The primary purpose of this set of exercises
is to give students practice in changing subordinate clauses into main,
and main into subordinate. (The famous cognitive psychologists Piaget and
Vygotsky both claim that true mastery involves reversibility.) Unlike
many of the KISS collections, this one includes many sentences that have
been simplified from the original text. Vygotsky's concept of the "zone
of proximal development" suggests that students will have enough of a challenge
in manipulating these clauses without having to deal with the longer, more
complex structure found in many of the originals.
In exploring the sentences in Nesbit's text,
I also noted two relatively unusual noun clauses, so you may want to have
your students look at them.
As I continue to analyze texts, I continue
to be amazed at the frequency with which "so" and "for" are used as conjunctions.
Most grammar textbooks don't even deal with this question (which is another
indication that they do not even try to help students analyze real texts).
The following is a six-sentence exercise based on sentences as I found
them in Nesbit's text.
Suggested Writing Assignment
In Nesbit's version of the story, was Pericles lucky
or unlucky? Was he worthy of his final fate, or not? What in the story
supports your view? What is the moral of this story?
Exercises for KISS Levels Four and Five
Although gerundives, appositives, and post-positioned
adjectives are KISS Level Four and Five constructions, one way of looking
at them is as a continuation of the reduction involved in the primary exercises
in this set. Just as a subordinate clause can be seen as a reduction of
a main clause (in meaning, if not in structure), so many gerundives, appositives,
and post-positioned adjectives can be seen as further reductions of subordinate
clauses. (See the Instructional
Almost all the sentences in these exercises have been adapted from Nesbit's
text to remove "clutter" -- additional clauses and other constructions
that would tend to confuse students. Because post-positioned adjectives
are far less frequent than are gerundives and appositives, the sentences
in that exercise were created based on sentences in Nesbit's text.