The Printable KISS Grammar Workbooks Back to April Menu
Selections from 
Old Mother West Wind, by Thornton W. Burgess

For a statistical perspective on these selections, click here.

     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 Gutenberg.

Click here for a 38-page MS Word Version, compiled by Kelly Kellett, a member of the KISS List, that includes all nineteen exercises and the analysis keys.
From Chapter I.  "Mrs. Redwing's Speckled Eggs"
Ex # 1 AK - L1.9
Ex # 2 - The Functions of Prepositional Phrases AK G3 L1.5 PP
These should be good, relatively simple exercises for identifying prepositional phrases.
From Chapter II.  "Why Grandfather Frog Has No Tail"
Ex # 3 AK SC - L6.3 Combine
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.
From Chapter III. "How Reddy Fox Was Surprised"
Ex # 4 - Embedded Prepositional Phrases AK G3  L2.2.3
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 meadow grass.
From Chapter IV. "Why Jimmy Skunk Wears Stripes"
Ex # 5 AK G3 L1.3
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.
From Chapter V. "The Wilful Little Breeze"
Ex # 6 - Embedded Prepositional Phrases  AK G4Start  L2.2.3
This selection will be good for the study of embedded phrases.
From Chapter VI. "Reddy Fox Goes Fishing"
Ex # 7 - Simple Subjects & Verbs AK G4 Start  L1.1S/V
This is a short, relatively simple passage with eight prepositional phrases.
From Chapter VII.  "Jimmy Skunk Looks for Beetles"
Ex # 8 AK    L1.9
This should be a short and simple exercise on prepositional phrases.
From Chapter VIII.  "Billy Mink's Swimming Party"
Ex # 9 - Punctuation of Main Clauses AK Punctuation  G4; IB2 L3.1
This passage should also be excellent as an early exercise on S/V/C patterns.
From Chapter IX.  "Peter Rabbit Plays a Joke"
Ex # 10 AK    L1.9
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.
From Chapter X.  "How Sammy Jay Was Found Out"
Ex # 11 AK -  L1.9
Ex # 12 AK -  L1.9
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.
From Chapter XI.  "Jerry Muskrat's Party"
Ex # 13 AK -  L1.9
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.
From Chapter XII. 
"Bobby Coon and Reddy Fox Play Tricks"
Ex # 14 AK -  L1.9
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?
From Chapter XIII. 
"Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World"
Ex # 15 AK G4  
In addition to the use of "than" as a preposition, I included this passage because I like what it says.
From Chapter XIV.  "Little Joe Otter's Slippery Slide"
Ex # 16 AK - L6.7
This is a simple exercise, but I'd bet that some students will miss the compound object of "for."
From Chapter XV.
"The Tale of Tommy Trout Who Didn't Mind"
Ex # 17 AK -  L1.9
The prepositional phrases in this selection are fairly simple, but the advanced constructions may cause too much confusion for third graders.
From Chapter XVI.  "Spotty the Turtle Wins a Race"
Ex # 18 - Clauses as Delayed Subjects AK G5 L5.6 DSubj
Ex # 19 AK -  L1.9
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.)