Beginning this fall, both of my middle-school language arts classes will include formal grammar study. You might have a question or two…
Haven’t you always included grammar? Yes, but in an informal way. We use it when we discuss writing, and in fact Write Shop requires a basic knowledge of grammar in order to understand how to implement sentence variations. I’ve always required correct grammar and have woven it into whichever lesson we are learning.
Why add an additional curriculum? I love the subject. It’s hard to teach “just” reading and writing and not include grammar. Several parents have asked me to consider adding a grammar component and I think it’s a wonderful idea!
Do we have to buy another book? Yes, and I have exciting news! The Magic Lens by Michael Clay Thompson (Royal Fireworks Press) is a non-consumable text that can be used in Reading & Writing 1 AND 2. This book simplifies grammar and makes it easy to understand, and dare I say, love! With only 8 kinds of words and 2 sides of a sentence, we can create literature, poetry, conversation, and thought. Thompson employs a unique way of analyzing a sentence (not diagramming in case you are worried) that helps students to see — on 4 different levels– the parts of the sentence. Punctuation isn’t so scary once you understand what those little marks are accomplishing and what they are dividing.
What’s with the title? “Magic”? – I’ll let the author speak for himself here: “(Grammar) is sort of a magic aesthetic lens, through which we can view the delicate structures of ideas. As scientists marvel at the silicate skeletal frames that support and form living organisms, through grammar we view the delicate relationships that give form to the phenomena of the mind. If this comparison strikes you as idealistic and metaphorical, please consider it further. These relationships do exist, and they are beautiful.” -from the foreword
We have a world of sentences waiting to be explored! I hope you will consider joining us!