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Syntactically speaking, the terms “simple” and “complex” are not synonyms for words relating to difficulty or intricacy. The fifty-four word Preamble of the United States Constitution has one independent clause or one sentence pattern and is therefore classified as a “simple” sentence. A four-word sentence like “Do as I say!” on the other hand, has one independent clause and one dependent clause and is therefore classified as a “complex” sentence.

Simple sentences have one independent clause. Simple sentences may contain compound elements-subjects, direct objects, verbs, prepositional phrases, predicate nominatives, adjectives, predicate adjectives, adverbs, objets of a preposition, indirect objects, appositives-joined by a coordinating conjunction or correlative conjunction pairs. Compound elements do not affect the basic sentence pattern.

This lesson uses Reed-Kellogg diagrams extensively to introduce, develop, and maintain lesson objectives, and fill-in diagram trees are provided as needed to enhance both proficiency and understanding.

This portfolio contains three pages of Background Information; two pages of Options for Options; four Practice Worksheets; four Practice Worksheet answer keys; and three pages of notebook templates (one shows the Preamble diagrammed) relating to simple sentences and simple sentences with compound elements.

The author grants the purchaser of this lesson permission to make one classroom set (not to exceed 50 copies) of the resources listed above.




Each lesson begins with a generous amount of background information designed
to refresh or enhance your knowledge of the subject matter. An assortment of
sentence examples, diagrams, and practical teaching tips are included to help
you feel comfortable with the material before trying to teach it to your students.


A brief section that outlines the resources available for each lesson and suggests
ways to utilize these assets effectively follows the introductory materials.
The instructional components—notes, guided practices, quizzes, tests, and
notebook exercises—are arranged successively to ensure that each activity
serves as an underpinning for the one that follows.

Options For Options instructional component..........notes

Writing things down is a great way to learn. Students begin many of these
lessons by transcribing the introductory information found in the Notes section
located at the end of each lesson to a sheet of notebook paper. Use a
chalkboard, a handout, or an overhead transparency to present this component,
and have the students copy the information through the first example sentence
only. After completing a number of practice worksheets, quizzes, and tests over
the material, the students return to these introductory notes to create the
additional original sentence requirements.

Why copy the notes? Simply providing a copy of the lesson notes without having
the students transcribe them into a notebook presupposes that this information
will somehow be transferred osmotically from a folded sheet of notebook paper
stuffed in a back pocket to the appropriate areas of the cranium. This information
needs to be assimilated and processed visually and aurally.

This is a great way to introduce material and a reliable method of maintaining
lesson continuity. The student sees this component in the early stages of
instruction, and returns to it for clarification and reinforcement after becoming
familiar with the lesson.

Options For Options instructional component.........guided practice

Again, writing things down is a great way to learn. In a guided practice scenario,
the instructor and the students cover a set of Practice Worksheet sentences
together. Each student takes a turn reading the sentence aloud and contributing
an answer. The students write every correct response on a separate answer
sheet as it is presented, and the instructor uses this opportunity to explain and
reinforce the teaching points of the lesson. As soon as the learners seem fairly
proficient with the subject matter, the instructor may choose to get out of the
picture for a while and let the students complete the remaining worksheet
requirements by themselves.

When everyone finishes, the students and the instructor cover the responses
orally. The remaining sentences are read aloud, and each student fixes errors on
their answer sheet by erasing mistakes and inserting correct responses. This is a
good time to address common errors and their causes. If mistakes are plentiful,
include additional guided practice time in your next lesson plan.

Covering practice exercises together while the students record correct responses
on a separate answer sheet has the potential to provide the learner with a
collection of “example inspiration” resources that may prove helpful when the
time comes to complete the supplementary notebook requirements at the end of
each lesson.

Previewing the answer keys that accompany every Practice Worksheet allows
the instructor to custom build lessons that address the current needs of the
students. Select columns on the answer keys that deal with your present lesson
objectives and revisit the others at a later time for review and skill maintenance.

Options For Options instructional component.......quiz

Guided practices reappear as quizzes. A quiz is basically a guided practice
exercise with a reordered sentence arrangement. A guided practice exercise
might include the Practice Worksheet entitled Identifying Problem Subjects, and
the related quiz would revisit the same sentences now shuffled and rearranged in
the Practice Worksheet entitled Identifying Problem Subjects Again. If students
know that they will see their guided practice exercises in the future under slightly
modified conditions, they are often motivated to pay close attention and to ask
the questions they need to ask.

Options For Options instructional component.......test

Since the objective of a test is to measure student mastery of the concepts
covered in a lesson, I do not preview the questions offered in this format with the
students. A test is generally given after the students have demonstrated an
acceptable degree of expertise with the guided practice and quiz exercises. I
usually evaluate performance before the students enter the notebook phase of
the lesson because a test can demonstrate a need for remedial review or reteaching.

Should the instructor discover a need for review, the test questions can
be utilized in much the same manner as the quiz materials to provide additional
guided practice. I suggest completing a portion of each test together orally with
each student writing correct responses on their answer sheet. These simple
“warm up” questions refocus the student’s attention to the concepts presented in
the lesson and ensure that everyone knows what to do on the test.

Options For Options instructional component.........notes

It’s one thing to be able to identify selected Practice Worksheet elements.
It’s something else again to use these elements correctly and effectively in
original sentences. If our goal is to arm student writers with a vast arsenal of
syntactic weaponry, shouldn’t we expect them to “test fire” these elements in a
real world setting?

At some point, the student needs to take ownership of the concepts presented in
these lessons and use them to become better writers and speakers. Creating
original notebook examples that illustrate the teaching points of every lesson
enhances both understanding and confidence and further encourages the
student to actually apply what has been learned.

Students initially prepare original “rough draft” notebook examples on scratch
paper and submit them to the instructor for an accuracy screening before placing
a final copy in an “English Notebook” ring binder dedicated expressly for this
purpose. In this process, mistakes can be corrected immediately, praise can be
given instantly, and best of all, the student and the instructor interact on a one-to-one
basis where individual student needs can be addressed. This strategy also
ensures that only accurate information is placed in the notebook.


Total Pages
17 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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