June 25, 2014
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KISS Level 1. 5. - Adding Simple Prepositional Phrases

Notes for Teachers
Exercises in Level 1.5
Ex 1 - Identifying Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases
Ex 2 a and b - The Functions of Prepositional Phrases
Ex 3 Prepositions (by themselves) as Adverbs
Ex 4 - Prepositional Phrases as Indirect Objects
Ex 5 - Compound Objects of Prepositions
Ex 6 - Separated Objects of Prepositions
Ex 7 - Writing Sentences with Compound Objects of Prepositions
Ex 8 -Rewriting Adjectives or Adverbs as Prepositional Phrases
Ex 9 - Sentence-Combining and Prepositional Phrases
Ex 10 a and b - The Logic of Prepositional Phrases
Ex 11 - Adding Prepositional Phrases of Time and Space
Ex 12 - Style - Left, Right, and Mid-Branching Phrases
Ex 13 - Style - Sentence Models for Writing
Ex 14 a and b - Passages for Analysis
Ex 15 - Write, Revise, Edit, Analyze
Other Exercises
Different Ways to Teach Prepositional Phases
Notes for Teachers
     Note: If you are not familiar with prepositional phrases, you might want to browse the instructional material first. Note also that there are many ways of helping students recognize prepositions.

     There are several approaches to helping students remember the words that can function as prepositions. These include games, paper flags with the prepositions on them (made by the students), and a list of prepositions set to the tune of "Yankee Doodle." You can find these in the Appendix to the Printable Book for this level. In essence, this is a question of what works most effectively for you and your students. 
    I usually give students the instructional material on identifying phrases (See Exercises 1 ? 2, below.), and tell them to study it and then have it in front of them as they do exercises--until they no longer need it. Level 1.5  is devoted to "simple" prepositional phrases in the sense that it avoids complexities, such as the "to" problem that are the focus of KISS Level 2.2. Once they learn to identify prepositional phrases, students should always begin the analysis of a sentence by placing the prepositional phrases in parentheses. Otherwise, as sentences become more complicated, they will incorrectly mark the object of a preposition as the subject or complement of a verb.

Determining Your Objective(s)

     Your primary objective should be to work with students until they can put parentheses around every simple prepositional phrase in any sentence. If you do not have the time to do more than that, you shouldn't have any problem moving on to higher KISS Levels. As the following overview of the exercises in KISS Level 1.5 suggests, you should be able to skip the exercises devoted to writing and logic.
     Consider, however, the style of students' writing. In the 80s and 90s, for example, English educators placed great stress on trying to get young students to write longer sentences. Unfortunately, these educators had little sense of how writing "grows" naturally. Nor did they pay much attention to prepositional phrases. The odds are, however, that young students' sentences increase in length because the better writers include more details by adding more prepositional phrases. Eventually, I hope to study this statistically by exploring samples of students' writing from the documents from state assessment reports. Many states put scored essays written by students in these documents. It will thus be possible to calculate the number of prepositional phrases (per main clause) used by the students who received high scores compared to those who earned low scores. Meanwhile, you can consider this yourself simply by looking at these samples. For more on this, see the booklet on KISS Level 6.5 Statistical Stylistics

An Overview of the Exercises in KISS Level 1.5

     Exercises 1 through 6 focus on identification.

     Exercise 1 asks students to fill in the blanks with prepositions and then identify the prepositional phrases. The primary objective is to help students recognize words that can function as prepositions. Note that you can have your students create additional exercises for their classmates. They can select a short paragraph and replace the prepositions with blanks.
     Exercises 2 a ? b have students identify the phrases and their functions as adjectives or adverbs. In other words, in these two exercises students will be looking beyond simple identification to exploring how phrases chunk (connect) to the other words in the sentence. These two exercises (and the two later exercises on logic) ask students to draw an arrow from the preposition to the word that the phrase modifies. I would not, however, ask students to draw these arrows in any other exercises. Once students have learned that prepositional phrases chunk to other words in the sentence, drawing arrows to the words that phrases modify becomes busywork and also clutters the analysis. Questions, of course, should always be addressed, and the Analysis Keys to the KISS exercises include notes on interesting or unusual cases. 
     In most cases, seeing how prepositional phrases function as adjectives or adverbs to other words in a sentence is relatively easy, but sometimes it is not. Denise Gaskins, a member of the KISS list, offered the following suggestion for the difficult cases:

1. Read the sentence with the prepositional phrase.
2. Read the sentence without the prepositional phrase.
3. Identify where the meaning changes between the two sentences.
In the sentence, “They had posted the first positive numbers in over a year,” the word that changes meaning is “first.” Without the prepositional phrase, it seems to mean “the first ever,” which is quite a bit different from the original sentence. Therefore, the phrase modifies “first.”
     Accepting alternative explanations is very important in dealing with prepositional phrases. Consider the sentence:
The ground was soon wet under the oak tree.
Some people will see the phrase "under the oak tree" as modifying the predicate adjective "wet." Others will see it as modifying the verb "was," and still others will see it as identifying what "ground" is meant (and thus as an adjective to "ground"). One might easily argue that it modifies all three. Thus any one of these answers should be accepted. The important point is that each explanation meaningfully connects to another word or phrase in the sentence.
     Exercise 3 is a joke that shows how prepositions without objects often function as simple adverbs.
     Exercise 4 presents an alternative explanation that lets students see that some prepositional phrases can function as indirect objects--"They gave the award to James."
     Exercise 5 - Compound Objects of Prepositions. In a sentence such as "They played with Bill and Bob," many students  will place parentheses around "with Bill" and miss the compound -- "with Bill and Bob." This exercise reminds students to watch for compounds.
     Exercise 6 - Separated Objects of Prepositions. As students become more mature writers, some of their prepositional phrases will have compound objects and the objects themselves will be modified or otherwise elaborated. The result can separate the later complements from the preposition. In analyzing these sentences, students can become confused. To make the analysis clearer for them, I allow them to write in *ellipsed* prepositions. For example:
I have worked {for Bonanza} {in both Lock Haven and Williamsport PA,} {*for* Burger King} {in both Omaha NE and Williamsport PA}, {*for* McDonalds} {in Birmingham AL}, {*for* Taco Bell} {in Winchester VA}, and {*for* Papa John’s Pizza and Joey’s Six Pack and Deli} both {on Washington Boulevard} {in Williamsport PA}. 
     Exercises 7 through 13 all focus on writing and logic.

Exercise 7 asks students to write sentences that include prepositional phrases with compound objects.
     Exercise 8 - Rewriting Adjectives as Prepositional Phrases - is, as its name suggests, aimed at helping students improve their syntactic fluency.
     Exercise 9 - Sentence-Combining and Prepositional Phrases -  builds on the sentence-combining that students did with adjectives and adverbs in KISS Level 1.3. To adults, these exercises may seem simplistic, but a major complaint of many college professors is that students write sentences in cement. They are, in other words, complaining that students never change, never combine (or de-combine) a sentence once it has been written. These little steps in KISS Level One are intended to accustom students to the very idea of revising what they have written.
     Exercises 10 (a ? b) - The Logic of Prepositional Phrases - introduce students to David Hume’s three fundamental logical categories—identity, extension in time and space, and cause/effect. Hume’s three categories underlie almost all of the KISS connections between sentence structure and logic. (For more on this, see the essay on David Hume in the Background Essays.) As the next exercise suggests, this material is also intended to help students write better. 
     Exercise 11 - Adding Prepositional Phrases of Time and Space - asks students to apply some of what they learned from the preceding two exercises. Teachers often tell students to put more details into their writing, but “details” is a very abstract concept. Much of what teachers are looking for can be supplied by prepositional phrases that logically “identify” other words, or add information about the time and place in which the students’ stories are set. Once students can identify prepositional phrases and see what the phrases modify, the idea of adding “details” by adding prepositional phrases is much more concrete. Logic can be a complicated question, but, following Bruner's idea of a spiral curriculum, it can also be very simple.
     Exercise 12 a ? b - Style - Left, Right, and Mid-Branching Phrases - shows students how adverbial modifiers can easily be moved "left" (before the S/V pattern), "right" (after the S/V pattern) or "mid" (between the subject and verb) to add variety to, and shift focus in, sentences.
     Exercise 13 - Style - Sentence Models for Writing with Style - are short selections that use prepositional phrases in interesting ways. It will take some time to find additional exercises for different grades, but consider the following from E. B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan:

Louis liked Boston the minute he saw it from the sky. Far beneath him was a river. Near the river was a park. In the park was a lake. In the lake was an island. On the shore was a dock. Tied to the dock was a boat shaped like a swan. The place looked ideal. There was even a very fine hotel nearby.
Students are asked to analyze the passage and then try to write a similar passage on a topic of their own. Note also that this passage is a beautiful example of parallel construction. The second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth sentences each begin with an adverbial prepositional phrase, followed by the verb, which is followed by the subject. 
     Exercises 14 (a ? b) - Passages for Analysis - help students to see that what they are learning applies to real texts.
     Exercise 15 - Write, Revise, Edit, Analyze -- Describing an Event is the same in each grade level. Students are asked to write a description of an event, revise it (especially by adding prepositional phrases), and then analyze their own writing.
 
Suggested Directions for Analytical Exercises:
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:
     For many students, this will require a lot of practice. In part, it depends upon how quickly they can learn to recognize the words that can function as prepositions, and how quickly they can learn, and learn to use, the directions for identifying prepositional phrases.
Exercises in Level 1.5
Exercise 1: Fill-in-the-Blanks
- Identifying Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases
[What Is a Prepositional Phrase?]
[Words That Can Functions as Prepositions]
      The instructional material on Identifying Prepositional Phrases, should, with some practice, enable most students to identify most prepositional phrases relatively quickly. 
Prepositions [FiB] (Maxwell L1 05 01) AK ToC G3
Prepositions [FiB] (Maxwell L1 05 02) ToC G4
Prepositions [FiB] (Maxwell L1 05 03) ToC G5
Prepositions [FiB] (Maxwell L1 05 04) AK ToC G6
Lang's "Cinderella," Fill-in-the-Blanks Text AK ToC  G7
Prepositional Phrases [FiB] (Maxwell L1 05 05) ToC G8
Prepositional Phrases [FiB] (Maxwell L1 05 06) ToC G9
Prepositional Phrases [FiB] (Maxwell L1 05 07) ToC G10
Prepositional Phrases [FiB] (Maxwell L1 05 08) ToC G11
From Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" AK ToC  1YM
Exercises 2 a and b - The Functions of Prepositional Phrases
[The Functions of Prepositional Phrases]
[How Prepositional Phrases Work in Sentences]
Identifying Prepositional Phrases - from Ben and Alice # 1 AK ToC IG1
Identifying Prepositional Phrases - from Ben and Alice # 2 AK ToC IG1
Bunny Rabbit’s Diary by Mary Frances Blaisdell [ToC]
Ex # 1 from "A Summer Shower" AK Text G2:
Ex # 2 from "A Summer Shower" AK " G2:
Ex # 1 from "Sammy’s Flying Machine" AK Text G2; IB2
Ex # 2 from "Sammy’s Flying Machine" AK " G2; IB2
Ex # 1 from "The Cabbage Patch" AK Text G2; IG1
Ex # 2 from "The Cabbage Patch" AK " G2; IG1
A Matching Game with Prepositional Phrases AK " G2; IG1
Ex # 1 from "The White Rabbit" AK Text G2; IG 2
Ex # 2 from "The White Rabbit" AK " G2; IG 2
From Holbrooks' "The Story of the Oriole" (Ex #1) AK Text ToC G2
From Holbrooks' "The Story of the Oriole" (Ex #2) AK " " "
From Holbrooks' "The Story of the Oriole" (Ex #3) AK " " "
From Holbrooks' "The Story of the Oriole" (Ex #4) AK " " "
Ex # 8 from Potter's  The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies AK Text ToC -
Ex # 10 from Potter's The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan AK Text ToC -
Ex # 11 from Potter's The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan AK Text ToC -
Functions of Prepositional Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 09) AK ToC G3
Functions of Prepositional Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 19) AK ToC G3
From "Fritz and Dan -- In the Spring Pasture" AK Text ToC G4
The Story of Columbus AK Text ToC G4
Charlemagne and the Charcoal-burner AK Text ToC -
Antonio Canova AK Text ToC -
Catherine Douglas AK Text ToC -
Functions of  Prepositional Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 10) ToC G5
Functions of Prepositional Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 18) ToC G5
From Vredenburg's My Book of Favorite Fairy Tales AK ToC G6
Functions of Prepositional Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 11) AK ToC G6
Functions of Prepositional Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 12) ToC G7
Functions of Prepositional Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 20) ToC G7
Functions of Prepositional Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 13) ToC G8
Functions of Prepositional Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 21) ToC G8
10 Sentences from a 9th Grader's Writing AK ToC G9; 1YM
From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC G9
High School Analogies AK ToC G10
Exercise 3 - Prepositions as Adverbs
   This is a joke that shows that prepositions by themselves (without objects) often function as simple adverbs. The same joke is used in each grade level.
* Mama Skunk AK ToC G3-11
Exercise 4 - Prepositional Phrases as Indirect Objects
     In a sentence such as "He gave the flower to June," some grammarians consider "to June" to be an adverbial phrase that modifies "gave." Others consider "to June" to be a prepositional phrase that functions as an indirect object of "gave." Either explanation is acceptable.
From Wonder Stories 3 AK ToC G3
Based on Pinocchio, by C. Collodi (# 1) AK ToC G4
For IB 2, the exercise above was split into two exercises     IB2
Based on Pinocchio, by C. Collodi (# 2) AK ToC G5; IG2
From The First Haliburton Reader AK ToC IG3
From Heidi by Johanna Spyri AK ToC G6
From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC G9
Exercise 5 - Compound Objects of Prepositions
Compound Objects of Prepositions Ex #1 AK ToC G3
Based on Pinocchio, by C. Collodi (#1) AK ToC G4
Based on Pinocchio, by C. Collodi (#2) AK ToC -
A Combination of the above from Pinocchio AK ToC IG2

 
 
Compound Objects of Prepositions Ex #2 AK ToC G6
10 Sentences from a 9th Grader's Writing AK ToC G9
Exercise 6 - Separated Objects of Prepositions
Notes for Teachers on Separated Objects of Prepositions
Based on Pinocchio, by C. Collodi (#2) AK ToC G3
Based on Pinocchio, The Tale of a Puppet, by C. Collodi AK ToC G4
From Lang's "Thumbelina" (Ex # 0) Text AK ToC -
From Black Beauty by Anna Sewell AK ToC G6
From Heidi, by Johanna Spyri AK ToC G7
From Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle AK ToC G9
From Thackeray's Vanity Fair AK ToC G11
Exercise 7 - 
Writing Sentences with Compound Objects of Prepositions
     The same exercise is used in every grade level.
* Writing Sentences with Compound Objects of Prepositions All
Exercise 8 - Rewriting Adjectives or Adverbs
as Prepositional Phrases
From Pinocchio, by C. Collodi (Ex # 1) AK ToC G3
From Pinocchio, by C. Collodi (Ex # 2) AK ToC G4
Adapted from Voyages in English (#1) ToC -
Adapted from Voyages in English (#2) ToC -
Adapted from Voyages in English (#3) ToC G5
Adapted from Voyages in English (#4) AK ToC G6
Rewriting Adverbs as Prepositional Phrases (Sadlier) ToC -
Changing Adjectives into Prep Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 17) ToC G9
Prep Phrases from Possessive Nouns (Maxwell L1 05 14) ToC -
Prep Phrases from Possessive Nouns (Maxwell L1 05 15) ToC -
Exercise 9 - Sentence-Combining and Prepositional Phrases
Ex # 2 from Blaisdell's "Teddy Bear" - Sentence Combining with Prepositional Phrases Text AK ToC G2
Using Adjectives or Prep Phrases to Combine Sentences AK ? ToC G3
Using Prepositional Phrases to Combine Sentences AK ? ToC -
Sentence Combining with Prepositional Phrases - Ex # 1 from "Jack and His Golden Box" Text AK ToC G4
Changing Adjectives into Prep Phrases (Maxwell L1 05 16) ToC G5
Sentence Combining with Prepositional Phrases - Ex # 2 from "Jack and His Golden Box" Text AK ToC G6
Exercises 10 a and b - The Logic of Prepositional Phrases
     The teaching of logic is as troubled as is the teaching of grammar. Just like the pedagogy of grammar, that of logic is mired in terminological questions. And, just as the linguists who dominate the teaching of grammar love to "teach" advanced topics and to ignore the basics, so do the professors of logic. But logic can be simple. This is somewhat illustrated by the instructional material (below) on "What Prepositional Phrases Can Add to a Text." This type of instruction has long been included in grammar textbooks.
     For reasons explained in the background essay ("An Introduction to Syntax and the Logic of David Hume"), KISS prefers Hume's three categories (identity, extension in time or space, and cause/effect) -- which are even simpler than what is usually taught. The "Instructional Material - Basic" (below) shows that it can be used even with second graders. It is therefore included here in two versions, the second for older students. Teachers can choose which of the three they want to use.
Instructional Material - What Prepositional Phrases Can Add to a Text
Instructional Material - Basic
Instructional Material - The Logic of David Hume
Directions for These Exercises
Adapted from Voyages in English (#1) AK ToC G3
Adapted from Voyages in English (#2) AK ToC G3
From The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams (# 1) AK ToC G4
From The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams (# 2) AK ToC G4
From Vredenburg's Favorite Fairy Tales (Ex # 1) AK ToC G5
From The Golden Fleece, by Padraic Colum   ToC G5
From Vredenburg's Favorite Fairy Tales (Ex # 2) AK ToC G6
From Lassie, Come Home, by Eric Knight AK ToC G6
"Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp" Ex # 1 Text AK ToC G7
"Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp" Ex # 2 Text AK ToC G7
Selections from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland
A Focus on Adjectives and Adverbs (# 1)
AK ToC -
     " A Focus on the Logic of Adverbs AK " G9
Exercise 11 - Adding Prepositional Phrases of Time and Space
Based on "The Gingerbread Boy" ToC IG1
Adapted from Voyages in English (#3) ToC (G2?)
Adapted from Voyages in English (#1) ToC G3
Adapted from Voyages in English (#2) ToC G4
Adapted from Voyages in English (#4) ToC G6
Adapted from Voyages in English (#5) ToC G9
Adding Adverbial Phrases of Time and Place ToC -
Exercise 12 a and b - Style - 
Left, Right, and Mid-Branching Phrases
Instructional Material Notes for Teachers
Studies in Branching:
Philemon and Baucis
Based on Pinocchio, The Tale of a Puppet, by C. Collodi (#1) ToC G3
"My Porcelain Doll," by a third-grade writer AK ToC G3
Based on Pinocchio, The Tale of a Puppet, by C. Collodi (#2) ToC G4
Based on Pinocchio, The Tale of a Puppet, by C. Collodi (#3) ToC -
From "Perseus," by Charles Kingsley ToC G6
Aesop's "The Sheep and the Pig" (Milo) AK ToC G6
Exercise 13 - Style - Sentence Models for Writing
Based on Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit AK ToC G3
Ex # 6 from E. B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan AK ToC G4
Similes from The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien AK ToC G6
Exercise 14 a and b -Passages for Analysis
A Poem: "Rain" by Robert Louis Stevenson AK ToC IG1
"In the Garden," Part 1, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG2
"In the Garden," Part 2, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG2
"Come to My Party," Part 1, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG3
"Come to My Party," Part 2, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG3
"The Party in the Garden," Part 1, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG3
"The Party in the Garden," Part 2, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG3
"The Party in the Garden," Part 3, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG3
"The Party in the Garden," Part 4, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG3
"The Party in the Garden," Part 5, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG3
"The Party in the Garden," Part 6, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG3
"The Party in the Garden," Part 7, from Ben and Alice AK ToC IG3
Stoddard, Richard Henry. "The Sea" AK ToC G3
Ex # 2 from "Mrs. Redwing's Speckled Eggs," by Thornton W. Burgess AK ToC G3
From Stuart Little, by E. B. White, Ex # 1 AK ToC G4
From Stuart Little, by E. B. White, Ex # 2 AK ToC G4
From Lang's "Thumbelina" Ex # 1 (154-words) Text AK ToC -
From Lang's "Thumbelina" Ex # 2 (171-words) Text AK ToC -
From Kipling's "How the First Letter Was Written" AK ToC G5
Aesop's "The Fox and the Lion" AK ToC G5
Aesop's "The Swallow and the Crow" AK ToC G6
From Andrew Lang's "Blue Beard" Text AK ToC G6
Ex # 2 from The King Must Die, by Mary Renault Punct AK ToC G9
From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC G9

 
Exercise 15 - Write, Revise, Edit, and Analyze
 -- Describing an Event
This exercise is the same in every grade level.  

a.) Writing:
     In approximately 75 words, write a story (narrative) that describes something you did once during the last week. Choose something that lasted no longer than a few hours -- an interesting ball game, lunch with a friend, an afternoon in the library, fishing on Saturday afternoon, a trip to the mall.
b.) Revising:
     After you have written it, revise it by adding adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases (especially adverbial phrases of time and place, and descriptive adjectival phrases).
c.) Editing:
     Edit what you have written for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
d.) Analyzing:
1. Underline the verbs twice, their subjects once, and label complements ("PA," "PN," "IO," or "DO").
2. Place parentheses ( ) around each prepositional phrase. Draw an arrow from the preposition to the word that the phrase modifies.
Suggestions for Teachers
     At a minimum, students could read each others' final papers. If you have more time, you might have them work in small groups for the revising, in different small groups for the editing, and in still different small groups for the analyzing.
Other Exercises
    These exercises were developed before the current format of the complete books was established. They need to be modified to fit the slots in that format, but you are welcome to use them as they are if you think they will be helpful.
Lang's "Cinderella," Reading ? Recognition Text ToC   -
Phrases (Maxwell's Grammar) ToC -

 
Different Ways to Teach Prepositional Phases
A Card Game for Memorizing Prepositions
from Crystal Bowser, Springfield, MO.
Memorizing Prepositions with the Preposition Song
Identification Tips
Fill-in-the-Blanks (Welty's "A Worn Path")
Exercise Notes
Preposition Hide and Seek
from Irene Meaker, Ph.D., Lincoln, NE.
Preposition Map
from Irene Meaker, Ph.D., Lincoln, NE.
Shoebox Preposition Activity
from Irene Meaker, Ph.D., Lincoln, NE.
Treasure Hunts