Barn Chic Antiques

Barn Chic Antiques

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I got schooled...

I finally sold some furniture at the mall, so I decided to take a little shopping trip this past weekend. I didn't get any furniture, but I did find an awesome old school book on grammar. 

Nerd alert: I love grammar. This doesn't mean I am good at it, but I do enjoy learning the rules. One of my favorite units in high school was sentence diagramming. Whether you liked it or hated it, you have to admit that diagramming the subject and predicate helps students see the two basic parts of a complete sentence. 

I am a glutton for punishment, as I am attempting to teach my students how to diagram sentences. After seeing too many fragments, I thought I would bring back the lost art of sentence diagramming to my 7th grade classes. Sure, there is a lot (notice that 'a lot' is two words - Ms. Link made sure we all knew that!) of controversy in academia as to the importance of diagramming, but it does present a visual for students to identify the noun and the verb.     

As soon as I laid eyes on this book while out shopping this weekend, I knew I had to buy it. 

Harvey's Elementary Grammar and Composition

Notice the word 'elementary' in the title. That would be an adjective, or a word that describes the nouns 'grammar' and 'composition.' The definition of elementary: Of or relating to the most rudimentary aspects of a subject.

This book was copyrighted in 1889 and 1897 - this thing is old!

Elementary school must have been a lot (still two words!) harder back then. There were a few topics that made me question which language this book teaches, as several words were foreign to me.

In the photo above, Caution I tells us not to use 'a' before vocal sounds - got it. The next part mentions subvocals and aspirates. Huh? I thought aspirate was medical jargon.

How have I made it to adulthood and never heard of the grammar term copula? I asked Andrew if he knew what a copula is and his response was, "Francis Ford?"

Turns out that a copula is something more commonly referred to now as a linking verb.

Back to the 'elementary' nature of the content in this text - every fifth grader should be able to diagram the sentence "He that hateth, dissembleth with his lips." Right? 

Or "He builds a palace of ice where the torrents fall." 

Wow. I am trying to teach middle schoolers how to 1) identify a noun and a verb and 2) diagram a sentence with just two words. 

No wonder kids only went to school through the 8th grade back in the day. 

Have a chic week,


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  1. Very cool find Sarah! Just as a sidenote - both of my boys absolutely hated diagramming sentences - so good luck!!

  2. I, too, enjoyed diagramming sentences, although not sure I could do it now. We must be related!

  3. Wow! You are a nerd! Pulling resources from the 1800's...that's hardcore.


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