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The Printable KISS Grammar Workbooks
The Death of Hyacinth
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
(1696 -1770)
Adapted from Ovid
ID Exercise AK Text Level 6.6
Model Sentence

     Although this passage can be used as a regular identification exercise, or even as an assessment quiz, the best way to use it is probably as a modeling exercise. Each of the four sentences in the model passage has compounded finite verbs, thereby making it an appropriate exercise for fourth or fifth graders. I think I owe a "Thank You" to Michael Douglas for the "step" design of the modeling exercise. I happened to be watching him on T.V. last night, and he was describing how the love scenes in his movies are "scripted" in slow motion: "First, I will put my hand here. Then you will put your hand here. Then I will ...." Step-by-step, every motion in the encounter is laid out, and then the sequence is practiced in slow motion, gradually working up to normal speed. It is not the way that people actually make love. 
     Critics of the modeling exercise will claim that it does not reflect the way that people actually write. We do not normally write simple sentences first, and then go back to add adjectives, adverbs, etc. But writing is a performance, and student writers need to concentrate on one thing at a time. In this case, they need to concentrate on using specific sentence patterns. In so doing, students will not be writing "normally" in the first place, so, instead of accepting sentences that are simply abnormal, we might as well invite the students to improve the sentences, as Douglas suggests, step-by-step, in this case, adding details in the final step.