Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Language Lesson -- year 6

Intermediate Language Lessons is online, I see, on the Google Reader. This is one of those books I've had around the house for years and WANTED to use, but somehow, never could.

I was looking at it today to see if it would offer an approach to a progym-like method that would rely considerably on talking rather than just writing. The book is meant for 4th to 6th graders, so I looked at the last third of the book.

Anyway, I wrote this sort of abstracted form of the first four lessons in the third section. I was thinking that if I took the "schema" and dropped the specific models, then I could fit my own models in there instead. One of the reasons I couldn't make the book work for me in the past was that it didn't seem very integrated with what we were actually doing.

Here it is:

Lesson One

  • Read a story about someone worthy of admiration (or the contrary). For example, a parable or a legend.
  • What lesson did the author intend to impart in the story?
  • Read some lines that support this.
  • What good qualities did the hero show? In what actions?
  • What reactions did the other characters in the story have to the action?
  • How did the antagonist react, and why?
  • Write an outline of the story.
  • Tell the story from the outline.
Lesson Two:
Subject and Predicate

"The moon is very beautiful."

Explain subject and predicate.

  • Complete sentences, inventing a predicate to go with the subject.
  • Complete sentences by inventing a subject for the written predicate.

(This could be an exercise drawn from the model in the first lesson, so it could be a bit like a form of narration; it is also a bit like cloze activities, which are usually used to help students read for meaning )

Lesson Three:


  • Select two poetic or literary passages, perhaps connected with the model in the first lessons.


  • Compare and contrast -- style, words chosen, and so on.
  • Figure out some of the poetic or literary idioms in the passages
  • Write a section from dictation, or copy a favorite part.
Lesson Four
: Review

Analyze one of the models above for punctuation. Look for:

  • exclamation points
  • commas
  • apostrophes
  • quotation marks
  • capitals

Discuss why they are used in this context.

Copy out a few sentences, or have a copy ready made.
  • Underline the complete subject.
  • Double-underline the complete predicate.

You get the picture -- one possibility would be to have the Nativity story for the lesson One model, then some Christmas poems for the second lesson. And so on.

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