June 25, 2014
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KISS Grammar
Level - 6.3 Style - Sentence-Combining and De-Combining

"Directed" Combining Exercises
De-Combining Exercises
Text-Based "Free" Combining Exercises

     Sentence-combining exercises can be very frustrating (and therefore harmful) to some older students who are suddenly asked to do such exercises with complicated sentences. Even many adults view written sentences as set in stone. Thus the very idea of changing them opens an entirely new perspective. Such exercises are both more comfortable and more effective if they are introduced early and done at least once or twice every year (with increasingly more sophisticated sentences. Currently, KISS introduces them in Level 1.4 - Coordinating Conjunctions and Compounds. The exercises in this section on combining with adjectives were originally in KISS Level 1.2, but were removed in the process of a reorganization. Perhaps they should be put back there. They may be particularly helpful for primary school students.
    KISS uses two types of sentence-combining exercises. "Directed" exercises require students to combine sentences using a specific construction. Some of these exercises are in the booklets on the construction. You will also find this type of exercise in KISS Level 6.2 --"Style- Focus, Logic, and Texture." In that collection, students use combining exercises to explore how different combinations affect focus, logic, and texture. The objectives of "directed" exercises are 1.) to stretch students into using combinations that they may not have previously, and 2.) to get students thinking of the stylistic implications of the different ways of saying basically the same thing.
     This booklet contains "free" combining exercises, based on passages from texts. Normally for these exercises, the original text has been chopped into shorter sentences. The students are asked to rewrite the passage "in a better way" without changing the basic information in the text. The objective of these exercises is also twofold. First, they are intended to give students practice with combining, but combining in a way that suits their own sense of style. Second, if the students' revisions are shared in class, students can again see stylistic differences.
     Both Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, two highly respected child psychologists, have argued that cognitive mastery entails the ability to reverse a mental process. Thus KISS also contains decombining exercises. Having students create combining exercises by decombining sentences in passages and correctly punctuating their new versions is an excellent activity.  [If you think decombining is easy, just ask students to do it and see what happens.]
     Note that some of these exercises include some sentences to be combined, and some to be decombined. Another excellent way to use many of these exercises is to give students the decombined version, have them combine it, then discuss and analze the original. Then have them rewrite it for readers at different age levels, for example, sixth gradrs and high school seniors. Or you could have them rewrite it so that it sounds best to them (readers at their own level).

    A green background in the right (grade-level) column indicates that the exercise is in the printable version.
"Directed" Combining and Decombining Exercises
Level 1 - Adjectives
     Some exercises need to be revised to a format of 5 sentences to combine and 5 to de-combine.
Based on "The Gingerbread Boy" ToC IG1
Using Adjectives to Combine Sentences ToC G2
Ex # 1 from Blaisdell's "Teddy Bear" -  Sentence Combining with Adjectives Text AK ToC G2
From Beatrix Potter's Mr. Jeremy Fisher Text   ToC -
From Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Samuel Whiskers Text   ToC -
"From The Poplar Tree," by Flora J. Cooke Text   ToC -
From "Jack and His Golden Box" Text AK ToC -
Level 1 - Combining Finite Verbs
Based on "The Gingerbread Boy" ToC IG1
From "Jack and His Golden Box" Text AK ToC -
From Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland AK ToC -
Level 1 - Mixed
"The Golden Day" Sentence Combining for Style AK ToC IG2
Level 3 - Combining Clauses
Combining Sentences to Create Adverbial Clauses From "Androcles and the Lion" Text AK ToC -
Combining Sentences to Create Adjectival Clauses From "Androcles and the Lion" Text AK ToC -
Subordinating Conjunctions and Logic  (Maxwell L 3.1.2 26) AK ToC -
Subordinating Conjunctions and Logic  (Maxwell L 3.1.2 27)   ToC -
From E. B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan (Ex # 3)
[Compound Complements, including sub clauses]
Original AK ToC -
Level 4 - Various
Passages for De-Combining 
Don't forget that these de-combining exercises can also be used as challenging analysis exercises.
Sentence-based Exercises 
"Casabianca" AK Text ToC -
"William Tell" AK Text ToC -
Passage-based Exercises 
From Vredenburg's "Tifty Riquet" Text AK ToC -
From "With the Buccaneers" by Howard Pyle AK ToC -
Pyle, Howard. From "With the Buccaneers" Text AK ToC -
A Symbolic Paragraph from "Kamongo," by Homer W. Smith  AK ToC -
James, Henry. The Opening Paragraph of Daisy Miller AK ToC -
Text-Based "Free" Combining Exercises
Levels 1 ? 2 - Free
From "Crow Talk," by Johnny Gruelle Text AK ToC -
From "Why Grandfather Frog Has No Tail," by Thornton W. Burgess Original AK ToC -
From "Jack and His Golden Box" Ex # 1 AK Text ToC -
From E. B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan (Ex # 7) Original AK ToC -
Aesop's "The Fox and the Crane" Original AK ToC -
From Chapter 13 of Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie Original AK ToC -
From Kipling's "How the Whale Got His Throat" Original AK ToC -
From "The Bohemian Girl," by Willa Cather Original AK ToC -
Level 3 - Free
From E. B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan (Ex # 4)  AK ToC -
From Lang's "Thumbelina Original AK ToC -
From "Cheeses," by Jerome K. Jerome (#1) Original AK ToC -
From "Cheeses," by Jerome K. Jerome (#2) Original AK ToC -
From "Cheeses," by Jerome K. Jerome (#3) Original AK ToC -
From "Cheeses," by Jerome K. Jerome (#4) Original AK ToC -
Burroughs, J. From "The Tragedy of the Nests" Original AK ToC -
Ex # 2 From The Dark Frigate by Charles B. Hawes Original AK ToC -
Ex # 3 From The Dark Frigate by Charles B. Hawes Original AK "  
Aesop's "The Ox and the Frog" Original AK ToC -
"With a curvaceous figure . . . . Original AK ToC -
Level 4 - Free
"Lincoln and the Little Girl" Original AK ToC -
From "The Gentle Hand," by T. S. Arthur Text ToC -
Aesop's "The Ass, the Cock, and the Lion" Original AK ToC -
From One Is One, by Barbara Leonie Picard Original AK ToC -
The Opening Paragraphs of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Original AK ToC -
"The sun oozed over the horizon" Original AK ToC -
Text Le Fanu, J. Sheridan. "Squire Toby’s Will"  ToC
These are part of a model study of syntax, texture, and literary interpretation. For more details, see the Table of Contents.
The First Paragraph Original AK -
The Second Paragraph Original AK -