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Bonnie Blue Bell
From Annual Mammoth Book, Florence Winship
Whitman Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin. 1934.
Analysis Key

     It is difficult to find a complete short story that works as an assessment quiz for fourth graders, but this one includes an adjectival clause, two adverbial clauses, and one subordinate clause that functions as a direct object. Thus it pretty well covers the major constructions for fourth grade.

     Bonnie Blue Bell was a little girl (PA) [Adj. to "girl" who loved all 

birds (DO)]. | She was always kind (PA) {to them}. | She fed and watched

over them (DO) [#1]. | Soon the birdies grew to know her [#2], | and they 

would watch {for her coming} [#3] . | [Adv. to "would fly" When other little 

children would approach], they would fly away, | but [Adv. to "would fly," 

"eat," and "let" whenever they saw Bonnie Blue Bell (DO)] they would fly 

{to her} {without fear}, eat {out of her hands}, and let her fondle and carry 

them [#4]. |

     Do you not think [DO that even little birdies are quite smart (PA) 

and soon learn to know their friends [#5] ]? | And [Adv. to "trust" and "are"

when they do make friends (DO)], they always trust them (DO) and 

are not afraid (PA). |

1. Alternatively, "over them" can be explained as an adverbial prepositional phrase.
2. Technically, "her" is the direct object of the verbal (infinitive) "to know," and the infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "grew." But at this KISS Level, we can accept "grew to know" as the finite verb and "her" as its direct object.
3.  "Coming" is a gerund that functions as the object of the preposition, but at this KISS Level we should not expect students to understand this. Thus we can accept "for her" as the prepositional phrase.
4. "Them" is the direct object of the verbals (infinitives) "fondle" and "carry." "Her" is the subject of the infinitives, and the infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "let." [Because students will not have studied the functions of verbals yet, do not count errors here in the scoring.]
5. "Friends" is the direct object of the verbal (infinitive) "to know." The infinitive phrase is the direct object of "learn."

Suggested Scoring for Assessment

     Students who have been studying KISS since second grade should have few if any problems with this assessment quiz.


ten points for every incorrect vertical line (main clause break)
five points for every incorrect bracket,
two points for every subject, verb, or complement that is incorrect identified (including any verbals that are marked as finite verbs, and
one point for every incorrect paren.
A passing grade is 90. [This passing score means that the students should be ready to move on to KISS Level 3.2]