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Christine Miller

Classical Christian
Homeschooling Online Catalog: Syntax of Grammar Curriculum

This page last revised:
June 2003


of Grammar: Grades 5-6

Using the Online Catalog

Syntax is the study of the proper construction of sentences. In the 5th and 6th grades, children will learn the parts of a sentence, which are subject, predicate, phrase, and clause, and the analysis of sentences, or sentence diagramming. Children should also learn complete punctuation rules during syntax study. There is no one perfect curriculum that teaches this study of sentences for 5th and 6th graders. However, several excellent curricula exist that teach the various elements, which are listed below.

Click to order Simply GrammarSimply Grammar
Karen Andreola

For 5th and 6th grades. Subtitled: An Illustrated Primer. A Revised and Expanded Edition of First Grammar Lessons by Charlotte Mason. The approach of teaching grammar to children employed in Simply Grammar is similar to Emma Serl’s approach: make the subject matter, of which we are practicing our language principles on, interesting; be clear and direct - no twaddle; and gently guide the children to discover for themselves that which we would have them learn. In this way, they do not lose the joy of learning, of which school lessons so often rob them. Simply Grammar contains 46 lessons, of which one week may be spent on each. The lessons combine parts of speech learning with syntax learning. The parts of speech lessons will be good review for what the children learned in 3rd and 4th grades, and will often add deeper levels of understanding to what they learned about parts of speech, as syntax learning often does. The lessons covered are: The Sentence: Subject, The Sentence: Verb, Nouns, Adjectives, The Sentence: Predicate, more on Adjectives, Number, The Sentence: Agreement of Subject and Verb, The Nominative Case, Verbs: Tense, Verbs: Transitive and Intransitive, Transitive Verbs and Objects, The Objective Case, The Possessive Case, Two Nouns Referring to the Same Thing, Prepositions, Verbs: Moods, Predicate Modifiers, Predicate Adverbs, Predicate Prepositions and Their Objects, Adverbs with Adjectives, Adverbs with Adverbs, Pronouns, Pronouns and Person, Pronouns and Gender, Plural Pronouns, Relative Pronouns, Antecedents, Pronoun-Adjectives, Conjunctions, and Interjections. It is recommended that Simply Grammar be used in conjunction with the sentence diagramming exercises in The Complete Book of Diagrams for best effect, according to the plan outlined below.

Click to order The Complete Book of DiagramsThe Complete Book of Diagrams
Mary Daly

For 5th and 6th grades. I can’t say enough about this wonderful book designed to teach syntax through diagramming. The Complete Book of Diagrams makes understanding both syntax and diagramming really painless! Fourteen chapters teach syntax and increasing difficulty in diagramming, beginning with easy constructions: “Spring awakens.”; and progressing to difficult constructions such as the Preamble of the Constitution, and Shakespeare. The practice sentences make delightful, edifying stories for children to work on. Syntax is presented in a question-answer format which makes analyzation much easier than traditional methods. Teacher’s helps for presenting each lesson are bound into the book. The sentences in the worktext are already diagrammed. To teach them, write the sentences (undiagrammed) on the board, and lead the children, using the question answer format to identify first the verb, then the subject, etc., in diagramming the sentence. The Complete Book of Diagrams, in conjunction with Simply Grammar, is really all you need to teach both syntax and diagramming, but parents and teachers may find a good English handbook or grammar reference helpful at this point to brush up their own knowledge, or for answering children’s questions. To order the book, click on the book cover to go to the Riggs Institute Catalog page, and then scroll halfway down the page to find The Complete Book of Diagrams.

Teaching Simply Grammar & The Complete Book of Diagrams

Click to order Rod and Staff’s English Practice WorkbooksRod & Staff’s English Practice Workbooks
Rod & Staff Publishers

For 5th and 6th grades. If children need additional practice in English grammar before going on to Logic study in the dialectic stage, these Rod & Staff workbooks will provide it without a lot of twaddle. CCH recommends the Grades 6-8 set of English Practice Workbooks rather than the Grades 3-5 set. Punctuation and Capitalization (catalog #12918) contains 60 worksheets and is especially recommended for practice in all uses of quotations, commas, colons, semicolons, hyphens, and the little-used punctuation of dashes, parentheses, brackets, and ellipsis. Parts of Speech (catalog #12916) contains 132 worksheets on all aspects of the eight parts of speech, including word classes, verb tenses, moods, and voices, adverbial and adjectival degrees, everything you ever wanted to know about pronouns, and so much more. The Sentence (catalog #12917) contains 89 worksheets, most of which are built on sentence analyzation by diagramming, so they are an excellent supplement to The Complete Book of Diagrams for additional practice. Topics covered include Subject, Predicate, Complements, Subject Verb Agreement, Verb Tense, Verb Voice, Phrases, Clauses, Verbals, Adjective and Adverb modifiers, phrases, as prepositionals, as verbals, as clauses; Interjections, Sentence classes, and Parsing nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs.

In all three books, the children just do the worksheets they need extra practice in. However, most of the exercises may be completed in all 3 books as a grammar review and/or final for the 6th grade year, upon complettion of the Simply Grammar / Complete Book of Diagrams lessons. Answer Keys (Teacher’s Editions) are also available. Rod and Staff do not have a website. To order these books, or to request a catalog, contact them by phone at 606-522-4348, by fax at 800-643-1244, or write for a catalog at Rod and Staff Publishers, P.O. Box 3, Crockett, KY 41413-0003.

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Teaching Simply Grammar &
The Complete Book of Diagrams

Most instruction in diagramming goes something like this: “Which word in the sentence is the subject? The subject goes on the baseline. Which word in the sentence is the verb? The verb goes on the baseline after the subject.” This does not make diagramming easier for our children. The biggest problem for them remains - how to tell which word is the subject, which the verb, and so on. Mrs. Daly writes, “To begin with, the guiding principle for teachers is to teach the right question to ask, rather than merely the right definition to use.” The Complete Book of Diagrams teaches the right questions to ask, so children can always know what words are acting as what in the sentence. Simply Grammar provides the right definitions.

The list below shows the order of teaching to integrate together both Simply Grammar and The Complete Book of Diagrams. Simply Grammar lessons are presented in two parts: first, the teaching lesson, then exercises for the child to complete. The teaching lessons are excellent. The “To Be Learned” summary at the end of each teaching lesson goes in the index file for daily review drill. The exercises are on the order of, Make ten sentences with nouns that are names of persons for the subject - not very helpful. It is better to skip the twaddly exercises and do the sentence diagramming from The Complete Book of Diagrams instead. Plan to take the 5th grade year, and into the 6th if necessary, to complete the combined lessons.

Simply Grammar: Part I Lesson 1 - The Sentence.
Simply Grammar: Part I Lesson 2 - Verbs.
Simply Grammar: Part I Lesson 3 - Nouns.
Diagrams: Chapter 1 - Subjects Act.
Simply Grammar: Part I Lesson 4 - Adjectives.
Diagrams: Chapter 2 - Articles.
Diagrams: Chapter 3 - Adjectives.
Simply Grammar: Part I Lesson 5 - The Predicate.
Simply Grammar: Part II Lesson 3 - Transitive Verbs.
Simply Grammar: Part II Lesson 4 - Objects.
Simply Grammar: Part II Lesson 5 - Objective Case.
Diagrams: Chapter 4 - The Direct Object.
Simply Grammar: Part I Lesson 6 - The Predicate.
Simply Grammar: Part I Lesson 7 - Predicate Adjectives.
Diagrams: Chapter 5 - Subject Complement.
In the teacher’s notes to Chapter 5, Mrs. Daly says regarding learning the difference between direct objects and subject complements: “There is no substitute for practice in this matter. Lots of practice!” We recommend you analyze many more sentences than the ones provided in this book to gain that practice, while the following lessons on grammar from Simply Grammar are completed. (The sentences and exercises in Simply Grammar may be profitably used for additional diagramming practice.)
Simply Grammar: Part I Lesson 8 - Plurals.
Simply Grammar: Part I Lessons 9 & 10 - Subject Verb Agreement in Number.
Simply Grammar: Part I Lesson 11 - Nominative Case.
Simply Grammar: Part II Lesson 1-2 - Verb Tense.
Simply Grammar: Part II Lesson 6-7 - Possessive Case.
Simply Grammar: Part III Lesson 6-7 - Adverbs.
Simply Grammar: Part III Lesson 9 - Adverbs Modify Adjectives.
Simply Grammar: Part III Lesson 10 - Adverbs Modify Adverbs.
Diagrams: Chapter 6 - Adverbs.
Simply Grammar: Part II Lesson 9-10 - Prepositions.
Simply Grammar: Part III Lesson 8 - Prepositional Phrases as Modifiers.
Diagrams: Chapter 7 - Prepositional Phrases.
Simply Grammar: Part IV Lesson 14 - Conjunctions.
Diagrams: Chapter 8 - Coordinate Conjunctions.
Simply Grammar: Part III Lesson 1 - Verb Moods.
Simply Grammar: Part III Lesson 3 - Indicative Mood.
Diagrams: Chapter 9 - Auxillary Verbs.
Simply Grammar: Part III Lesson 5 - Imperative Mood.
Diagrams: Chapter 10 - Imperatives.
Simply Grammar: Part III Lesson 4 - Subjunctive Mood.
Simply Grammar: Part IV Lessons 1-8 - Pronouns.
Simply Grammar: Part IV Lesson 9-12 - Relative Pronouns.
Diagrams: Chapter 11 - Subordinate Clauses.
Simply Grammar: Part III Lesson 2 - Infinitive Mood.
Diagrams: Chapter 12 - Verbal Forms.
Diagrams: Chapter 13 - Transitive and Intransitive Verbs.
Simply Grammar: Part II Lesson 8 - Appositives.
Diagrams: Chapter 14 - Object Complements.
Simply Grammar: Part IV Lesson 13 - Indefinate Pronouns.
Simply Grammar: Part IV Lesson 15 - Interjections.

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Using the Online Catalog

This online catalog is made possible through an association with Barnes& Clicking on the book title or book cover will take you to Barnes&’s information page about that book. You can look at its price, availability, any discounts currently taken for that title, reviews of the book, and other information, as well as order it if you decide to purchase the book. You can even place books in your shopping cart and save them for purchase at a later time. You can continue to add or delete books from your shopping cart until you are satisfied with your order and ready to purchase. Clicking on any link to Barnes& will open a new window; to return to CCH, click on the “Window” menu on your browser’s menu bar, and choose Classical Christian Homeschooling.

Sometimes books go out of print, or the publisher runs out of stock. Any book not available from Barnes& for any reason can be searched using, a book shopping site which will scan Barnes& as well as, Powell’s Books, Book Close Outs and many other new and used book sites. Be sure to also check for out of print book searches.

Still have questions? Ask me!

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