The KISS Grammar Workbooks Back to April Menu
Notes for  Selections from
Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie
Ex #1 The Opening Paragraph  (108 W) AK    -  L2.5 Passages
Ex #2 "The Flying Approach to Neverland" (93 W) AK    -  "
Ex #3 "The Swordfight" (177 W) AK    -  "
Ex # 4 "The pirates capture Peter's boys" (101 W) AK - "
WB Combining

     "Two is the beginning of the end." So ends the first paragraph of a tale that ends with "When Margaret grows up she will have a daughter, who is to be Peter's mother in turn; and thus it will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless." It would be interesting to read what third graders have to say about this story. My guess is that they will primarily be interested in the action, the fantasy, and the humor. It seems to me that it might be more interesting to use this story with high school students. They would probably have more to say about its moral, social, and psychological implications.
     I used Exercise #1, the opening paragraph of the story, for an edition of the KISS Grammar Game, back before the internet was available. If we include interjections, every word in the passage can be explained in terms of prepositional phrases,  S/V/C patterns, adjectives, adverbs, and clauses. With the exception of one gerundive and one noun used as an adverb, the same is true of the second passage. The third passage is syntactically much more complex -- the gerundives, infinitives, etc. add the the bustle of the sword fight.
     There are enough prepositional phrases and different prepositions in Exercise # 4 to make it a very good assessment quiz for third graders who have been studying prepositional phrases throughout third grade. They are, moreover, all simple phrases so that third graders should be able to get all of them.
     Should you use this passage at KISS Level Three (clauses), you might want to have the students do the sentence-combining exercise first. Then, when they see the original, ask them if the subordinate "who flung him" clauses create a rhythm to the sentence that imitates the flinging from one person to another.

      When people in our set are introduced, it is customary for them to ask each other's age, and so Wendy, who always liked to do the correct thing, asked Peter how old he was.  It was not really a happy question to ask him; it was like an examination paper that asks grammar, when what you want to be asked is Kings of England. (from Peter Pan)