Sept. 9, 2019
Return to the KISS Home
of the documents on this site are now being made in MS Word. If
you do not have MS Word (or a program that can open these documents), go
to the Microsoft
site where you can get a free reader that will let you open and print
them, or you might want to find and try the free "Open Office" software
on the web. If you take a students' book, please also take the teachers'
"AK" books. If you don't, you may find that both books have changed.
School of Athens
Detail of Plato & Aristotle
Stanza della Signatura
Vatican Palace, Rome
Codes for the Teachers' Answer Keys
There have been a
few minor changes in the codes, but this guide will help you understand
a complete KISS analysis for all the exercises so that you can be ahead
of your students and answer the majority of their questions.
"Master Collection of KISS Exercises"
When I was making the "Grade-Level" workbooks
(in html) I put all the exercises in the collection. There are numerous
exercises on all KISS materials here, and you may want to use some of them
in place of, or in addition to, the exercises in the sequence you chose
The Multi-Year Sequences
workbooks were started in the late eighties such that students could
start in any grade. The introduction to the new "Start in Grade" sequence
explains why it will replace the "Grade-Level." The unfinished "Ideal"
sequence was intended to be started only in first grade. A major difference
for all of these sequences is that older students would probably not like
to do exercises on Bunny Rabbit's Diary.
The One-Year Sequences are described below.
"Start in Grade" Sequence
Almost all KISS exercises are made from sentences
from real texts. A major difference of this sequence will be that each
book for each level will have companion books for reading a writing comparable
to those for the one year sequence "For Upper
Primary and Lower Middle School" described below.
The instructional materials and the number of exercises in each section
are identical across grade levels. The difference is entirely in the exercises.
Some people want to begin KISS with second graders, and others start in
fifth, ninth or other grades. Second graders cannot deal with the vocabulary
in A Tale of Two Cities, and ninth graders would probably not appreciate
exercises based on Bunny Rabbit's Diary.
The instructional materials in the sections
of these books are identical across the books. Originally you could begin
in any of the KISS Levels and then, in the following year, start at that
year in the next highest Grade Level. I stopped working on it when
the sixth grade books were completed, giving you an entire set of KISS
"Ideal" Sequence for
across Grade Levels
Whereas the "Grade-Level"
books are designed to have a complete sequence for every grade level, the
idea sequence started at first grade and has only one set of exercises.
It has books for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.
The real advantage of
this sequence will be that it clearly puts emphasis on what we know about
how our brains learn and about natural syntactic development. Research
shows that students really begin
to use subordinate clauses around
seventh or eighth grade. Students can, of course, understand them even
before they go to school. In this sequence, we can begin to teach students
how to identify clauses at the end of second grade. Only students who have
not put in effort will be left behind.
One Year or Semester Sequences
of these books is to enable students to identify almost every clause (main
and subordinate) in anything that they read or write. They will also learn
aspects of style and the logic of sentence structure. Students will
also learn how to avoid clause boundary errors (comma-splices, run-ons,
and fragments). And this sequence shows students the problems with "its"
and "it's;" "their," "there" and "they're;" and "have" and "of." Several
of my students stated that they wished they had learned this material in
I can't get into
cognitive psychological theory here, but students cannot learn how to explain
the function of almost any word in any text that they read or write within
the span of a year or college semester. If you use one of these sequences,
you'll probably be happy that you did, but you also will agree with me
that students need more time on KISS.
For Upper Primary and Lower
The books don't show it, but the file names start
with "G04," and several of the exercises are based on the writing
of fourth graders. I did this because a fourth grade teacher told me that
she was supposed to teach clauses and about half of the students couldn't
get it. The book could probably be used with third through sixth graders.
I say that because seventh graders might consider the texts used as "childish."
This is the newest addition to KISS instructional
materials. It consists of 86 exercises, 56 of which are marked "Skip?"
in the teachers AK book. That leaves 30 exercises that I strongly suggest
that students do to master main and subordinate clauses. I also suggest
that students do two 10-minute exercises every week. In a 30 week year,
teachers should be able to add 20 or so of those marked "Skip?" The first
exercise is to identify single-word verbs. The second (marked "Skip?")
is on the same thing. Because students will always be underlining verbs
twice, they may not need that second exercise. KISS is cumulative so students
constructions to their analytical toolboxes.
Other exercises are marked "Skip?" because
students do not need to learn the concept in order to identify clauses.
Examples are interjections, direct address, and nouns used as adverbs.
(You are not going to be able to get everything in within one semester
With the objective in mind, I added something
to this book that may or may not work. In the other sequences, students
start with simple sentences. In this sequence, even the first exercise
has some multi-clause sentences. Before students start, they are told that
they should ignore words in a bold, smaller font, and that subordinate
clauses will be identified for them in brackets, and that main clauses
are followed by a vertical line. They are given examples like the following
from Walter Crane's Beauty and the Beast:
His sons, [who
had come from the forest to meet him,]
declared [that they would
go to the Beast instead]. |
And they are told that there has to be a subject / verb pattern has to
be inside every set of bracket plus one outside them for the main clause.
So their response to the above sentence should look like the following:
come from the forest
to meet him,]
go to the Beast instead].
[I can't double underline in htm.]
I hope that this change will have two advantages. First, more S/V patterns
can be in ten sentences. Second, students will see the main and subordinate
clauses (our objective) right from the first exercise. When they get to
the exercises on clauses, they have to put in the brackets and vertical
lines themselves. I'd like feedback on this.
Some of you know that for forty years, I taught
college freshmen to write better papers. So the "Reader" includes several
versions of "The Golden Touch" and of "Little Red Riding Hood," with suggested
writing assignments (including organization, thesis, and details). There
are two example papers based on six versions of "The Three Little Pigs."
I'll appreciate feedback on this and also some papers written by students
that I can legally use to replace mine.
For high school or college
Grammar in One Year or Semester [AK]
This sequence is a revision of what I
did in one semester with my college Freshmen. The sequence includes 24
"Lessons" with 44 exercises. Twenty seven of the exercises are marked "Skip"
in the Teachers' Analysis Keys [AK]. I have included notes on why the other
17 are needed to reach the objective of the book and on why the 27
are marked "Skip?" The texts used are common high school or college reading.
An Earlier One-Year Design
for Middle School
In 2013 I responded to a request for a one-year design
for middle school. I made it entirely in html format. Vicki contributed
a MS Word version of the students' version. To get them, click
The Free, Self-Paced
KISS Grammar Course
In 2004, I was asked by a teacher for a design that
would enable teachers to understand and teach clauses. I'm not happy with
the organization of the exercises, and it is in htm format. But if you
want to consider it, click here.