, within ten years, killed each other by scores in the act of testing their college conclusions.


I conceive of poetry not so much as a matter of serene and disinterested choice but of action, and the very heat of choice, I think of the poem as a kind of action in which, if the poet can participate enough, other people cannot help participating as well.


If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.


For, like every act man commits, the drama is a struggle against his mortality, and meaning is the ultimate reward for having lived.


She hated her grandmother and had hidden it from herself all these years under a cloak of pity.


The urge of poetry is not, of course, to whoop it up for the automobile, the plane, the computer, and the space-ship, but only to bring them and their like into the felt world, where they may be variously taken, and establish their names in the vocabulary of imagination.


And I could cry for the time I’ve wasted, but that’s a waste of time and tears, and I know just what I’d change if went back in time somehow, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.


In order for a ruling class to rule, there must be arbitrary prohibitions.


We who are born into the world’s artificial system can never adequately know how little in our present state and circumstances is natural, and how much is merely the interpolation of the perverted mind and heart of man.

Compiled by Richard W. Bray

Some Provocative Sentences

January 7, 2012

The most lively thought is still inferior to the dullest sensation.


By the time I was done with the car it looked worse than any typical Indian car that had been driven all its life on reservation roads, which they always say are like government promises—full of holes.


I tell you his mind bled almost visibly.


Why should so much poetry be written about sexual love and so little about eating—which is just as pleasurable and never lets you down—or about family affection, or about the love of mathematics.


In the morning there was a big wind blowing and the waves were running high up on the beach and he was awake a long time before he remembered that his heart was broken.


Well, then, says I, what’s the use you learning to do right, when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?


Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.


“Keep your pores open.”


“But, by what I have gathered from your own Relation, and the Answers I have with much pain wringed from you; I cannot but conclude the Bulk of your Natives, to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth.”


“There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow.”


It is only when our appointed activities seem by a lucky accident to obey the particular earnestness of our temperament that we can taste the comfort of complete self-deception.


“If you could look deep enough into anyone’s character, even perhaps your own, you would find a sense of machismo.”

Compiled by Richard W. Bray