September 9, 2007
Printable Books Grade Three Workbook

to the Work for 
Grade Three


     The second grade book includes a general introduction to KISS Grammar, so here we need be concerned only with the objectives and format for third grade. Most of the concepts (constructions)  presented in the second grade book can be found in almost any grammar textbook. This third grade book is where KISS really begins to differ from most textbooks. If we want students to apply what they learn about grammar to what they read and write, we need to teach them how to use that grammar to discuss sentences in whatever they may read or write. Rarely do most textbooks even begin to do this.


     For practical purposes, almost all textbooks fail because they do not address some very basic problems. The most important of these problems involve the identification of verbs and prepositional phrases. For example, in the sentence "They were looking at the doggie in the window," is the verb phrase "were looking," thereby making "at the doggie" a prepositional phrase? Or is the verb phrase "were looking at," thereby making "doggie" a direct object? Grammarians disagree about sentences like this one, and students are going to be confused. 
     When is "to" a preposition, and when it is not? In the sentence "They were going to go to the park," most grammarians would consider "were going to go" as the verb phrase, and "to the park" as a prepositional phrase. But in the sentence "They wanted to go to the park," most grammarians would consider "wanted" as the verb phrase, and "to go" as an infinitive that functions as the direct object of "wanted." But in "They have to go to the park," grammarians consider "have to go" as the verb phrase. A major objective of this book is to enable students to explain such phrases intelligently, and, as you probably realize by now, KISS often allows alternative explanations. Thus, within KISS, "look at the doggie" can be explained either way. 
     Words that can function as prepositions or as subordinate conjunctions pose another problem:

They left after dinner.
They left after their family had dinner.
Subordinate clauses that function as adverbs (such as "after their family had dinner") are a focus of fourth grade. But here in third, since we want students to begin analyzing their own writing, we need to teach them where not to put parentheses. Otherwise, they will mark "after their family" as a prepositional phrase. To adults, the rule ("instruction") for this is a mouthful, but relatively simple if one thinks about it: if whatever answers the question "What?" after a "preposition" is a sentence, then it is not a preposition. Mastering and applying that rule, however, will take students some practice.
     There are some relatively simple constructions (such as interjections, direct address, and nouns used as adverbs)  that can expand the ability of third graders to analyze real texts. These constructions can be added to the students' analytical toolbox and thus be subject to review in any exercises that students do thereafter. 
     This book also introduces the concepts of "clause," compound main clauses, and subordinate clauses that function as direct objects. Students were introduced to compounding in the second grade book, and in this book, a review section on compounding immediately precedes the section that introduces compound main clauses. Thus the extension to compound sentences should be relatively simple for students to grasp. Compound sentences are very frequent in what students read and write, so introducing them at this point greatly expands the students' ability to apply what they are learning to their own writing. (And it significantly increases the pool of sentences from real texts that can be used as exercises.)
     Introducing subordinate clauses that function as direct objects should clarify rather than confuse. Students were identifying direct objects in second grade. But if they were analyzing texts other than those in the second grade book, they almost certainly ran into sentences such as "Marie said she bought a book." The answer to the question "Marie said what?" is obviously "she bought a book," but what kind of grammatical construction is that? Having been introduced to the concept of "clause" in the context of compound sentences, students will now have an explanation.
     If we want students to analyze real texts, including their own writing, we have to help them learn how to address these questions. Doing so does not involve lots of instruction; but it does involve lots of practice practice that is spread throughout the year. [Additional explanations for teachers appear before the analysis keys for each section of this book. See below for the on-line versions of these.]

The Format of this Book

     The introduction to the book for second grade briefly discusses Lev Vygotsky's concept of the "zone of proximal development." It is, you may remember, visualized as two concentric circles. We can now consider the center circle as the fundamental constructions of English grammar. Subjects, (finite) verbs, complements, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases appear in almost every sentence. Thus, in second grade, we could go merrily on our sequential way because every exercise included (usually) all the constructions that students had studied. Review was automatic. Students who have mastered the second grade material are now ready to extend that center circle, and move material in the zone into the center. But we have a problem.
     In this book, we are dealing with constructions that do not appear in every or even in most sentences. And the area between the two circles is not homogenous or concentric. If we want to visualize it as a map, we might say that the outer "circle" is an irregular, bulging area. The "to" problem is a huge bulge on the west. But it extends into another huge bulge the verbal problem on the east. Another, easily mastered area, that of nouns used as adverbs, interjections, and direct address lies on the north. The "there" problem (not yet mentioned, but also easily conquered, lies on the south. There are other areas that we could place on the map, but the point is that you and your students will be dealing with a number of constructions that are not automatically reviewed in every exercise. And, in order to master these constructions, some students will need more practice (and more review) than will other students.
     Thus the format of this book is different. It includes Practice/Application Sections. These sections not only provide students more opportunities to review and practice what they have learned, but they also include exercises that relate what the students have learned to questions of punctuation, logic, and style. As noted above, the primary objectives for this grade are to expand the students' concepts of (finite) verbs and of prepositional phrases. And, as I have also noted, these are not easy objectives to reach. As one of my college students recently told me, there are more than 60 words that can function as prepositions. It is not easy to remember them all, and even if one has done so, one needs to be able to tell when "but" is a preposition and when it is not. KISS, by the way, includes the typical textbook maxim that when it means "except," "but" is a preposition. But if you think about many sentences in which "but" is used as a conjunction, you may conclude that it also often means "except" when it is used as a conjunction. Thus to tell students that "but" is a preposition when it means "except" is not ultimately helpful. The only way for students to master these objectives effectively is through frequent, short exercises. But how many exercises should this book include?
     Originally, its design included more than 180. That is far too many. I cut it down to just over 150, but in the process added some vocabulary, punctuation, and "Just for Fun" exercises. I strongly suggest that you work through the sections in order (although you won't miss anything new if you skip the "Practice/Application" exercises). In addition, you do not need to do all the exercises in a section. If your students, for example, understand compound main clauses after two exercises, you can skip the rest of the exercises in that section. I have included at least three exercises in each section so that you can do the first one in class with the students, assign at least one for homework, and use the third as a quick assessment quiz. If you want additional exercises, check the Printable Books page, where you will find links to exercises by type of construction and also the supplemental books for third grade. (Eventually, these will be compiled into separate printable books.)
     Note also that many of the sections on new material include "Treasure Hunts and/or Recipe Rosters." In a "hunt," you simply ask students to find and bring to class a sentence that includes the relevant construction. In a roster, you ask students to use the construction in a sentence. These exercises are extremely important because they integrate the grammar students are studying with the things they are reading and writing. But they are also extremely valuable as review material. In a class of twenty students, one such exercise could provide all the grammar work for four weeks every day, one student puts her or his sentence on the board and analyzes it for the class. Obviously, there are not enough days in the year to do this with each construction, but my point is that most students will need at least weekly practice with analysis, and a "hunt" or "roster" provides plenty of material for quick exercises. (Of course, you can also break the other exercises into parts and do one sentence a day.)

Determining Your Objectives

     The primary KISS objective, of course, is to enable students to apply their newly learned, conscious knowledge of grammatical constructions to their own writing. As their teacher, however, you need to determine the specific objectives you want your students to reach. In part, your objectives will be affected by how much your students already know, and by how much time you want to give to grammar during this year. A primary decision that you need to make is:

1. Do you want your third-grade students just to master the new constructions introduced in this book?
2. Do you want your third graders to work with randomly selected sentences, including their own writing and that of their peers and of professional writers? 
For the first option, you need only the first sixteen sections of this book. For the second, you will probably want to use sections seventeen through twenty, and you may need to familiarize yourself with the instructional material on clauses in the fourth grade book. 
      Most of the sentences in the first sixteen sections have been fairly carefully selected to avoid constructions that third graders have not yet studied. Thus if you have students analyze randomly selected sentences, many students will be confused, especially by verbals and by subordinate clauses that function as nouns, adjectives and adverbs.
     The distinction between finite verbs and verbals will probably be the biggest problem. "Finite verb" is extremely difficult to define, but learning to recognize them is not really difficult. They are the verbs that students have been underlining twice. Verbals, on the other hand, are verbs that function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. What students need to learn therefore, is not to underline these verbs twice.
The KISS instructional material gives students three simple tests to see if a verb is finite or a verbal. (There is no other possibility every verb in any sentence has to be either finite or a verbal.) 
     The distinction is crucial because a clause is a "subject / finite verb / complement" pattern and all the words that chunk to it. If, in sentences such as "Watching a movie, he fell asleep," students underline "Watching" twice, they will have major problems with clauses. For some students, however, this distinction will not be easily mastered. Thus the objective is to introduce the concept, give the students some initial practice, and then note the verbals in the sentences that students work with thereafter. (Reinforce the idea that students are expected to make mistakes.) That most textbooks never address this distinction is, I would suggest, one of the major reasons for their uselessness. The distinction is the first "new" material in the fourth grade book, simply because an understanding of it enables students to identify the various types of clauses in more real sentences.
     In analyzing their own writing, third graders will find relatively few verbals, but they will run across a fair number of subordinate clauses that function as adjectives or adverbs. They will also encounter a few that function as objects of prepositions, and perhaps even one that functions as a subject. Thus, if you want to have students work with their own writing, be prepared for the confusion and expect students to make mistakes. 

Some Reminders

What Is KISS Grammar?

     There are many different grammars of English, and they are based on different philosophies, made for different purposes, and use different grammatical terms (for the same constructions). These grammars are not wrong, but they can be confusing. KISS is a consistent set of grammatical concepts that enables students to get beyond the terminology  and into meaningful application of grammatical concepts.

Time Required

     Students who have been working with the KISS Approach for a year or more should not need more than five minutes to do most of the exercises. You do not need to collect and grade most of the homework, but some exercises should be reviewed in class. Such reviews may take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an entire class period, but my experience has been that many students profit from such reviews. They especially enjoy using the KISS Grammar Game to review exercises. (See An Introduction to KISS Grammar.)

Use It or Lose It

     Students should analyze (and discuss in class) at least one sentence every week. KISS is cumulative, and if you do not have the students regularly use what they have learned, you will find that when you return to grammar, students will have lost much of what they knew.

The Importance of Method

     Knowing how to find the answer is more important than knowing the answer. The directions for KISS exercises, for example, give students a numbered sequence of steps. First, place parentheses around prepositional phrases, then find a verb, its subject, and then its complement. to determine the type of complement, follow a sequence: If the complement describes the subject, the complement it is a predicate adjective. If it is not a predicate adjective, check for a predicate noun (equal to the subject). If it is neither of these, it must be an indirect or direct object. Students should have been learning this process in second grade, and once they learn it, finding subjects, their verbs, and complements is relatively easy and fast. Finding the prepositional phrases first insures that they will not mistake the object of a preposition for the subject of a verb (which is, by the way, a common cause of subject/verb agreement errors).
    Analytical method becomes even more important as sentences become longer and more complicated. The KISS analysis keys do not reflect the analytical method because to do so becomes highly repetitive and requires huge amounts of space. For some examples, see "Learning and Teaching the Analytical Process" on the Printable Books page.

The KISS Approach to "Errors"

     Some grammar textbooks aim specifically at the correction of errors. They fail because they fail to teach students how sentences work in the first place. Having students select the right form of a verb does not help the students learn to identify the verbs in their own writing. On the other hand, requiring students to identify the subjects and verbs in their own writing often results in students' automatically correcting agreement errors. Similarly, many apostrophe problems are almost automatically dealt with in the KISS analytical process. Apostrophes that reflect possession appear in adjectives; apostrophes used in contractions almost always appear in subject/verb combinations. Thus, as they regularly underline its, students will see that the apostrophe stands for the missing i. You may have noted, by the way, that KISS includes numerous exercises, at almost every grade level, on compound sentences. There is a reason for this. Most of the problems that students have with comma-splices and run-ons result from inadequate instruction on how to punctuate (and effectively use) compound main clauses.  (For a more complete discussion of the KISS approach to errors, see An Introduction to KISS Grammar.)

The Analysis Keys

     Originally, there were five KISS analysis keys for each exercise, one for each KISS level. In printable format, that requires a lot of paper and ink. The old keys have been reduced to one that explains how every word in every sentence connects to a main S/V/C pattern. Thus the keys give you answers for the exercise directions and additional information that you can use to answer any questions that students may have.

Alternative Explanations

     The second grade book (and the example above "look at the doggie") should have demonstrated the importance of alternative explanations. If grammarians can disagree about explanations, students should also have that right. Alternatives do not result in chaos. Usually it is a choice between two (sometimes three) explanations. (It is either "look at" as the verb, and "doggie" as the direct object, or "look" as the verb and "at the doggie" as a prepositional phrase.) 
     The ultimate question is Do these explanations make sense to you and your students? When a student proposes an alternative with which I am not comfortable, I ask the student to explain his or her reasons to the class, and then I ask for a vote of hands. If the students think the explanation is meaningful, I'll accept it, even if I do not like it. (Some grammarians are horrified by this, but it is no big deal.)  If the majority of the students don't think it is meaningful, then the student who proposed it sees that it is not much of an explanation.
     In analyzing real sentences, alternative explanations can pop up regularly. Some of them are noted in the analysis keys, but the alternatives themselves are so regular that explaining each case can become boring. If an alternative explanation that is not given makes more sense to you and your students, then use it.

The Importance of Having Students Analyze their own Writing and That of their Peers

     If they are not going to do this, why are they studying grammar? As noted above, for third graders, this is a very ambitious objective, one that you may not been able to reach. You should keep in mind, however, that this is a practical objective for fourth graders -- if they have mastered the basic constructions in these third grade materials.

KISS in Printable Format vs. KISS On-line

     KISS was started as on-line instructional material. The members of the KISS list, however, definitely made me aware of the importance of sequential, printable books. The two formats have their advantages and disadvantages. If you have not realized it yet, the basics of sentence structure (and thus KISS instructional materials) are really very simple. There are only a dozen or so constructions and concepts that need to be learned. The trick is in learning them, and then figuring out which constructions are being used in a sentence and how. Thus, for example, over and over again in the analysis keys there are references to the three types of verbals (gerunds, gerundives, and infinitives). In the on-line analysis keys, these are all hyperlinked to the basic instructional materials, but in the printed format such hyperlinks are not possible.
     Printable books definitely make instructional materials and exercises easier to access, but they also have limitations of space. A primary advantage of KISS is that it directly relates grammar to the sentences in real texts. Most exercises are based on sentences from such texts, and the on-line version of this book includes links to most of the texts. But including the texts in the printable book would almost double the size of the book. Thus, if you want a copy of the text, you will have to go to the on-line version.  (Note that the plan for the supplemental books, some of which are already available on-line, includes the text in the printable version.)

Have fun!

     Currently, most students (and teachers) hate the study of grammar. Given the senseless nature of most currently available instructional materials, this is understandable. Third graders have not yet built up an aversion to grammar, an aversion that makes teaching grammar at the high school and college levels almost impossible. Because KISS grammar aims at making sense of sentence structure, and because students will be able to explain so much of any text so soon, you will probably find that both you and your students will enjoy it. The anxiety of teachers is a particular problem, a problem that is not their fault. (Our colleges do a terrible job of preparing teachers to teach grammar.) Thus you might want to read "Teaching Grammar with the KISS Approach: 'I Don't Know'," which is also available in An Introduction to KISS Grammar. Take the approach suggested in that essay, and not only will you have more fun, but your students will also think that you know a lot more than you do. I'm sure of that because that is what my students think.

Notes for Teachers
[In the printed version, these appear before the answer keys for each section.]

Practice/Application Sections

     The four "Practice/Application" sections in this book generally include the same types of exercises. Usually there is at least one review exercise on a construction that is outside the "zone" (the "to" problem, for example). Sentence building, combining, and de-combining exercises help students learn how to change and improve the style of their sentences. (For many students, once a sentence is written, it is set in concrete.) The punctuation exercises are typical KISS punctuation exercises the punctuation and capitalization of a text has been removed, and students are asked to "fix" it. Then you should have them discuss what they did and show them the original. Note that once students have done a few combining or punctuation exercises, they will probably enjoy their work more if you have them make similar exercises for each other rather than using the other similar exercises in this book. 

The "How Much I Can Explain" exercises are in this book primarily as reminders for teachers to stress to the students how much they have already learned. The most successful motivator is success. The objective here, therefore, is to have students see for themselves how much of real texts they can already explain. Third graders will probably not understand the statistics, but if, for example, a text consists of 48 words, they will understand (and be proud) if you point out that they can already explain 46 of them.

     KISS develops "Syntax & Logic" exercises within the framework of a theory of David Hume. He claimed that all logical connections fall into one of three categories identity, extension (in time or space), or cause/effect. For third graders, KISS focuses on time and space relationships, in part to introduce "logic," but more importantly to help students get more details of time and space into their writing. (For more on Hume, see "An Introduction to Syntax and the Logic of David Hume," in the printable  An Introduction to KISS Grammar.)

"Statistical Stylistics" exercises for third graders consist of analyzing a short passage (as they normally do), and then creating a bar graph by filling in one block in a column for each word in a sentence. They end up with a graph that shows the length of the sentences and the variety in length. A single graph is meaningless, but by comparing graphs of different passages, students will be able to see basic differences in style. Although you should have the students save their graphs of the exercises is the "Practice/Application" sections, they are basically aimed at teaching students the method they prepare student to make similar graphs of the writing of third graders and then of a sample of their own writing.
     (I should note here that words per sentence is not always a good indicator of style. Some young students write extremely long sentences by stringing together simple compound main clauses. The best statistical yardstick for statistical evaluations is words per main clause. This book introduces students to main clauses, but that introduction will not prepare them to find the main clauses in many real sentences. In order to do that, students will need more instruction in subordinate clauses which is the focus of fourth grade.)
     The "Vocabulary" exercises currently in this book are "fill-in-the-blank." They usually involve adjectives, adverbs, or verbs, and the objective is to have students discuss what they put in the blanks. Such discussion lets students see what other words their peers have used, thereby expanding their own options.

Section 1. An Initial Review

   These are, in effect, "warm-up" exercises based on the assumption that over the summer some of the students will have forgotten some of what they learned in second grade.

Section 2. Nouns Used as Adverbs, Direct Address, and Interjections

     These are three relatively simple constructions that appear frequently in the reading and writing of third graders. Adding them at this point not only increases the number of sentences that students will be able to explain completely, but also provides more review of their work from second grade. If they were to discuss the functions of prepositional phrases, which they usually do not do, some grammarians would consider the prepositional phrases to be adverbs rather than interjections.
     Within KISS, the concept of the interjection will be expanded to include prepositional phrases, clauses, and other constructions, but the instructional material given here describes the basic, simple interjections as they are described in most grammar textbooks. This is one of may applications within KISS of what Jerome Bruner calls the "Spiral Curriculum." (See "Jerome Bruner's Concept of the Spiral Curriculum," which also available in the printable An Introduction to KISS Grammar.)

Two Ways of Looking at a Sentence: Modification and Chunking

     Section Two is followed by important instructional material that relates to almost all the other instructional material and exercises. It has no exercises of its own, and is thus not considered a separate section.
     I was once asked if it would not be better to use the traditional term "modification" instead of confusing things by also using the term "chunking." But the distinction is significant since it delineates two major fields within linguistics. "Modification" deals with meaning, which is studied in the linguistic field of semantics. "Chunking," on the other hand, is the central question of syntax, the study of how words interrelate within sentences to convey meaning. In more practical terms, looking at sentences from the perspective of chunking clarifies questions of punctuation, errors, style, and logic. (Traditional grammars fail to do this because they explain grammatical constructions only in the context of very simple sentences.)
     The instructional material may too much for third graders, but the important thing is to focus their attention on the idea that they are learning how words grammatically connect to each other; they should not just be learning to identify subjects, verbs, adjectives, prepositional phrases, etc. As you might note, this material is placed here because the students have just been introduced to the only two constructions that do not chunk interjections and direct address.

Section 3. Practice/Application [See the explanation in the introduction.]

Section 4. Recognizing Passives as Finite Verbs

     The objective here is not to learn about passive voice, but rather to help students identify all the parts of passive verbs. In a sentence such as "The ball was dropped by the left fielder," many students will underline "was" as a verb and then label "dropped" as a predicate adjective. Passive voice does slide into S/V/PA patterns, so this is an interesting alternative explanation. But it avoids the important concept of passive voice. Passive voice as passive voice is a major focus of the KISS fifth grade workbook, and the concept is developed in following grades. In third and fourth grades, however, the focus should simply be on having the students underline the complete verb phrase rather than using the S/V/PA alternative. Note that you do not need instructional materials for this. 

Section 5. Verb Tenses

     Fundamental differences in definitions make grammatical "tense" a simple concept, an almost impenetrably difficult concept, or anything in between. Paul Roberts explained the three basic bases from which grammarians start. He calls them "formal," "syntactic," and "notional." 
     "Formal" definitions start with the form (sound or spelling) of the words. Thus verbs have different forms -- "write," "wrote," "writing," "written." In discussing tense, grammarians who base their definitions on form present students with all the forms, created by helping verbs, for all the various verbs. The result is pages of tables for what are called the "conjugation" of verbs. The tables are not very helpful, and they bore students. Other grammarians who base their grammar on form claim that English does not have a future tense. They say this because there is no single-word form for the future tense. We can say "He writes," "She wrote," but we have no way of expressing the future tense with a one-word verb. But teaching students that English has no future tense is probably harmful. The students will have teachers in other fields who will tell them to express some ideas in the future tense.
     "Syntactic" definitions start with how words relate to each other in sentences. Much of the KISS Approach is "syntactically" based -- if a word modifies a noun, it is an adjective, etc. But when it comes to the question of tense, the syntactic base does not get very far. By itself, it cannot distinguish a tense difference between "He writes books" and "She wrote books."
     "Notional" definitions are based on meaning. Since all third graders understand the differences in the meaning of "past," "present," and "future," notional definitions are probably the best way to approach the teaching of grammatical "tense." But even here, there are problems. Is "She is going to write a book" stated in the present tense? Or future? Questions like this, however, belong in the grammarians' playgrounds.
      Native speakers have relatively few problems with verb tenses. The most frequent is probably the shifting of tenses from present to past (or to future). For example, "We were camping and Billy starts a fire." Many teachers mark these as "tense shift" in students' writing, but students will not understand that comment unless  they have been taught what "tense" means. Thus the primary objective here is to help students understand the meaning of "past," "present," and "future" tenses. Note that if students need more practice on S/V/C patterns and/or prepositional phrases, you can have them analyze these sentences in that way also.
     (For more on Roberts' ideas, see "The Parts of Speech as Functions" which is available in the printable An Introduction to KISS Grammar.) 

Section 6. "There" as a Subject (Expletives)

      In sentences such as "There were many people in the park," most traditional grammars explain "There" as an "expletive" and consider "people" to be the subject of the verb. This explanation is acceptable in KISS, but it adds a concept that is not really needed. Such sentences can almost always be easily explained as S/V/PN patterns with, for example, "There" being the subject and "people" being a predicate noun. (In essence, an "expletive" is simply a place-filler for the subject slot in a sentence.) Often, another alternative explanation can be used. Thus in "Once there came several monsters into Millerville," one can explain "there" as an adverb, "came" as the verb, and "monsters" as the subject.
     In the analysis keys, KISS explains all of these sentences as S/V/PN patterns or by using the adverb alternative. "There" as subject does need special focus at this point, however, first because third graders will find (and write) many sentences in which it functions as a subject, and because KISS offers alternatives to the traditional explanation. Remember that there is no set standard of grammatical terminology that is used in testing students. Thus teachers and parents can opt for the expletive explanation, the S/V/PN explanation, or try to see if students can understand both.

Section 7. Review - Compounding with "and," "or," and "but"

     Although it includes a vocabulary and a sentence-combining exercise based on Potter's "Jeremy Fisher," the primary purpose of this section is to focus students' attention on compounding in preparation for section eight, Compound Main Clauses.

Section 8. Compound Main Clauses

     Section Eight expands the concept of compounding to compound main clauses. Clauses are the most important concept for students to master. The concept is introduced here because simple compound sentences appear in many of the works that are used for exercises and in students' own writing. In addition, many punctuation errors involve clause boundaries. Thus, students who can understand clauses can understand, and learn to control, such errors. Finally, the length and complexity of clauses are major aspects of style. (For more on this, see "Analyzing the Writing of Third Graders," below.) Introducing clauses here will thus give students more time to practice and review the concept. 
     For students who can identify S/V/C patterns, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases, clauses are not difficult to master -- if you have them memorize the definition: "a clause is a subject / verb / complement pattern and all the words that chunk to it." (Actually, it is a "finite verb," but in this design, the finite/verbal distinction has not yet been introduced. See Section 17.) Because a clause is an S / (finite) V / C pattern, there will always be one clause for every pattern. (Remember that any element in the pattern can be compounded.) Thus students should be taught to work systematically, first identifying the prepositional phrases in a sentence, and then all the S/V/C patterns. If there is only one S/V/C pattern in the sentence, all the students have to do is to put a vertical line at the end of the sentence.
     In sentences with more than one pattern, students will need to decide if all the clauses are "main," of if some are subordinate. Subordinate clauses always function as a noun, adjective,  adverb, or sometimes as an interjection, within a main clause. Because students can identify S/V/C patterns, they can identify all the clauses, but it will take some practice before they can easily distinguish the function of each clause.
     There are two different strategies for teaching clauses. The first (the one that is being used in this series of workbooks) is to introduce students to examples of each type of clause separately. Thus section ten in this book introduces subordinate clauses that function as direct objects. The fourth grade book then introduces adverbial, adjectival, and the other types of noun clauses. Subordinate clauses that function as interjections are introduced in fifth grade. This is not my preferred strategy, but some students seem to need specific examples (exercises) of each type of clause.
     You may prefer the other strategy, a strategy I would recommend to teachers who are trying to start the KISS Approach in middle or high school. Simply have the students memorize that "Subordinate clauses function as nouns, adjectives, adverbs (or interjections) within another clause. Main clauses have no such function." Give them the list of words that can function as subordinate conjunctions:

after, although, as, as if, as though, because, before, if, how, lest, since, than, that, when, where, while, what, who, why, which, until, whenever, wherever, whatever, whoever, whichever, whether, for, so
"For" and "so" will cause a few problems because they can be either coordinating or subordinating, but remember that students are expected to make mistakes. (You'll find exercises devoted to "for" and "so" in the workbooks.)
     This strategy presents students with more new material much faster, and will cause some initial confusion, but consider four similar examples:
1. I remember the time when I was eight.
2. I remember when I was eight.
3. When I was eight, we went to Delaware.
4. I was eight, and we went to Delaware.
In all four examples, there are two S/V/C patterns. In the first example, "time" is the direct object of "remember." The "when" clause modifies (chunks to) "time," so it functions as an adjective. In the second example, the "when" clause functions as the direct object of "remember." Thus it is a noun clause that functions as a direct object. In the third example, the "When" is a subordinate conjunction, thereby making the first clause subordinate, but the clause functions as an adverb, telling when they "went." In the fourth example, the two clauses are joined by "and," a coordinating conjunction. Thus they are two main clauses. Note that in the first three examples, the entire sentence is one main clause because the subordinate clauses chunk to the main S/V/C pattern. (That definition of a clause is very important.)
     Simply put, the type of a clause (main, noun, adjective, adverb) depends on how it functions in the sentence. Since students who have been working within the KISS Approach can already understand most of these functions, they can figure out the clauses by using what they have already learned. Remember, however, that students are still expected to make mistakes -- and should be told that they are expected to make mistakes. There are subordinate clauses that function as delayed subjects, as appositives, or as parts of noun absolutes, constructions that students have not yet been introduced to. They are relatively rare, but in working with real texts, students will run into them.

Section 9. Practice/Application [See the explanation in the introduction.]

Section 10. Subordinate Clauses as Direct Objects

     This is a logical extension of Section 8, the introduction of compound main clauses.  The teaching of subordinate clauses is discussed in the preface to that section, so here we need only be concerned with a couple of pedagogical choices that you need to consider.
     Obviously, the exercises in this section all focus on noun clauses that function as direct objects. But because verbals are not introduced until Section 17, the sentences in these exercises do not reflect the sentences in real texts. Most, if not all, verbals have been avoided or eliminated from these sentences. If you are having students analyze randomly selected texts before they do Section 17, this may cause some problems. Thus you may want to look at Section 17 before you do so. 
     Second, although the focus of this section is subordinate clauses that function as direct objects, one page of general instructional material on all types of subordinate clauses is also included in this section. You can use this briefly as general background information for students, or you can use it as primary instructional material, especially if you are having students analyze sentences from other sources, samples in which they will, for example, find adverbial clauses.
    Finally, I would strongly suggest that teaching the KISS analytical method is not a choice, but a requirement. At this point, it may not seem very important, but students should find all the prepositional phrases in a sentence first, then all the S/V/C patterns, and only then should they look for clauses. Note, for example, what happens when they get to verbals. In a sentence such as "They asked Bill to play baseball." Since "to play" is not a finite verb, it will not be underlined twice. Thus, when students next look for clauses, there will be only one pattern in this sentence. They put a vertical line at the end, and they are done. If they have not first identified the S / (finite) verb / complement patterns, may students will be tempted to mark "Bill to play baseball" as a subordinate clause.

Section 11. The "To" Problem

     Little words cause the biggest problems. If we wish to enable students to discuss real texts, students need to distinguish "to" as a preposition from "to" as the sign of an infinitive. (Note that the instructional material tells students that they are not expected to remember the term "infinitive." All they need to learn at this point is that if whatever answers the question "What?" after "to" is a noun or pronoun, they are dealing with a prepositional phrase and should put parentheses around it. If whatever answers the question is a verb, they should not. 

Section 12. Phrasal Verbs

     In sentences such as "They were looking at the boy in the boat," some grammarians claim that "at" is part of the verb, whereas others claim that it is a preposition. The KISS principle of alternative explanations allows students to use either explanation in such cases, but students will be confused without some focused practice on how to handle these "prepositions" that may not be prepositions. KISS encourages students to start their analysis of a sentence by marking the prepositional phrases. Without some such practice, given a sentence such as "Put on your thinking cap," many students will thoughtlessly mark "on your thinking cap" as a prepositional phrase. (Note that in cases like "put on," students can explain "put on" as the verb, or they can consider "on" to be an adverb.)
     Grammarians have a variety of other names for the construction involved here, but their explanations reflect the fact that they have given little thought to teaching young students how to handle them. Thus many teachers and grammarians define "phrasal verbs" as verbs plus "prepositions" that can be replaced by a single word. In the case of "put on," in the sentence above, they note that it means "don." But how many third or fourth graders have "don" in their vocabulary?
     Remember that the objective here is not in learning a name ("phrasal verbs"), but rather that the students pay attention to the meaning and do not mark as prepositional phrases words that are not.

Section 13. Practice/Application [See the explanation in the introduction.]

Section 14. Preposition (or Subordinate Conjunction)?

     Most grammar textbooks give students sanitized, simplistic sentences for exercises. Thus in an exercise on prepositional phrases (if they ever get to prepositional phrases), these textbooks will not include in an exercise a sentence in which "after" is used as a subordinate conjunction. Similarly, in an exercise on subordinate clauses, they will not use "after" as a preposition. In learning to deal with real texts, however, students need to learn to make the distinction. At this level, students need simply learn that if whatever answers the question "What?" after a "preposition" is a sentence, then the construction is not a prepositional phrase. You can tell them that it is a subordinate clause, and that they will learn more about subordinate clauses in fourth grade, but the focus at this point should be on their ability to identify the prepositional phrases. 

Section 15. Embedded Prepositional Phrases

      "Embedding" is a concept, not a construction, but it is an extremely important concept. It simply means that a grammatical construction has been put into the "bed" of another S/V/C pattern. Any modifier can be viewed as embedded. Consider the sentences

They live in a big house. It is brown.
They live in a big brown house.
In the second version, "brown" has been taken from its separate pattern, the "It is" has been deleted, and "brown" has been embedded in the first sentence. Similarly, a subordinate clause that functions as the direct object in another clause is embedded in that clause. We do not usually talk about embedding in these simple sentences, but English sentence structure is actually based on a very limited number of constructions. The complexity of our sentences results from the embedding of one construction within another. Although it is not essential to teach the concept of embedding to third graders, it will help them understand how all the words in a "sentence" chunk to the main S/V/C pattern. For example, in the sentence
MR. JEREMY bounced up{to the surface} {of the water},
{like a cork and the bubbles} {out of a soda water bottle}.
the concept of embedding lets students see that "out of a soda water bottle" modifies "cork" and "bubbles" and is thus embedded in the "like" phrase. The "like" phrase then connects to "bounced" as an adverb. Similarly, "of the water" modifies "surface," so it is embedded in the "to the surface" phrase which modifies "bounced." [Note that in the analysis keys, embedded phrases, and the phrases they are embedded in, are denoted by underlining.]

Section 16. Pronouns

     Perhaps the first thing we should consider here is the relative importance, for students, of studying pronouns. In working with college students in composition courses, the only thing I have time to discuss is "person" -- first, second, and third. I had not even been doing that -- but students reported that they were having problems in other courses. Instructors told them not to use first person in their papers; they did not know what "first person" means; and they were getting lower grades (or having to rewrite papers) as a result.
     Some aspects of "case" are very simple, but the question can become very complex. As Paul Roberts noted,

     Grammarians disagree about the number of cases in Modern English. Some writers name two (common case and genitive case); some three (nominative, genitive, and objective ...); some four (nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative). Some name more than four. This disagreement is more than a superficial dispute about terminology. It reflects a deep cleavage between two main schools of grammatical thought -- between those who put most emphasis on form and those who put most emphasis on function. This cleavage shows itself throughout the grammar, but it is especially manifest in the treatment of case. (Understanding Grammar. N.Y. Harper & Row, 1954, 39.)
The grammarians' disagreements leave us with the practical questions of what students really need to know about pronouns and how we should help them learn it. First, second, and third person is not that difficult to understand, and (in addition to instructions not to use first person) it can help students learn to avoid shifts from one person to another without reason. "Number" is important, among other reasons, to help students avoid subject/verb agreement problems. Likewise, "case" can help students understand why some things are considered errors, as in "Bill and me had a good time."
     But with so much else to be covered in third grade, it was tempting to leave pronouns until fourth. I decided to include them, however, primarily for those of you who intend to go beyond the basics in discussing verbals. From that perspective, your primary focus should be on case. As you will see, the subjects of gerunds are in possessive case Tom's playing surprised us. Thus, in His playing surprised us, "his" can be considered a possessive pronoun. The subjects of infinitives are in the objective case They let him win. Even if, in working with verbals, your objective is simply to have students distinguish them from finite verbs, recognition of case can make the objective easier to teach. Clearly "him win" is not a sentence. And, in a few cases, knowledge of pronouns can be very helpful, since they can be substituted for nouns. In a sentence such as "They let the Murphys play," "The Murphys play" would, for many students, pass the sentence test for verbals. But if we substitute a pronoun, we get "They let them play."

Section 17. Finite Verbs and Verbals (Optional)

     The primary KISS objective is to enable students to analyze and discuss the structure of any sentence that they read or write. To reach that objective with third graders, we need to enable the students to distinguish finite verbs from verbals. To understand why a basic ability to recognize verbals is necessary, we need to look at what the students have learned thus far. Most importantly, they have studied the concept of clauses, including compound main clauses and subordinate clauses that function as direct objects. They have been taught that a clause is a subject / verb / complement pattern and all the words that chunk to the words in the pattern. The exercises they were given, however, were carefully chosen to avoid verbals.
     A verbal is simply a verb that functions as a noun, adjective or adverb. In sentences, any verb is either "finite" (the verbs that we underline twice)  or a "verbal." There are no other options. There are three types of verbals gerunds, gerundives, and infinitives. A gerund is a participial form of a verb that functions as a noun:

Swimming is good exercise.
Barb likes playing baseball.
They were thinking about going to New York.
A gerundive is a participial form of a verb that functions as an adjective:
Running down the street, Sal was almost hit by a car.
We watched the children swimming in the pool.
She found a book written by Shakespeare.
An infinitive is the form of a verb that is normally found in the dictionary. In sentences, however, infinitives are often, but not always, preceded by "to." Infinitives can function in any way that a noun, adjective, or adverb can:
To write a poem is not easy. [Noun, Subject]
They love to go to the movies. [Noun, Direct Object]
The time to speak up is now. [Adjective to "time]
Jenny went to the store to buy some candy. [Adverb to "went"]
     In analyzing randomly selected texts, and in analyzing their own or their peers' writing (See Sections 19 and 20.), students will run into sentences that include verbals, sentences such as "We watched the children swimming in the pool." Unless they have been given at least a basic introduction to verbals, most students will underline "swimming" as a finite verb. The result will be serious frustration on their part, and such frustration we really want to avoid. To do so, give the students the basic introduction in this section, and then tell the students that you expect them to make mistakes. Note that although many third graders use verbals in their writing, they use relatively few of them. If, on the other hand, you have them analyze passages from stories, they may run into a fairly large number of verbals, and the sheer number may confuse them.
     You may or may not want to teach third graders the three types of verbals; you may want to just call them all "verbals." In third, fourth, and perhaps even fifth grade, the focus should be on helping students distinguish when they should underline a verb twice, and when they should not. In essence, students need to learn that in a sentence such as "We watched the children swimming in the pool," "swimming" is a verb, but it should not be underlined. This is very important because, as noted above, if they do not learn it, they will have major problems in identifying clauses in real texts.
    The differences among, and details about, verbals are the focus of KISS Level Four. Originally, KISS Level Four was intended for eighth graders! Before students get to that level, teachers have two options. The minimal objective is simply to teach students not to underline these verbs twice. Beyond that, third graders can simply ignore the verbals. The more ambitious objective is to teach students to recognize the functions of verbals and their complements. Verbals have the same types of complements as do finite verbs, and like verbs, they are modified by adverbs. Thus if students are taught to identify verbals (as verbals) and their complements and functions, they will significantly increase the number of words that they can explain in sentences. Consider, for example, the following sentence, which is common in the reading and writing of third graders:
Jenny went to the store to buy some candy.
Adding verbals enables the third grader to explain every word in this sentence "candy" is the direct object of "to buy," and "to buy" is a verbal that functions as an adverb to "went."
     Although this has already been said, the types and functions of verbals are an extremely ambitious objective for third grade. The exercises in this section are organized according to the types and functions of verbals (gerunds, gerundives, infinitives) primarily to be sure that students can be exposed to each type and function so that they can more easily learn not to underline them twice. If you are working with the students' own writing, or with randomly selected texts, you are almost certain to find examples that will raise questions. As noted elsewhere in these materials, most grammar books do not deal with real texts, and thus there are no "guidelines" for explaining some examples. Consider, for example, the sentence
The teacher was at the door laughing.
Some grammarians will probably consider "laughing" as part of the finite verb phrase ("was laughing") whereas other grammarians will consider it a "participle." (Most grammarians do not accept the KISS term "gerundive," but that raises a question that is addressed in the instructional materials for KISS Level Four.) Again, the point here is that if you intend to have students analyze their own writing (or other randomly selected texts), you should introduce the students to verbals, give them the basic instructional materials for distinguishing finite verbs from verbals, expect the students to make mistakes, and tell the students that they are expected to have some problems in distinguishing finite verbs from verbals.

Section 18. Practice/Application [See the explanation in the introduction.]

Section 19. Analyzing the Writing of Third Graders

     Many educators have attempted to push students into writing longer (or shorter) sentences. But because the students have not been taught how to analyze sentences in the first place, these attempts have been either unsuccessful or even harmful. Students who already write long sentences feed on exercises designed to make students write longer sentences and they end up writing sentences that may be too long. On the other hand, students who cannot control short sentences attempt to write longer sentences and end up with more errors. One objective of the KISS Approach is to have students study the writing of their peers so that they can judge for themselves whether their sentences are too short, too long, or just right. In upper grades, this section turns into statistical studies of main clause length, frequency of subordination, etc., but even third graders can study the average sentence length of their peers by making simple graphs. Doing so gives the students a frame of reference. Thus, for example, if they are already writing long sentences, they do not need to try to make them even longer. (Note that KISS includes examples of sentence combining and of sentence de-combining exercises for those students who are at the extremes.
     The exercises in this section are all based on five samples of students' writing taken from state assessment documents. The samples reflect an interesting range of writing ability. Students can first edit (and discuss) the first sample for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Then they can analyze, graph, and discuss its sentence structure. They can also discuss its organization and details, and how well it fits the writing assignment. Repeat the procedure with the next four samples, and conclude with a general comparison of the five samples.
     The purposes and methods of statistical analysis can become very complicated, so, as we look as the first such exercises in the KISS curriculum, a few words of explanation may be helpful. In the 1980's studies by Kellogg Hunt, Roy O'Donnell, and Walter Loban all demonstrated that words per main clause is the best fundamental yardstick of syntactic maturity. (Words per main clause is calculated simply by counting the number of words in a selection and dividing by the number of main clauses in it.) The studies also demonstrated that words per sentence is not a valid measure because many third and fourth graders are still creating very long sentences by stringing together (compounding) short simple main clauses into one sentence. (See the fourth line of graphs -- for "My Friend" below.) 
     As a primary measure of syntactic maturity, words per main clause is also justified by our psycholinguistic model. According to that model, we chunk words into phrases and phrases into sentences in short-term memory, and then clear short-term memory at the end of a main clause. In this sense, syntactic maturity is measurable by the number of words that a person can, on average, chunk (juggle) in a main clause. There are numerous questions involved here, many of which I hope to address in KISS suggestions for writing assignments. Here, however, we are interested in what the graphs might mean to third graders and in how third graders can be taught how to make graphs of words per main clause.
     The five samples from Arizona are particularly interesting because unlike many states, Arizona evaluates each sample for each of the relevant criteria. Thus these samples were evaluated on a scale of 6 to 1 for each of six categories: "I & C" = "Ideas and Content"; "Org" = "Organization"; "V" = "Voice"; "W C" = "Word Choice"; "S F" = "Sentence Fluency; "C" = "Conventions." Many states include more samples, but use each sample as an example of one criterion. Arizona's method, on the other hand, lets us see correlations among categories. I have included the scoring (below) because it shows that the students who did best in "sentence fluency" and "conventions" (grammar), also did best in ideas, content, organization, etc. There are some students who can write grammatically correct papers that are empty of ideas, and there are students who have good ideas but who lack control of grammar. I would argue, however, and these samples support my view, that instruction in grammar can improve students' writing. For one thing, students who have control of grammatical conventions do not need to worry about grammar and spelling as they are writing.
     Having analyzed the five papers, and having made graphs for them, most third graders could probably see this for themselves. The graphs are in the order of best writing to worst. Note that they reflect not only that the students who earned higher scores used more words per main clause, but also that there is a greater variety in the length of those clauses. Note also that the writer of the first sample used no compounded main clauses (See above.), the writer of the fourth sample used five, and the sample five is filled with sentence fragments.

Click on a graph for a larger image.

Words / Sentence Words /  Main Clause Words / Main Clause
# 1 "My Porcelain Doll" I & C = 4 Org = 4 V =  4 WC = 4 SF = 4 C = 3
# 2 "My Kitten" I & C = 4 Org = 3 V = 4 WC = 4 SF = 4 C = 4
# 3 "Gorilla Alien" I & C = 3 Org = 2 V = 3 WC = 2 SF = 2 C = 2
# 4 "My Friend" I & C = 2 Org = 1 V = 2 WC = 2 SF = 2 C = 2
# 5 "Toy" I & C = 1 Org = 1 V = 2 WC = 2 SF = 1 C = 1
      I do need to note here that when I wrote to the Arizona Department of Education to ask for permission to use these samples here, I received affirmative replies from two people, one of whom asked me to state that 
The Student Guides are on the Web. Therefore, you may reference them in your project. I would request, however, that you credit the Arizona Department of Education when you refer to the items and that you indicate that permission to use the items does not indicate an endorsement of the KISS Approach by the Arizona Department of Education. 
I thank the Arizona DoE not only for the permission, but also for doing such a fine job of presenting samples of students' writing.

     The directions in the exercises for making graphs are:

     Make a graph of the number of words in each of the first twenty main clauses. Use one row for each main clause and color in one cell for each word. If a main clause is the second or later in a compound sentence, put a "C" in the yellow cell for that row. If the sentence is a fragment (an incomplete sentence), put an "F" in the yellow cell. [Click here for the graph paper.]
You can, of course, use different types of graphs, or change the directions in any number of ways. The graphs in the third column are an example. They are identical to those in the second column except that colors have been used to denote the functions of words:
light blue = adverbs
blue = finite verbs
light green = adjectives
green = subjects
brown = complements
pink = words in prepositional phrases
red = conjunctions
purple = Nouns Used as Adverbs, Interjections, or Direct Address
gray = words that the students are not expected to be able to explain
diagonal green/blue cells = contractions, such as "I'll"
The color codes emphasize how much of the text students can already explain. You may find, however, that they also help students note the differences in the grammatical structures that students use -- or do not use. One rather obvious difference, for example, is that the first two samples (the better writing) includes strings of (pink) words in prepositional phrases, probably two or more phrases in a row, and such strings are not obvious in the last three samples. On the other hand, not a single main clause in these samples begins with a (pink) prepositional phrase. If you comment on things like this, you may be surprised at how quickly many students will pick up on and apply them.
     Ultimately, of course, the object of this section is to provide a context for the students' analysis of their own writing.

Section 20. Analyzing My Own Writing

     This section addresses the primary focus of KISS Grammar. Students can write a response to the assessment question(s). (See section 19.) Or they can be given any other writing assignment. Then they can analyze their own writing in the same way that they did the samples of their peers. Students should do this type of analysis at least once a year, and it would be nice if a portfolio of their work could be kept so that they can see for themselves how their sentences become longer and more complex. Keep in mind, however, that a single sample gives an idea of what a student can do, but it may not be an accurate reflection of the student's competence. The topic, the student's emotional state, the time of day at which the sample is written -- all of these may result in an abnormal performance.
Assessment Quizzes for Third Grade

     The basic logic of assessment quizzes is explained in the second grade book. Thus here we need simply note that these quizzes provide formal vehicles for assessing  what students should be able to do (in an ideal curriculum design) at the end of third grade. The quizzes consist of selected sentences that should, as a whole, include 

1. ) one predicate adjective, one predicate noun, one indirect, and one direct object,
2.)  one understood "you," 
3.) one noun used as an adverb, one interjection, and one instance of Direct Address, 
4.) one compound (subject, verb, complement, or object of a preposition),
5.) one "There " used as a subject/expletive,
6.) one compound main clause,
7.) one subordinate clause used as a direct object,
8.) one "to" used as a preposition and one used as the sign of an infinitive,
9.) one embedded prepositional phrase, and
10.) one verbal (that students should not underline twice).
Suggested Scoring

     The assessment quizzes for grade two were designed to total precisely 100 points, but such precision becomes difficult in grade three because of alternative explanation such as "there" as an expletive. There is also the question of subtracting points for, for example, vertical lines where they do not belong. Thus these quizzes are made by trying to find (and adapting) sentences such that if everything were marked correctly using the following scoring, the point total would be approximately 100. You will probably find that students will score either very well or very poorly, and that is the purpose of these assessments.

Subjects & Finite Verbs
Subtract two points for every word that is not underlined and should be, and two for every word that is underlined and should not be.
1. Subtract two points for every complement that is not identified at all.
2. Subtract one point for every complement that is incorrectly labeled and one for any word that is identified as a complement when it is not one.
Main Clauses
Subtract one point for each missing (or incorrectly placed) vertical line.
Subordinate Clauses as Direct Objects
1. Subtract one point for each missing (or incorrectly placed) bracket.
2. Subtract one point for mislabeled ("DO") clause.
Specified Words
Subtract one point for each incorrect explanation. (You can have students draw arrows and labels instead of giving the explanations for specified words, but in upper grade levels this will become messy as sentences grow longer.)