Tag Archives: parsing sentences

The Weekly Text, January 5, 2018

The New Year blew in to New York City with a “cyclone bomb” yesterday, whatever that is. For my part, I went out to lunch about three blocks from my apartment building in The Bronx. Imagine, if you can, a violent midsummer thunderstorm; instead of warm temperatures and rain, however, it was twenty-two degrees with relatively wet (especially considering the temperature) and heavy snow driven by strong winds.

Anyway, Happy New Year!

This week’s Text is a complete lesson plan on adverbs modifying sentences. To begin this lesson, I use this Cultural Literacy worksheet on dogma. If the lesson runs into a second day, and you wish to use a short do-now exercise to get it started, here is a parsing sentences worksheet on adjectives. The mainstay of this lesson is this structured exercise on using adverbs to modify entire sentences. When teaching this lesson, I find students more often than not require (or at least benefit from) this word-bank learning support. Finally, for your convenience, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.


The Weekly Text, July 21, 2017

This week’s Text is a complete lesson plan on using the degrees of adjectives. To refresh your memory, the three degrees of adjectives are the positive (big), the comparative (bigger) and the superlative, (biggest). Two do-now exercises open this unit, the first a parsing sentences worksheet on verbs and the second a Cultural Literacy Worksheet on acronyms. (I include as a matter of course two do-now exercises in the event that a lesson runs into a second day because of interruptions.) The mainstay of the lesson is this scaffolded worksheet on using the three degrees of adjectives. You may also want to use this learning support on the degrees of adjectives. Finally, you might find the teacher’s copy of the worksheet useful while giving this lesson.

Finally, this lesson affords you an opportunity, should you care to emphasize it, to point out to students that they will always, after the comparative adjective, use the conjunction than and not the adverb then.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, July 7, 2017

One week into the summer break, and I am taking advantage of everything New York City has to offer in this season, including the wonderful Jazzmobile, one of the greatest cultural institutions in our city, which obviously boasts so many of them. If you’re coming into the Five Boroughs from elsewhere, please know this: Jazzmobile concerts are free, held in some of our most beautiful parks, and superlative. If you go, make sure you put a few bucks in the collection bucket. Jazzmobile presents world-class musicians, and to see them in a club like the Village Vanguard or the Blue Note would cost you real money.

OK, now back to the English Language Arts Desk. This week’s Text is a complete lesson plan on adverbs modifying verbs. This lesson begins with one of two do-now exercises (or both if the lesson runs into a second day), the first a Cultural Literacy Worksheet on stereotypes, and the second a parsing sentences worksheet on adverbs. You might find this word bank of adverbs useful as a learning support. The mainstay of the lesson is this scaffolded worksheet on adverbs modifying verbs. Finally, you may find this teacher’s copy of the worksheet helps you in delivering this lesson.

That’s it. I hope you are enjoying your summer.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, January 27, 2017

We’ve just passed through a week of Regents Tests here in New York, a round of high stakes tests that decide the status of a student’s diploma. I always find this a depressing exercise, because it penalizes perfectly able kids who don’t test well. Perhaps one day we’ll live in a society that educates students as they are (or how they are–poorly written IEPs notwithstanding)–and builds on that–rather than a theoretical “where they should be.”

This week’s Text is a lesson on numerical adjectives. Because this lesson is at about the halfway point in my adjectives unit,  I begin it with this do now-exercise on parsing sentences to find adjectives. If the lesson runs into a second day for all the reasons that some lessons do when presented to struggling learners, then you may also need this Cultural Literacy worksheet on carpe diem. The mainstay of the lesson is a scaffolded worksheet on numerical adjectives that begins with modified cloze exercises and concludes with independent practice using numerical adjectives in grammatically complete declarative sentences. You might also find the teachers’copy/answer key useful.

Because I teach English Language Arts and social studies to the same group of students, I teach the concept of cardinal numbers (the counting numbers like one, two, three, etc.) and ordinal numbers (those numbers we use to order or rank things, as in first, second, third, etc.) in a lesson about historical dates and understanding how to understand the ordinally numbered centuries. I call on the prior knowledge from that global studies lesson for this one on numerical adjectives; both cardinal and ordinal numbers are used as adjectives. Ten days to two weeks separate the presentation of these two lessons, so the timing allows me a chance to assess students’ memories and capacity for retention.

This is also an important concept in grammar for students to understand. When I took Russian as an older undergraduate, I had to go back and study the difference between these two types of numbers and their use. If your students need help in understanding the meaning of these terms and the concepts they represent, then here’s a context clues worksheet on the term cardinal numbers and another on the adjective ordinal.

That’s it. Next week begins Black History Month, followed in March by Women’s History Month. I’ll post plenty of readings for both.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, June 3, 2016

WordPress, whose software drives Mark’s Text Terminal, provides a handy set of tools to help me understand who visits this blog and why. I’ve been particularly interested in the number of users finding their way here from countries outside the United States. If I’m reading the analytical material in my visitors’ log correctly, most people visiting Mark’s Text Terminal from around the world arrive here by using search terms in some variation of “parsing sentences worksheet.”

So, this weeks text is five parsing sentences worksheets for nouns. Over time, I’ll post all of my parsing sentences worksheets; I have five for each part of speech. You may want to take a look at the users manual for parsing sentences worksheets.

Needless to say, I’m very interested in where and how people are using sentence parsing work. If you find this material useful, I would–as always–be grateful to hear how, particularly interested to hear if you’ve modified these, and how.

Until next week, then….

The Weekly Text, November 13, 2015

For the second year, as I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I have struggled to assemble a structured and scaffolded unit on writing the five-paragraph essay for the eight-week special institute class required of freshmen in my school. The premise of the exercise–that all there is to be learned about composing five-paragraph essays–and therefore, I guess, all essays–can be learned in eight class meetings has always struck me as…well, to put it as charitably as possible, problematic. This approach is especially problematic for the struggling learners I serve.

So, I’ve worked at creating a unit that leads students who struggle with writing and reading, and don’t really understand the elements of grammatically complete sentence, to an understanding of how to write expository prose. My own sense remains that for the students I work with, this material would be best presented seriatim in daily classroom sessions rather than once a week, and that it should be presented one step at a time over two eight-lesson units rather than one. The five-paragraph essay is not the only form of expository writing students will need to learn, so why not make that form part of a broader and deeper strategy on teaching writing?

When I went through the first unit just now, I found that I hadn’t made the kind of progress on it that I’d hoped. In any case, I think these units will undergo revision each time I use them to meet the need the students I work with. On that note, here is a lesson on the elements of a declarative sentence, the first from my unit on writing the five-paragraph essay.

N.B., please, that in several of the sentence setups in exercises one through eight have a series of asterisks where the subject should be. This is so you may, if you choose, insert names of your students for use as subjects, and the same is true of the parsing sentences do-now work that opens the lesson. Please see the About Weekly Texts page for the rationale behind this.

As always, I’d be grateful to hear from you if you find this useful, or if you adapted it in any way, and in either case, how.

The Weekly Text: September 11, 2015

On this sad anniversary, I am at work, right next to Ground Zero, on Trinity Place between Cedar and Thames in Lower Manhattan.

Here are five parsing sentences worksheets that you might find helpful in teaching your students a variety of things: what nouns are, what the parts of a complete sentence are, how to pick sentences apart by identifying their constituent parts, and how those parts relate to one another syntactically.

This is the first time I’ve posted parsing sentences worksheets, so I attach the Parsing Sentences Worksheets Users’ Manual. If you haven’t previously used worksheets from Mark’s Text Terminal, and you’re wondering why there are asterisks where subject nouns and pronouns should be, take a quick look at the About Weekly Texts page linked to just above the photo.

I hope you find this material useful, and I’d be grateful if you let me know how you used it, or how it worked with the students you teach, or both.