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A Week of Gentle Grammar Lessons

  |   Charlotte Mason Mondays, Curriculum, Language Arts, Lesson Plan, Teaching Elementary School, Teaching Writing   |   No comment

week of gentle grammar lessons

Some time ago I posted a Gentle Grammar Lesson, taken directly from Charlotte Mason’s writings, demonstrating how simple it can be to teach grammar to children using the books they are reading for history and science. In order to see this a little more completely, following is a week of grammar lessons. This week of lessons is taken from the Ancients Unit of our 4th Grade Daily Lesson Plans. (This is at the beginning of the school year.) Note that this method integrates grammar study with copy work, handwriting and even history and science.

We Charlotte Mason moms like to get a lot of bang from our buck by integrating as many subjects as is reasonable.  🙂

At this point, I assume your child understands that a sentence is  a group of words combined to make a complete thought.  If you haven’t taught that yet, here’s a lesson for that.

Day One

Before the grammar lesson, as a copy work assignment, your student is asked to neatly copy the following sentences, taken from Exodus, by Brian Wildsmith (a book you are reading for history during the Ancients unit):

  1. A Hebrew woman gave birth to a son.
  2. Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the river to bathe.
  3. The woman took the baby and nursed him.
  • Review and have your student make any necessary corrections.
  • Discuss with your student:

Let’s talk further about sentences and use a new word – predicate:  A complete sentence is made up of a subject and a predicate. A subject tells whom or what the sentence is about, while the predicate tells something about the subject.

  • Use your student’s copy work from today to demonstrate the division of subject and predicate.  (The answer key for this exercise is included in the curriculum:  1.  A Hebrew woman / gave birth to a son.   2. Pharaoh’s daughter / came down to the river to bathe.  3.  The woman / took the baby and nursed him.)
  • As you discuss this with your student, continue to reinforce the difference between the different functions of the subject and the predicate in a sentence. Look at other simple sentences and have your student come up with some on his own, and divide them into subject and predicate.

 

Day Two

Before the grammar lesson, as a copy work assignment, your student is asked to neatly copy the following taken from Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise McGraw (another history book that does double-duty as a literature book).

  1. Doorways were blue-black in white buildings.
  2. Sweating porters hurried in and out.
  3. Nekokh chewed his lip.
  • Review and have your student make any necessary corrections.
  • Discuss with your student:
Remember yesterday when we talked about subjects and predicates?  What do you remember from our discussion? A complete sentence is made up of a subject and  a predicate.  The subject tells whom or what the sentence is about, and the predicate tells something about the subject.  Yesterday we divided three sentences from one of your history books into subjects and predicates.  Let’s do that again.  Where would you divide your three sentences from Mara, Daughter of the Nile?
  • If your student has difficulty distinguishing the subjects from the predicates, ask, “Whom or what is this sentence about?” After the subject is determined, it is easy to see the answer to the other question, “What does the sentence say about the subject?”
  • Have your student divide today’s copy work sentences into subjects and predicates.
  • Check your student’s sentences with the provided answer key: 1. Doorways / were blue-black in white buildings.  2.  Sweating porters / hurried in and out. 3.  Nekonkh / chewed his lip.

 

Day Three

Before the grammar lesson, the student is instructed to neatly copy the three sentences from the day’s science concepts and one sentence from history:

  1. Matter is made up of molecules.
  2. Elements combine to make molecules.
  3. Properties are the signatures of elements and molecules.
  4. Altars were often built on the sites of important events.
  • Review and have your student make any necessary corrections.
  • Ask your student to divide today’s copy work sentences into subjects and predicates.
  • By this time your student should feel comfortable dividing simple sentences into subjects and predicates, but if not, continue asking your student:  “Who or what is this sentence about?”  and then once the subject is determined,  “What does the sentence say about the subject?”

 

Day Four

  • Have your student look for five basic sentences in today’s reading of Old Testament Days by Nancy Sanders (a history and activity book).
  • Once five are located, have him copy them neatly.
  • Now have your student divide them into subjects and predicates.
  • Check and make sure they have been divided correctly.

 

Day Five

  • Have your student tell you what a subject and a predicate is.
  • Have your student copy the writing/grammar rule for this week:  A complete sentence is made up of a subject and a predicate.

In addition, we suggest that space in a notebook be allotted for grammar rules.  As with most new concepts, it’s useful to review the  rules periodically.

And that is all there is to it!

 

Want to see more examples of a week of grammar lessons?

If you would like to see more examples just like this week, take a look at other daily lesson plan sample weeks.  Go to our daily lesson plans page, scroll down until you see the individual grades listed, go to the grade levels you’re interested in, and click on “Sample.”  Then look for the language arts page that looks like this:

week of gentle grammar lessons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why this method of teaching grammar, and language arts in general, works so well is that it’s so SIMPLE.  Consequently, young students understand it!  You teach one simple skill at a time, and one builds on another.

It’s practical for you, too, since you don’t have to buy a separate language arts curriculum and take the time to teach it.

Additionally, teaching language arts this way allows you to integrate it with your history and science reading, so it makes sense to your student because he’s already familiar with the books. So you are just adding new information (the language arts part), instead of trying to teach language arts “in isolation,” which isn’t as effective, in  my experience.

Does that make sense to you? Do you see the simplicity and practicality of teaching grammar like this? Do you think you could use this method to teach grammar?

How might it simplify what you are doing now? What is the biggest challenge you have in teaching grammar to your kids?

Dana

 

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