Jump to content

Menu

Grammar Curriculum Most Like Analytical Grammar for 8th-10th grades


Recommended Posts

I'm on the hunt for a grammar curriculum to use next year with the English class I teach at our local home-school coop. This will be roughly for 8th-10th grades.  I love AG, but in this co-op where I teach, I don't think some of the content would be accepted favorably by parents.  The scope, sequence, and structure (for scheduling) of AG would work beautifully for my classroom if only the content were a better fit.  This is what I'm looking for- a grammar curriculum that:

  • Fits a one day/week class (Monday) meeting... HW is done at home throughout the rest of the week
  • Is logically organized/well sequenced
  • Covers parts of speech, phrases, clauses, punctuation, and word usage
  • Teaches diagramming (my preference, but not a deal breaker if this is not taught)
  • Offers testing of concepts
  • Is written TO the student...IOW, is not solely dependent on the teacher for instruction.
  • Comes with a teacher key that I can use to grade
  • Christian content is a plus.

I hope someone can toss an idea my way.  I need to make a decision soon.  I've been using Junior Analytical Grammar with the younger students at the school, and it is a beautiful fit with them.  

Thank you all for your help!

 

(Cross-posted on high school forum)

Edited today to add:  After researching yesterday, these are the programs that are "in the neighborhood" of my needs.  Please comment on these and/or suggest others for me to research.  

Christian Light Education 8th grade Sunrise Series: Scope & sequence are a good fit, Christian content- a plus.  Con: Hard to schedule for Monday only classes.

Jensens: Pro: has a “map” to guide understanding of sentence like AG. Con: complicated; Would also need the punctuation book.  Might be too much to do both books in the same year.

MCT: Beautiful, good alternate to traditional diagramming, but expensive

Hake, Bob Jones, Abeka etc: More than grammar (includes writing)  My class only needs to cover grammar, punctuation; sentence constructions (but not writing paragraphs).

Shirley: Stops at 7th grade

Easy Grammar: Not condensed; not great reviews

Well Ordered Language (Christian Academic Press): Might work

Well-Trained Mind stuff: Not for a once/week format

Winston Grammar: This is a maybe.  Can we order the advanced set plus the basic student book and do all of it in one year?  How would I schedule this?  Test this?

 

Edited by Sweet Home Alabama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/7/2021 at 11:01 AM, Sweet Home Alabama said:

Easy Grammar: Not condensed; not great reviews
I have no idea what "not condensed" means. o_0 Easy Grammar was my favorite grammar instruction. It does *not* teach diagramming, so I know that is a negative for many people, but it was perfect for me. Also, I would have to say that since it has been in publication for over 25 years, that there must surely be good reviews as well as not-good reviews. It is one of Cathy Duffy's top picks. Also, I understood diagramming much better after I went through EG with my dc.

You could add Easy Writing; it isn't a complete writing course, but rather it provides practice in writing specific kinds of sentence construction, such as sentences which begin with introductory clauses.

Winston Grammar: This is a maybe.  Can we order the advanced set plus the basic student book and do all of it in one year?  How would I schedule this?  Test this?
I can't even imagine doing Winston Grammar with high school-age students. WG was my absolute least favorite product of any kind, ever. It was the only thing that my normally compliant dc refused to do after about 10 lessons.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Ellie, this is exactly the kind of feedback I need.  Thank you!!!

The notes I made beside each curriculum were intentionally brief.  I used EG many, many years ago.  I listed it as a possibility because they have high school level books.  I just remember so many lessons- the books are thick.  I am concerned that the students would not connect the dots as well as they might with one of the other named programs.

I do want diagramming instruction.  That is pretty important to me if I can something that can be scheduled for my co-op.  

I am also leaning away from Winston Grammar the more I think about it.  In practical terms, students would lose cards.  Also, I think traditional diagramming can't be beat.  (Although I still love the way MCT labels sentences.  They do a sort of non-traditional diagramming too.)

 

My overall favorite choice right now is Christian Light.  I'll take a closer look at Easy Grammar again.  Whatever I end up with, scheduling for one class day/week will probably be my biggest challenge.

 

Thanks again!

Edited by Sweet Home Alabama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Sweet Home Alabama said:

Ellie, this is exactly the kind of feedback I need.  Thank you!!!

The notes I made beside each curriculum were intentionally brief.  I used EG many, many years ago.  I listed it as a possibility because they have high school level books.  I just remember so many lessons- the books are thick.  I am concerned that the students would not connect the dots as well as they might with one of the other named programs.

I do want diagramming instruction.  That is pretty important to me if I can something that can be scheduled for my co-op.  

I am also leaning away from Winston Grammar the more I think about it.  In practical terms, students would lose cards.  Also, I think traditional diagramming can't be beat.  (Although I still love the way MCT labels sentences.  They do a sort of non-traditional diagramming too.)

My overall favorite choice right now is Christian Light.  I'll take a closer look at Easy Grammar again.  Whatever I end up with, scheduling for one class day/week will probably be my biggest challenge.

Thanks again!

I'm not sure what you mean by "connect the dots." Connect to...what?

The "high school level books" are meant to be review, not primary instruction, similar to Daily Grams. The primary instruction ends with Easy Grammar Plus. So you'd have to decide whether the children have enough grammar to just do review, or if they needed major instruction.

Also, it's a one-day-a-week class. Would you do some class instruction and whatnot and then send them home with homework?

Don't the Christian Light materials have writing in them as well as grammar?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of all of your options, I really think the only one that would work well in a 1x/week co-op class is Analytical Grammar.

I can't imagine what content would be objectionable in AG, but couldn't the rare thing that might be objectionable just be skipped? Or could you substitute something else for the rare objectionable examples or worksheets??? Or if the objection is that there is too *much* content, couldn't you just assign selected sentences or pages, rather than do the whole amount?? Just trying to brainstorm here...
 

Of the options you've listed, I've used these:
- Winston is best for individual visual/kinesthetic learners (it's very hands-on-based) -- it is NOT set up to work in a group; also, you would need all three levels to cover all the topics you listed in your OP, so not very economical
- Easy Grammar is very repetitive which can lead to a student quickly figuring out the "pattern" and just mindless filling in the blanks rather than really learning/absorping the concepts.
 

Maybe check out the grade 8 level of Growing with Grammar?
From your wish list, it covers virtually everything you request -- diagramming, parts of speech, phrases, clauses, punctuation, and word usage. It is written to the student, has a teacher key, and has tests. The only things not on your list: I don't think it is explicitly Christian, and it says that it is scheduled for 3x/week -- you might be able to adapt that and teach the 3 lessons in your once a week class, and then the students do the 3 days of work pages at home during the rest of the week. Here is the scope and sequence chart for the 8 levels.


As a side note:
I teach Lit. & Writing at the middle/high school levels. At that grade 8-10 level you will be teaching, what *I* see as most needed from Grammar is not Grammar taught as a separate subject, but Grammar that is specifically supporting Writing. The Grammar issues that I repeatedly have to address as feedback on my student's Writing are things like:

- complete sentence (to be able to see and fix fragments and run-ons in the revision stage of writing)
- types of sentences (for variety in the student's writing in the rough draft and revision stages of writing) 

And then, nice if these are automatic in rough draft writing, but certainly the ability to see/fix in the proof-editing stage of writing:
- misplaced modifiers
- correct capitalization and punctuation
- agreement: subject/verb agreement, and, pronoun/antecedent agreement
- consistency in verb tense, and in "voice" or "person" -- consistent use of 1st ("I", "my", "we", "our"), 2nd ("you", "your"), or 3rd person ("he", "she",  "it", "they")

I don't know of any Grammar program that focuses on this type of "Grammar in context of high school level Writing"...

ETA:
Annnnddd, I just now found something that IS Grammar in the context of Writing: Grammar For Writing. It is just over 325 pages, includes chapter reviews that could be used as tests, and the high school levels include ACT/SAT test practice. The table of contents for the grade 9 workbook has 16 sections + the SAT/ACT test section, and the topics covered include:

   composition
1 = The Writing Process
2 = Writing Effective Paragraphs and Essays
3 = Writing Effective Sentences
4 = Writing Workshops
   grammar
5 = Parts of Speech
6 = Parts of a Sentence
7 = Phrases
8 = Clauses
   usage
9 = Using Verbs
10 = Subject-Verb Agreement
11 = Using Pronouns
12 = Using Modifiers
   mechanics
13 = punctuation: end marks and commas
14 = punctuation: all other marks
15 = capitalization
16 = spelling
   standardized test practice

 

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Lori, this is so incredibly helpful.  Thank you so much!  I am intrigued with Grammar for Writing.  I'd like to see more.  I'm glad there is an option to request a sample.

I know my comment on the content for AG has raised interest.  AG is a wonderful curriculum, and it would be my first choice to use.  I simply don't feel comfortable using their sentences from topics that seem sort of hot in our society today.  I'm sure others would have no problem using them  at all.  

I spent most of the day yesterday comparing and contrasting my list of possible choices, and I ended up selecting Christian Light Education.  Now, I'll compare CLE with GfW before I make a final decision.  I remember looking at Growing with Grammar, but I don't remember what I didn't like about it.  Maybe I'll take another look.

There are two cons with using CLE. First is the difficulty of scheduling it; however, I think I have that figured out. The other is the time it will take each class period to cover the amount of material we'd need to cover to mostly finish the books.  (There are 10 books; I would only cover 9.) Otherwise, it has several pros: 

  • I'm familiar with it having used it with my own children.
  • It nearly perfectly matches AG in scope.
  • It is written to the student.
  • The 10 books are all organized the same way; it's predictable.
  • It includes 2 quizzes and 1 test/booklet.  It will be easy to monitor progress.
  • It is written from a Christian perspective. 

I completely understand your concern about the lack of writing.  Not to fear- I hope to work in sentence constructions.  I have 90 minutes/class to teach.  Grammar will probably take much of that time to teach, practice, and review.  However, given the opportunity, I am prepared to teach students how to write simple, compound, complex, compound-complex, appositives, relative clauses, and absolute phrases.  I usually teach this within  the context of writing a short paragraph.  This writing instruction really works well.  I hope I have time to to this.  For now, my primary focus is grammar.   If I end up only teaching grammar, that isn't going to be a deal breaker.  The class after mine will build on my grammar foundation and teach paragraph writing as well as topics in literature.  The class after that one is writing/lit heavy.  Our English department classes work in concert with each other, and the department is quite strong.  

Thank you so very much for always offering such amazing responses to the questions that are posted on the forum.  Lori, you are so kind and very helpful!

Edited by Sweet Home Alabama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Sweet Home Alabama said:

Lori, this is so incredibly helpful.  Thank you so much!  I am intrigued with Grammar for Writing.  I'd like to see more.  I'm glad there is an option to request a sample.

I know my comment on the content for AG has raised interest.  AG is a wonderful curriculum, and it would be my first choice to use.  I simply don't feel comfortable using their sentences from topics that seem sort of hot in our society today.  I'm sure others would have no problem using them  at all.  

 

...The class after mine will build on my grammar foundation and teach paragraph writing as well as topics in literature.  The class after that one is writing/lit heavy.  Our English department classes work in concert with each other...

You are most welcome! 😄 

re: sample for Grammar for Writing -- I was able to see not only the table of contents, but also a good number of pages in the student book when I hovered over the "Look Inside" black box just below the image of the blue cover of the text, at the right side of the webpage I linked. I clicked on grade 9, since it is right in the middle of your grade 8-10 spread. 😉

Thanks for explaining what was troublesome with AG. I didn't realize some of their sentences were hot topics, lol. Also, that helps to see that you have a series of classes in progression, so that Grammar in the context of Writing will become the focus eventually -- thanks for explaining that. 😉

BEST of luck in finding what works best for teaching, and for your students/families! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...