Ideally, you can have
the students read and discuss the story and then do the related short grammar
exercise(s). The book, from which the border of this page was made,
is inexpensively available at Dover
Publications. (Every child should have his or her own library.) Alternatively,
the texts are available at Project
These should be good, relatively simple exercises for identifying prepositional
This should be a very interesting sentence-combining exercise. The most
important function of this exercise is to have the students share their
versions with the class so that students come to realize 1) how to do sentence
- combining exercises, and 2) how the same "facts" can be arranged in different
sentence structures with different effects.
This is a very good exercise for embedded prepositional phrases. You might
want to use the following as a short sentence-combining exercise:
One bright summer day Johnny Chuck was out looking for a good
breakfast. He wanted a breakfast of nice tender clover. He had wandered
quite a long way from his snug little house. His house was in the long
Two verbals (one gerund and one gerundive) and complex clause structures
make this a challenging exercise. Two of the subordinate clauses function
as delayed subjects. Another subordinate clause begins with "for," a word
that is rarely even discussed as a conjunction in most grammar textbooks.
This selection will be good for the study of embedded phrases.
This is a short, relatively simple passage with eight prepositional phrases.
This should be a short and simple exercise on prepositional phrases.
VII. "Jimmy Skunk Looks for Beetles"
|Ex # 8
This passage should also be excellent as an early exercise on S/V/C patterns.
There are some interesting questions about embedding in this selection,
but there are also several advanced constructions. Thus this selection
is for those students who are looking for a challenge.
Exercise # 11 includes a 53-word main clause, so it may strain the ability
of third graders. I included it because of the interesting questions of
embedding and as an example of the use of ellipsis as a way to help students
keep the connections straight. It also has two subordinate clauses that
begin with "for." Exercise # 12 was included as a simpler alternative.
This is a simple exercise that would also be good for students who are
beginning to work with S/V/C patterns, or even with clauses.
The relatively rare "except" is one reason for including this passage.
Another is "to sleep." Is it a prepositional phrase, or is it an infinitive?
"Bobby Coon and Reddy Fox Play Tricks"
|Ex # 14
In addition to the use of "than" as a preposition, I included this passage
because I like what it says.
"Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World"
|Ex # 15
This is a simple exercise, but I'd bet that some students will miss the
compound object of "for."
Chapter XIV. "Little Joe Otter's Slippery Slide"
|Ex # 16
The prepositional phrases in this selection are fairly simple, but the
advanced constructions may cause too much confusion for third graders.
"The Tale of Tommy Trout Who Didn't Mind"
|Ex # 17
The clause structure of selection # 18 is complex, but third graders should
be able to identify the prepositional phrases, including two that are embedded.
Selection # 19 would probably serve as an
excellent assessment quiz. (The two gerunds that function as objects of
prepositions might give the students problems. If they do, ignore them;
if they do not, praise the students.)