My co-author and co-teacher (and amazing first born) just asked me a crucial grammar question: “How can any program not start out teaching how to find prepositional phrases and subordinate clauses?”
Of course, this led to a lengthy discussion about the two—how students can isolate these and then match up their subjects and verbs correctly; how they are crucial for sentence variety with sentence openers; and much more. (I love these discussions with my grown kids!!! 🙂 )
I touched on this in my previous blog post, “Why Teach Prepositions” that you can find here at the blog.
“Prepositions show position!”
That is where I start. The very basics. Catchy. Easy to recite. Simple to remember.
From there, we branch out to the explanation: Prepositions show position of one thing to something else.
Of course, prepositions show time, space, and direction (among other things) of one thing to another thing. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
In this Wondering Wednesday video, Donna Reish (author of seventy curriculum books) teaches parents how to teach propositions with meaning. Using her downloadable e-book, the Preposition Practice Packet, Donna explains the importance of understanding what prepositions do in order to memorize many of the over 200 prepositions out there.
Aboard, about, above. Along, among, around….
Whether your kids sing them, recite them, chant them, rap them, or write them…prepositions are important.
I learned them in chant-like form when I was in school. However, I never knew WHY I needed to learn them.
My newest downloadable product will teach kids prepositions—in a way that focuses on the WHY, that is, what prepositions really do!
I think I confused more than helped in my last post about “coming with…” I am going to elaborate a bit on the different uses that words that are commonly prepositions might have in writing:
1. First of all, a word is seldom a certain part of speech in isolation. Words are called parts of speech because they are used in a certain way in speech (and writing). Thus, it is often incorrect to say that, for instance, a dog is a noun. You can be dog tired. You can dog somebody to pay you. A part of speech is a part of speech when it is used–not in isolation.
2. Thus, the preposition as other parts of speech problem. We have students memorize lists of prepositions (though we prefer to have them use them in Check Sentences, again, because that is how “parts of speech” are used)–but we have to remember that those prepositions are only prepositions when they are used as prepositions–how is that for confusing? Remember, a preposition must have an object following it in order to be considered as being used as a preposition.
3. Examples!!! I will list prepositions below to show how they may be used as prepositions or how they may be used as other parts of speech–again, in context.
i. I am coming over. (Adverb–tells where you are coming….)
ii. Jump over the water. (Preposition–begins the prepositional phrase (PP for short): over the water…)
i. He fell down. (Adverb–tells where he fell..)
ii. We rode down the hill. (Preposition–begins the PP down the hill…)
i. Before we go to class, let’s check our backpacks. (Subordinator–before is used as a subordinator beginning the subordinate clause before we go to class–a subordinate clause is a clause (subject/verb) that begins with a subordinator and is not a real sentence by itself.)
ii. I heard that story before. (Adverb–tells when you heard that story…)
iii. He has to go before the leaders. (Preposition–begins the PP before the leaders…)
Hope this helps! Feel free to write in questions–if I don’t know the answer, I will look the question up in my 600 page reference! 🙂