X -Word Grammar and Sentence Patterns:A Writing Approach for Grades 3-12

X-Word Grammar and Sentence Patterns: A Writing Approach for Grades 3-12

Focusing on Sentences

Tamara Kirson, M.Ed., Faculty, English Language Studies, The School for Language Learning and Teaching, The New School for Public Engagement

We would like our students, from the youngest to the oldest, to find pleasure in writing and not be dismayed by the blank page or blank screen in front of them. We hope that they will be enticed to write to express their ideas and feelings. Ultimately, we want our students to view themselves as writers! However, the word order of an English sentence can be a challenge for both ELLs and NES. With X-Word Grammar, our students learn how to identify a sentence or “trunk” (subject-predicate) and grasp the necessity of a subject in every trunk. They observe the power of the X-Words, hidden or visible, to place verbs in time and set the subject in action. Ultimately, they learn a reliable kinesthetic way to answer the question: “Is it a trunk or is it a fragment?”

Once students can identify trunks, they learn how to write more elaborate and engaging sentences. X-Word Grammar provides clear and visual patterns which show students how to combine trunks and add adverbial information (where, when, why, how). The Seven Basic Sentence Patterns help students add variety, relate ideas, and punctuate their writing in a way that clarifies meaning for their readers.

Through song, movement, reading and writing, workshop participants will practice identifying fragments, and finding and constructing the sentence patterns. Depending upon the wishes of the audience, the focus will be on the first four sentence patterns or additional patterns will be included. The interactive workshop methods will be immediately applicable to the classroom. Please come prepared to join in the joyful process of experimenting with X-Word Grammar, an approach which offers our students competency and control as they become writers!