This is the first installment of a grammar series for struggling middle and high school writers who do not have the sentence structure awareness to eliminate fragments and run-ons in their writing, or to join clauses effectively. Unit 1 Pt. 1 starts at the beginning, by teaching awareness of the major elements that both must be present in a complete sentence: subject and verb. The sentences used incorporate humor whenever possible to keep reluctant students engaged.
Typically, students are taught in elementary school to ask these questions in identifying subjects and verbs:
• Where is the action or state of being in the sentence? (verb)
• Who or what does the action or is in the state of being? (subject)
For students who still struggle with these concepts in middle and high school, these questions alone have never provided enough guidance.
Instead, this product walks students through seven days of warm-ups that build from easy to more difficult with five sentences per day (two copies per page). The following issues are covered:
• Finding the subject from among descriptors (ex. my brother's lazy cat);
• Finding the pronoun subject (especially "it");
• Finding action, linking, and helping verbs;
• Realizing that infinitives are not working verbs;
• Realizing that introductory phrases do not contain the subjects and verbs of the sentence.
Students are asked to diagram the simple subject and the verb of each sentence. This helps them build visually on the idea that the subject and verb are the most important parts of the sentence, and that a complete sentence cannot exist without both of them. An answer key is provided at the end of the document.
These warm-ups work in conjunction with several other elements in Unit 1 Part 1:
• Identifying Subjects and Verbs Pt. 1 Flipchart,
• Identifying Subjects and Verbs Pt. 1 Reminder Cards,
• Identifying Subjects and Verbs Part 1 Quiz.
The progression of this grammar series includes:
• Unit 1 Part 2: Identifying Subjects and Verbs (more difficult situations like multiple subjects and verbs);
• Unit 2: Identifying phrases, dependent clauses, and independent clauses;
• Unit 3: Punctuating clauses correctly in a complete sentence;
• Unit 4: Identifying and repairing fragments and run-ons.