July. 9, 2013
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KISS Level 1. 4. - Coordinating Conjunctions, Compounds, and Style

Notes for Teachers
Instructional Material
Ex 1 Mixed Compounds
Ex 2 Compound Finite Verbs
Ex 3 Compound Complements
Ex 4 - Writing Sentences with Compounds
Ex 5 - Sentence Combining
Ex 6 - Sentence Decombining
Ex 7 - A Passage for Analysis
Ex 8 - Treasure Hunt / Creating an Exercise
Other Exercises
Notes for Teachers

Objectives

     The exercises on compounds are intended to help students identify all the components in a compound. (You'll find that if you do not reinforce the idea, some students will find one of several compounds--and stop there.) But because compounding is an important stylistic aspect of writing, most of these exercises are intended to provide stylistic models for writing. Their objective is to nudge students toward giving specific examples in their writing. Instead of writing "We bought groceries," students should be able to give specifics, such as E. B. White's"

A bird doesn't have to go to a supermarket and buy a dozen eggs and a pound of butter and two rolls of paper towels and a TV dinner and a can of Ajax and a can of tomato juice and a pound and a half of ground round steak and a can of sliced peaches and two quarts of fat-free milk and a bottle of stuffed olives.
(See Exercise # 5 from The Trumpet of the Swan.) The ability to support abstract statements is not just an aspect of good writing, it is imperative to inductive thinking. Too many people make general statements, and, if asked for specifics, are unable to give any.

What Is a "Coordinating" Conjunction?

      At some point in their work, students should learn the name "coordinating conjunctions." But I doubt that they absolutely need this term when they are working at this KISS Level. Most grammar textbooks get things backwards -- they teach the term, but students rarely get the concept. Often, the concept should come first, then the name. Teaching in this way is relatively simple -- have the students learn and remember that

"And," "or," and "but" join equal grammatical things.
"Things" here means words or constructions that have the same grammatical function -- subjects to subjects, verbs to verbs, prepositional phrases to prepositional phrases, etc.
     Some textbooks add "either ... or" and "neither ... nor" to the list, but these are simply emphatic ("either") and negated ("neither") version of "or." "And" and "or" are sweet little words that always and only behave as coordinating conjunctions.

     "But" is the bad boy of the group -- it also functions (relatively rarely) as an adverb (meaning "approximately") or as preposition (meaning "except"). For students, this presents a problem. We tell students that when it means "except," "but" functions as a preposition. The problem is that it also usually means "except" when it functions as a conjunction. We can see this best, perhaps, by considering the logical functions of these words.

The Logic of "And," "Or," and "But"

     "And," "or," and "but" are what philosophers would now call "logical operators" in "whole/part" logical relationships. "And" joins "parts" into a logical "whole." In "Bill, Toni, and Mary" went fishing," the "and" creates a "whole" group. Thus we can replace "Bill, Toni, and Mary" with "They." "Or" divides a group into parts -- "Bill, Toni, or Mary went fishing." "But" extends this whole/part logical relationship to imply both a whole and an excepted part of that whole. "Bill and Toni went fishing, but Mary didn't."
     Another way of looking at this is to consider the compounded subjects as individual sentences:

Bill went fishing, and Toni went fishing, and Mary went fishing. =
They went fishing.
As noted above, if we form a group from individual parts, we can combine the sentences and substitute "They" for the subject. If, however, we divide or separate the parts of the whole, each part has to be named:
Bill went fishing, or Toni went fishing, or Mary went fishing. =
Bill, Toni, or Mary went fishing.
Look at what happens, however, when we use "but" to make an exception to the implied whole.
"Bill went fishing, and Toni went fishing, but Mary didn't." becomes
Everyone but Mary went fishing.
The coordinating conjunction has become a preposition. 

     The preceding is important for two reasons. First, teachers should expect students to have problems with "but," and they should understand why. Second, the logical relationships discussed here are fundamental. At the college level, many students study logical fallacies, either in a composition or in a philosophy course. "And," "or," and "but," as noted above, are what philosophers call "logical operators." They are fundamental for understanding many, if not most, of the logical fallacies. [For more on this see "The Logic of Compounding Main Clauses in 'The Yellow Dwarf'."]

"So" and "For" as Coordinating Conjunctions

     Some readers may have been taught that "so" and "for" are also coordinating conjunctions. In KISS, they can be, but they can also be subordinating conjunctions. Unlike "and," "or," or "but," "so" and "for" (when used as conjunctions) imply a cause/effect, not a part/whole logical relationship. We therefore need to look at "so" and "for" with the other subordinating conjunctions (such as "because" and "since") that denote logical connections other than part/whole. This double perspective on "so" and "for" is the focus of KISS Level 3.2.2 - "So" and "For" as Conjunctions.

A Brief Overview of the Sequence of Exercises

     The objective of the first exercise is simply to remind students that in analyzing sentences, they should include all the parts of a compound. Exercises two through six focus on writing style. Exercise two and exercise three focus respectively on compound finite verbs and compound complements because these are the two parts of a sentence that are most often compounded. Their objective therefore is to nudge students toward compounding. Exercise four asks students to write sentences with compounds. Five is a sentence combining exercise; six asks students to de-combine. Exercise seven provides students with a real-text short passage for analysis. Exercise eight ("Treasure Hunt" and "Creating an Exercise") invite students to explore texts to find examples of compounding. 
     If you are pressed for time, you might be able to skip this sub-level altogether or have the students do just one exercise on mixed compounds.
 
Instructional Material
("and," "or," and "but")
Instructional Material
Suggested Directions for Analytical Exercises
1. Underline verbs twice, their subjects once, and label complements (PA, PN, IO, or DO).
     Once the students have started on prepositional phrases, change this to:
1. Place parentheses ( ) around each prepositional phrase. 
2. Underline verbs twice, their subjects once, and label complements (PA, PN, IO, or DO).
Probable Time Required:
     It depends on your students. The concept itself is simple, so as soon as your students start getting all the members of compounds, move on. (Remember that they should be expected to get all the compounds in everything that they analyze from this point on.)
     You may want to do one or two simple exercises, then add prepositional phrases to the students' analytical toolbox, and then come back to these exercises.
In Level 1.4 Sections

Ex 1 - Mixed Compounds
Just Subjects and Verbs
From Smythe's Old-Time Stories AK ToC -
From Smythe's Old-Time Stories AK ToC -
All
From Ben and Alice # 1 AK ToC IG 1
From Ben and Alice # 2 AK ToC IG 1
Compound Subjects, Verbs, and Complements (Maxwell L1 04 02) ToC -
From "Moving Day," by Mary Blaisdell, Ex # 1 Text AK ToC G2
From "Moving Day," by Mary Blaisdell, Ex # 2 " AK " "
Ex # 6 from Potter's  The Tale of Tom Kitten Text  AK ToC G3
Ex # 7 from Potter's  The Tale of Tom Kitten Text  AK ToC -
Ex # 1 from Potter's The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher Text AK ToC -
Ex # 2 from Potter's The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher Text  AK ToC -
Ex # 4 from Potter's The Tale of Johnny Town Mouse Text  AK ToC -
From Vredenburg's "Beauty and the Beast" Text AK ToC G4
Lang's "Thumbelina," Ex #4 Text AK ToC -
Compound Subjects, Verbs, and Complements (Maxwell L1 04 01) ToC G5
From The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett AK ToC G6
"The Twelve Months," by Chodzko Text AK ToC G7
From Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle AK ToC G8
From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC G9
Ex 2 - Compound Finite Verbs
Ex # 3 from Blaisdell's "Teddy Bear" -  Combining to Make Compound Subjects or Verbs Text AK Notes G2
"The Poplar Tree," by Flora J. Cooke Text AK ToC -
Ex # 7 from Potter's   The Tale of Benjamin Bunny Text AK ToC -
Ex # 8 from Potter's The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck Text  AK ToC -
Ex # 14 from Potter's The Tale of Samuel Whiskers Text  AK ToC -
Ex # 1 from Holbrook's  "First Woodpecker " Text  AK ToC G3
Ex # 2 from Holbrook's  "First Woodpecker " Text  AK ToC -
"The Birds of Killingworth" Text AK ToC G4
Lang's "Thumbelina," Ex # 5 Text AK ToC -
From Marshall's  Robin Hood  Ex # 1 AK ToC -
From Marshall's  Robin Hood  Ex # 2  AK ToC G5
From Marshall's  Robin Hood  Ex # 3  AK ToC -
From Marshall's  Robin Hood  Ex # 4  AK ToC -
From "The Three Tasks," adapted from Grimm Text AK ToC -
From Lassie, Come Home, by Eric Knight AK ToC G6
From The Call of the Wild, by Jack London AK ToC G9
From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC G10 ; 1yr
From Anderson's "The Egg," Ex # 2 Text AK ToC G11
Ex 3 - Compound Complements
Adapted from Voyages in English AK ToC G3
Adapted from Voyages in English AK ToC G4
From Marshall's  Robin Hood Ex # 1 AK ToC G5
From Marshall's  Robin Hood Ex # 2  AK ToC -
Based on Macdonald's At the Back of the North Wind AK ToC G6
Ex 4 - Writing Sentences with Compounds
The same exercise is  used in every grade level.
     Write a sentence that has three or more verbs for one subject. Write another sentence that has four or more complements for one verb.
Ex 5 - Sentence-Combining
[Instructional Material]
From Vredenburg's "The White Fawn" Text AK ToC G3
Ex # 16 from Potter's The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan Text  AK ToC -
Ex # 15 from Potter's The Tale of Samuel Whiskers Text  - ToC -
From "The Goose Girl," by Edric  Vredenburg Text AK ToC G4
From Marshall's  Robin Hood  Sentence-Combining Ex # 1  - ToC G5
From Marshall's  Robin Hood  Sentence-Combining Ex # 2  - ToC -
From Marshall's  Robin Hood A Sentence-Combining Exercise (Compound Complements) ToC -
From Heidi by Johanna Spyri AK ToC G6
From Anderson's "The Egg," Ex # 1 Text AK ToC G9
Ex 6 - Sentence-Decombining
From Vredenburg's My Book of Favorite Fairy Tales AK ToC G3
From Vredenburg's My Book of Favorite Fairy Tales AK ToC G4
From Marshall's  Robin Hood  A Decombining Exercise  AK ToC G5
From Lang's  "Brave Walter," Ex # 2 Text AK ToC G6
From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC G9
Ex 7 - A Passage for Analysis
"The Robin" {Compound Verbs) AK ToC G3; IG1
From Mrs. Peter Rabbit, by Thornton Burgess (# 2)  AK ToC IG 2
From Mrs. Peter Rabbit, by Thornton Burgess (# 1)  AK ToC IG3
From E. B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan (Ex # 5)  AK ToC G4; IG4
A Poem/Riddle from Macdonald's At the Back of the North Wind AK ToC G6
From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC G9
Ex 8 - Treasure Hunt / Creating an Exercise
The same exercise is  used in every grade level.
     Treasure Hunt: In a story or book  that you are reading, find a sentence that has three or more verbs for one subject. Find a sentence that has three or more complements for one verb.
     Creating an Exercise: In a story or book that you are reading, find one sentence that has compound subjects, two sentences that have compound verbs, and two sentences that have compound complements. Use them to make a mixed exercise (like exercise # 1). Make an analysis key for the exercise. (You can use the sentences that you found in the treasure hunt.)
Other Exercises
Coordinating Conjunctions [FiB] (Maxwell L3.1.1-01) ToC
Writing Sentences with "and," "or," and "but" ToC G3O
Compound Adjectives and Adverbs (Maxwell L1 04 03) ToC -
Compound Adjectives and Adverbs (Maxwell L1 04 04) ToC -
Ex # 4 from Holbrook's  "The Story of the First Moles"  Text AK ToC -