Sunday, March 14, 2010

We're Not Diagramming Sentences, Part II

Our fascinating discussion of sentences continued on Friday. After talking about what sentences are and what they are not and then the parts of sentences and what sentences can be a part of, we moved on to how sentences are related to other things.

As I mentioned I was a bit nervous about this piece. It's hard for me to make clear connections about relationships in abstract ideas so I'm never sure what the kids will do.

However, I'm always willing to throw it out there and see if we sink or swim. And, almost always, we swim, thanks to the kids. This was no exception.

They started with some basic relationships - sentences are related to books because books have sentences. Sentences are related to words because words are in sentences.

Then they began to stretch a bit. They mentioned that sentences are related to names because both have letters in them. Then, sentences are related to what we say because they both have ideas. They were genuinely thinking about sentences in the world around them to consider the relationships.

Every time they would mention something they believed sentences to be related to, I would hold my breath. Usually the idea sounded absurd to me, until they explained their thinking. Then, as usual, it sounded brilliant. I try so hard not to underestimate my students and I think I fall short everyday.

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