Teacher Lee Briggs on technology in today's classroom. Brought to you by Weekly Reader.

Posts tagged ‘grammar’

Cheeseburger Sentences

There are times when things come together perfectly for a teacher. I had one of those moments the other day, and, like many things I tend to write about, only other teachers seem to understand the kick I get out of it.

Years before I was ever a teacher, or even thinking of teaching, I worked flipping burgers, a job that is often looked down upon. I learned to make a really nice burger and the value of hard work, but other than that, I didn’t know how to apply those skills to my current teaching job.

Until, that is, I had to teach compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.

In the middle of a dry textbook lesson on sentences, I was looking for some sort of analogy that related to our subject and then it hit me: A simple sentence is like a plain burger. It’s an independent clause without any flavor: edible, but boring. Add another patty and some conjunctions/cheese to bind them together and you get a more interesting sentence/burger. Finally, dependent clauses, the condiments of the grammar world, add flavor and meaning to an existing sentence/burger but cannot be spoken/eaten by themselves.

It all came together mid-lesson. With the SMARTboard I was able to make a fantastic manipulative on the fly for my students to use and reference. Nearly every student aced his or her grammar test this week, and we celebrated with—what else—White Castle cheeseburgers.

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