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A Dog of Flanders
by Ouida (Marie Louise de la Ram?e)
[Lit Index]

     Some members of the KISS list have noted that they like the exercises based on literature, and some members have noted that they would also like to see exercises based on longer texts. In this case, I think I got carried away. In looking for suitable material, I happened to read Ouida's A Dog of Flanders. It's a sad story, and an excellent example of the "Sentamentalist" movement in literary history. 
     Ouida's style, with its heavy use of compound main clauses and some fairly deep embedding of subordinate clauses, makes it appropriate for ninth grade in the KISS curriculum framework. The exercises below are those most important for KISS Levels Three and Four (Clauses and Verbals). In making the exercises for each category, I have placed the simpler examples in the earlier exercises. Thus, for example, teachers working with seventh graders might want to have the students read and discuss the novella and then use only  the first couple exercises on compound main clauses, adverbial clauses, etc. On the other hand, if the work is used with ninth graders, teachers should probably skip the earlier exercises in a category and use only the later ones.
     My primary objective thus far has been to get analytical exercises on the site -- before anything else, students should be able to identify constructions in a wide range of contexts and variations. Only then will they really understand comments about style, errors, etc. Over the months that it has taken me to develop these exercises, however, I began to realize that there is more than enough here, and that it might be a good idea to include some sentence manipulation exercises, such as the "MC to SC" exercises under "Compound Main Clauses." In looking at the subordinate clause exercises, however, I realized that the groups I had formed do not work well for such things as subordinate clause to main clause manipulation. Thus I interrupted this project once again in order to develop a few such exercises. See: A Study in the Manipulation of Clauses (Based on "Pericles" in Beautiful  Stories from Shakespeare, by E. Nesbit.) [Grade 8, Dec. 1]
     I considered posting the entire text on this site, but I was surprised to find many electronic copies already available on the web. Even better, Dover Publications has an inexpensive "Children's Thrift Classics" edition.
KISS Level Three -- Clauses

Compound Main Clauses
Ex # 1 AK G9 L3.1.1
Ex # 2 AK - L3.1.1
Ex # 3 (Passage) AK  -  L3.1.1
Ex # 4 AK - "
Ex # 5 AK  G9  "

Adjectival Subordinate Clauses
Ex # 1 AK - L3.1.2
Ex # 2 (Mid-Branching) AK G9 L3.1.2
Ex # 3 AK G9 L3.1.2
Ex # 4 AK - L3.1.2

     Ouida loved compound sentences. In sorting the sentences in the novella, I found very few that consist of just adjectival subordinate clauses within a single main clause. Thus many of the sentences in these exercises consist of compounded main clauses with one or sometimes two adjectival clauses in them.

Adverbial Subordinate Clauses
Exercise # 1 AK - L3.1.2 Sub Cl Adv
Exercise # 2 AK  - "
Exercise # 3 AK  - "
Exercise # 4 AK  G9 "
Exercise # 5 AK  - "
Exercise # 6 AK  - "

     Exercise # 2 includes "than" plus two sentences, one with "so" and one with "for," used as subordinate conjunctions. The sentences in Exercises 5 and 6 are longer those in Exercise # 4, but # 4 is probably the more difficult exercise. The second sentence in Exercise #6 contains five adverbial clauses in one main clause.
     I have also noted the logical relationships implied by these clauses, so, if you want, you can also use them as an exercise in syntax and logic. See: "The Logic of Subordinate Clauses."

Noun Subordinate Clauses
Exercise # 1 As Subject or PN AK G9 L3.1.2 SubCl
Exercise # 2 As Objects of Preposition AK - L3.1.2 SubCl
Exercise # 3 As Direct Objects AK G9 L3.1.2 SubCl
Exercise # 5 Interesting Mix AK - L3.1.2 SubCl
Exercise # 4 As an Appositive AK G7 L5.4 Appositive

    Exercise # 1, a single sentence, includes adverbial clauses, second level embedding, and an unusual semicolon, but it was the only example that I noted of a clauses that function subjects or as predicate nouns. It is also an excellent example of the inadequacies of traditional instruction.
     Exercise # 2 is a real brain-buster. In it two of the sentences function as objects of the preposition "save," which is relatively rare. In Exercise # 3, three of the sentences can also be explained in terms of clauses used as interjections. Exercise # 4 consists of a noun clause used as an appositive, which is also relatively rare.

Mixed Exercises on Subordinate Clauses
Ex # 1 AK G9 L3.1.2
Ex # 2 AK G9 "
Rewriting Subordinate Clauses as Main ? Main as Subordinate (#1) AK G10 L3.1.2
A Passage for Analysis (# 1) AK - L3.1.2
A Passage for Analysis (# 2) AK - "
A Passage for Analysis (# 3) AK - "

    In most cases, these are sentences that have more than one type of subordinate clause in them. Some of these exercises are difficult and presume that students have been studying clauses, perhaps since seventh grade. Exercise #4, however,  is a single 90-word sentence that contains only two subordinate clauses (in four main clauses). It should thus be both relatively easy and interesting, because of its length, for many students. Exercise # 5, on the other hand, is a single 114-word sentence with only two subordinate clauses in five main clauses, and it does not have the complex infinitive construction that is in Exercise # 4. The single sentence in Exercise # 6 is back down to 90 words, but it has four subordinate clauses in five main clauses. (Ouida certainly loved to compound main clauses.)

Embedded Subordinate Clauses
Ex # 1 AK G8 L3.1.3 SC Embed
Ex # 2 AK G8 L3.1.3 SC Embed
Ex # 3 AK - L3.1.3 SC Embed
Ex # 4 AK - L3.1.3 SC Embed
Ex # 5 (Passage) AK G8 L3.1.3 SC Embed
Ex # 6 (Passage) AK - L3.1.3 SC Embed
Ex # 7 (Passage) AK - L3.1.3 SC Embed
Ex # 8 (Passage) AK - L3.1.3 SC Embed
Ex # 9 (Passage) AK - L3.1.3 SC Embed
Ex # 10 (Passage) AK - L3.1.3 SC Embed
Ex # 11 (Passage) AK - L3.1.3 SC Embed

      All of these exercises include subordinate clauses within subordinate clauses, some more, some less. Exercise # 11 is probably the best for students working at the end of KISS Level Three. It includes two KISS Level Four infinitive constructions, but they should not serious affect the students' ability to explain the clause structure.
     The second sentence in Exercise # 2 is 80 words long, has a very interesting clause structure, and only one verbal to distract students working at KISS Level Three. The first sentence in Exercise # 4 is relatively easy and has eight compounded finite verbs in a subordinate clause. Have fun with the 100 word sentence in Exercise # 5, especially with the subordinate clauses in the second main clause. (I think I got the number of closing brackets at the end right.) Exercise # 7 is an interesting passage, but it includes only one second-level embedding of a clause. Exercise # 9 is somewhat interesting, and not particularly difficult. It contains a third-level embedding in a second-level clause that can be explained as the object of a preposition. Exercise # 10 raises some interesting questions for which there may be no "right" answer.

Infinitives as Delayed Subjects
Exercise # 1 AK G10 L5.6 Del Subj

     Because most delayed subjects consist of infinitives or subordinate clauses, delayed subjects are considered a KISS Level Five construction. However, students who have been working within the KISS framework for several years will have seen some of them. Ouida uses a fair number of subordinate clauses as delayed subjects (See the next set of exercises.), so this exercise probably belongs here.

Noun Clauses as Delayed Subjects or Sentences
Exercise # 1 AK  - L5.6 Del Subj
Exercise # 2 AK   -  "
Exercise # 3 AK - "

The sentences in Exercise #1 are shorter, but many of them are on the edges of the concepts and can be explained in other ways. Exercise # 2 consists of two sentences with a good example of a delayed sentence and of a delayed subject. Exercise # 3 is a 108-word sentence that includes two clauses that function as delayed subjects within the same main clause.

Subordinate Clauses -- Interjections or Direct Objects?
[Instructional Material]
Exercise # 1 AK G9 L3.2.3 SC Inj/DO
Exercise # 2 AK - "
Exercise # 3 AK - "
Exercise # 4 AK - "
Exercise # 5 AK - "
Exercise # 6 AK - "

     Remember that the KISS explanation as interjections is a suggested alternative to the traditional explanation that would label these subordinate clauses as direct objects. Exercise # 4 presents some interesting complications. Exercise # 5 may be the most persuasive for the KISS view.

Punctuation -- Bending the Rules

Ex # 1 (Primarily comma splices) AK - L6.1
Ex # 2 (Parallel Subordinate Clause Fragments) AK - L6.1
KISS Level Four -- Verbals
Gerunds as Objects of Prepositions
Exercise # 1 AK G9 L4.1

     The gerunds in the first four sentences function as objects of prepositions. Those in the fifth sentence can be explained either as predicate nouns or as subjects, depending on how you want to explain "there." To look for gerunds that function as subjects or direct objects,  I did a quick electronic search of the text for words ending in "-ing." I may have missed something, but I did not find any such gerunds.

Rewriting Gerundives as Finite Verbs and Finite Verbs as Gerundives AK G9 L4
Exercise # 3 (99 W) AK G10 L4

Exercises 3 ? 4 were removed.
Ex # 1 (Adj ? Adv) AK G8 L4.1 Verbals
Ex # 2 (Adj ? Adv) AK G9 L4.1 Verbals
Ex # 5 (Subj ? PN) AK G10 L4.1 Verbals
Ex # 6 (N - Other) AK - L4.1 Verbals
Ex # 7 (Ret. Comp) AK G9 L5.7 Retained
Some KISS Level Five Constructions

     Some students will already have been studying these constructions so I have included a few exercises on them from this text.

Exercise # 1 AK  G8 L5.4 Appositives

Post-Positioned Adjectives
Exercise # 1 AK G10 L5.5  PPA