Sunday, September 21, 2008

Week 4 - Imperatives! Diagramming? Phonograms!

Another wonderful day of discovery and learning!  As we uncover more purposes and analytical tasks, students are enjoying the challenge.


This week we turn our attention to a new and unique purpose, imperatives.  Imperatives are commands.  They may have a noun of direct address, but always contain the hidden implied you.  Imperatives are always in 2nd person - as you are talking to a person and the verb is always in present tense. Refer to your field guide (EEL Guide) week 4 for more about imperatives.

Sentence Shuffle (by purpose) Taking some sentences from this week's EEL editing exercise (p 59), we transformed a few declarative and interrogative sentences into imperative sentences. 

Pharisees questioned him.    --->    Question him.

I also made the sentences from this week's Teacher Sheets into declarative sentences, and then had the students turned them into imperatives. 

I wept tearfully.      --->        Weep.    or   Weep tearfully.

We discussed the implied you and the verb tense change (if any).  This simple exercise produced some wonderful dialogue as we unearthed more language concepts and applied the concept utilizing our trusty tools (EEL tasks).


Let's make a picture of that sentence!  Diagramming helps us analyze the structure of a sentence and the role of each word, phrase and clause.  In my own children's writings if we encounter a sentence that seems unclear, I will have them stop and diagram it.  This helps the student to really examine what they are trying to say and the best way to say it.

Students should already be working on page B7/C7.  Students should be copying this page at first, then able to reproduce this page from memory.  Be sure students are drawing the diagramming lines, as these vary from sentence pattern to sentence pattern.


A phonogram is a sequence of letters that have the same pronunciation in several different words, e.g. "ear" in "earth," "heard," and "learn".  As you have taught your own student to read, you have no doubt already encountered the concept of a phonogram.  Here, at week 4, it is nice to remember to continue to work with your student on phonograms in the context of spelling or encoding - hearing the word and knowing the appropriate phonogram(s) that make up that word.  Reinforce phonograms by pointing them out in dictated sentences, readers, memory work, ... everywhere!

Remember - memory work (EEL Task 1)  is cumulative so keep reviewing!

How are you doing with your Teacher Sheets?  Do you feel yourself getting smarter?


  1. Oh Heather. I know your posts aren't meant to make me giggle, but you know they do. You are so smart, my friend. I'm hoping it is going to rub off. I love you girly. Hope all is well. Hey, isn't it time for a LNO?

  2. oh. my. stars. i tried to learn diagramming as an adult just because smart people know that stuff. but it didn't stick. i cut my teath on king james version, reading and memorizing. probably why i could always get an A- in LArts without really being able to wrap my brain around the tech stuff.


So ... how about you?