Sept. 9, 2019
Return to the KISS Home Page
Free Instructional Materials

     Many of the documents on this site are now being made in MS Word. If you do not have MS Word (or a program that can open these documents), go to the Microsoft site where you can get a free reader that will let you open and print them, or you might want to find and try the free "Open Office" software on the web. If you take a students' book, please also take the teachers' "AK" books. If you don't, you may find that both books have changed.

Raphael's
School of Athens
Detail of Plato & Aristotle
1511, Fresco
Stanza della Signatura
Vatican Palace, Rome 
The Codes for the Teachers' Answer Keys
     There have been a few minor changes in the codes, but this guide will help you understand a complete KISS analysis for all the exercises so that you can be ahead of your students and answer the majority of their questions.
The "Master Collection of KISS Exercises"
     When I was making the "Grade-Level" workbooks (in html) I put all the exercises in the collection. There are numerous exercises on all KISS materials here, and you may want to use some of them in place of, or in addition to, the exercises in the sequence you chose to use.
One Year or Semester Sequences
     The objective of these books is to enable students to identify almost every clause (main and subordinate) in anything that they read or write. They will also learn aspects of style and the logic of sentence structure. Students will also learn how to avoid clause boundary errors (comma-splices, run-ons, and fragments). And this sequence shows students the problems with "its" and "it's;" "their," "there" and "they're;" and "have" and "of." Several of my students stated that they wished they had learned this material in high school.
     I can't get into cognitive psychological theory here, but students cannot learn how to explain the function of almost any word in any text that they read or write within the span of a year or college semester. If you use one of these sequences, you'll probably be happy that you did, but you also will agree with me that students need more time on KISS.
For Upper Primary and Lower Middle School
     The books don't show it, but the file names start with "G04,"  and several of the exercises are based on the writing of fourth graders. I did this because a fourth grade teacher told me that she was supposed to teach clauses and about half of the students couldn't get it. The book could probably be used with third through sixth graders. I say that because seventh graders might consider the texts used as "childish."
KISS Grammar
AK
KISS Reader for Writing
Suggestions for Teachers
     This is the newest addition to KISS instructional materials. It consists of 86 exercises, 56 of which are marked "Skip?" in the teachers AK book. That leaves 30 exercises that I strongly suggest that students do to master main and subordinate clauses. I also suggest that students do two 10-minute exercises every week. In a 30 week year, teachers should be able to add 20 or so of those marked "Skip?" The first exercise is to identify single-word verbs. The second (marked "Skip?") is on the same thing. Because students will always be underlining verbs twice, they may not need that second exercise. KISS is cumulative so students add constructions to their analytical toolboxes.
     Other exercises are marked "Skip?" because students do not need to learn the concept in order to identify clauses. Examples are interjections, direct address, and nouns used as adverbs. (You are not going to be able to get everything in within one semester or year. 
     With the objective in mind, I added something to this book that may or may not work. In the other sequences, students start with simple sentences. In this sequence, even the first exercise has some multi-clause sentences. Before students start, they are told that they should ignore word is bold smaller font, and that subordinate clauses will be identified for them in brackets, and that main clauses are followed by a vertical line. They are given examples like the following from Walter Crane's Beauty and the Beast:
His sons, [who had come from the forest to meet him,]
declared [that they would go to the Beast instead]. |
And they are told that there has to be a subject / verb pattern has to be inside every set of bracket plus one outside them for the main clause. So their response to the above sentence should look like the following:
His sons, [whohad come from the forest to meet him,]
declared [that theywould go to the Beast instead]. |
[I can't double underline in htm.]
I hope that this change will have two advantages. First, more S/V patterns can be in ten sentences. Second, students will see the main and subordinate clauses (our objective) right from the first exercise. When they get to the exercises on clauses, they have to put in the brackets and vertical lines themselves. I'd like feedback on this.
     Some of you know that for forty years, I taught college freshmen to write better papers. So the "Reader" includes several versions of "The Golden Touch" and of "Little Red Riding Hood," with suggested writing assignments (including organization, thesis, and details). There are two example papers based on six versions of "The Three Little Pigs." I'll appreciate feedback on this and also some papers written by students that I can legally use to replace mine. 
For high school or college composition courses:
 KISS Grammar in One Year or Semester [AK]

     This sequence  is a revision of what I did in one semester with my college Freshmen. The sequence includes 24 "Lessons" with 44 exercises. Twenty seven of the exercises are marked "Skip" in the Teachers' Analysis Keys [AK]. I have included notes on why the other 17 are needed to reach the objective of the book and on  why the 27 are marked "Skip?" The texts used are common high school or college reading.

An Earlier One-Year Design for Middle School
   In 2013 I responded to a request for a one-year design for middle school. I made it entirely in html format. Vicki contributed a MS Word version of the students' version. To get them, click here.
 The Free, Self-Paced KISS Grammar Course
    In 2004, I was asked by a teacher for a design that would enable teachers to understand and teach clauses. I'm not happy with the organization of the exercises, and it is in htm format. But if you want to consider it, click here.
The Mutli-Year Sequences
The "Grade-Level" Workbooks

          The instructional materials and the number of exercises in each section are identical across grade levels. The difference is entirely in the exercises. Some people want to begin KISS with second graders, and others start in fifth, ninth or other grades. Second graders cannot deal with the vocabulary in A Tale of Two Cities, and ninth graders do not appreciate exercises based on Bunny Rabbit's Diary
     The instructional materials in the sections of these books are identical across the books. Originally you could begin in any of the KISS Levels and then, in the following year, start at that year in the next highest Grade Level. I stopped working on it when the sixth grade books were completed, giving you an entire set of KISS materials.

An "Ideal" Sequence for
KISS across Grade Levels

     Whereas the "Grade-Level" books are designed to have a complete sequence for every grade level, the idea sequence starts at first grade and has only one set of exercises. 
     The real advantage of this sequence will be that it clearly puts emphasis on what we know about how our brains learn and about natural syntactic development. Research shows that students really begin to use subordinate clauses around seventh or eighth grade. Students can, of course, understand them even before they go to school. In this sequence, we can begin to teach students how to identify clauses at the end of second grade. Only students who have not put in effort will be left behind.