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Sentence diagramming help!


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Is there a scripted or very simple way to teach sentence diagramming? My 4th grade 'kinda' gets it and I know how to do it but obviously not how to teach it.


We are currently using ELTL and I Iike it but the grammar portion is not sticking. We also recently purchased Super Grammar which he loves and that has helped some with parts of speech. But I feel like I need a methodical approach.

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We love The First Whole Book of Diagrams.  It is deceptively simple: it starts with a basic subject/predicate diagram, with a page full of examples and an identical blank page behind it.  Then it adds in articles, and continues to get more complex as you go through.  A lot of the example pages are poetry or bits of famous speech, and each has an identical blank page behind it so you can diagram your own sentences.  There is a teacher's guide in the back if you ever get stuck, and the page I linked has an optional worktext (we've never found it necessary).


One aid we've found was to use Montessori symbols above the words in the sentence.  We're down to making marks with different colors (one for each symbol), but the visual aid is enough to help a child get started: one of the black marks will be the subject of the sentence.  What is it doing? Who are his friends?  Since the symbols go together (colored triangles are articles, adjectives, and nouns, circles are verbs and adverbs, etc), it's easy to see who is describing whom.

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