I realized recently that I’ve never posted anything about our new language arts program. I want to write about it at length, because it’s amazing, but in the interim here’s a brief glimpse.
This is an activity from Sentence Island, the writing book. It’s hammering in the concept that sentences have two parts: a subject and a predicate. Sentences tell something about something. Alex and I each made a list of five subjects and five predicates, without peeking at each other’s work. Then I cut my paper into strips and had her match my subjects to her predicates and vice versa.
This activity incorporates so much of what I love about Michael Clay Thompson’s program. It was playful and creative – Alex giggled her way through the combinations – but it encouraged serious thought, and real discussions, about grammar. What went wrong with Alex’s third predicate, the one that started with “and” – why didn’t it seem to work with any of the subjects? How were my subjects different from hers? Were my multi-word subjects still just plain subjects, or had I included something else? We both started our subjects with a capital letter and ended our predicates with punctuation, but does the subject of a sentence always have to come first?
Right now we’re alternating weeks of Sentence Island (writing) with Music of the Hemispheres (poetics). At the end of last week I was disappointed to set the poetry book aside, but now that a new Monday is here I feel the same way about the writing book. What do you mean, we won’t read it again for a week?!