For several weeks we have been learning how to make our writing more descriptive with precise nouns, strong verbs, and vivid adjectives. I have found that integrating parts of speech with writing lessons is more meaningful to students than isolated grammar lessons. Let me show what I'm talking about.
Instead of writing . . .
She smelled the flower.
We have learned it is more descriptive to write . . . .
The lonely hiker inhaled the fragrance of the wild rose.
Before Thanksgiving I introduced a lesson on commas with the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. With hilarious illustrations, the book shows how comma placement can completely change the meaning of a sentence. I always tell my students that commas are like traffic signs. For example, a period is like a stop sign, and a comma is like a yield sign.
This week we learned how to use commas when writing a series of three or more parts, so I decided to build on what we had learned about parts of speech by combining the two. For homework, students were assigned to write four series sentences: one each with a series of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. I selected the best four sentences from homework to illustrate the task in this post.
I've been through three pairs of socks, two shirts, five pairs of pants, and four pairs of underwear in one day.
My friend imagines, builds, and shows off his stunning art.
In case you're wondering about writing series with the remaining four parts of speech, we have studied one example with prepositions, but we decided that series of pronouns, interjections, and conjunctions don't make much sense!