Here is a sort of halftime report:
The first quarter of this "game" got off to a fairly slow start. The students basically were obediently taking notes on the morphology of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. It was mid-adverbs that I decided to jump to syntax and let them start diagramming. From then on the game, let's call it the second quarter, got increasingly exciting. Two students started up a web page, partly because of a request from Abstract Idea. One or two students chose the outlaw route and posted stupid stuff on this forum (I have found myself thinking of Freud's "Civilization and its Discontents"). Meanwhile most students were begging for more diagramming.
At the end of the first "half", I quizzed the students and gave them extra credit if they would create and diagram the most complicated sentence that they could but the complication of which was limited to the parts of sentences I had taught them -- subject, predicate, modifiers, direct objects, nouns of direct address, interjections, and coordination.
I have at no point required any diagramming and have given no homework assignments. They have only been required to keep a complete set of class notes -- which I allowed them to use during the quiz.
During this time about half of the class time was devoted to a chronological survey of the humanities, with no obvious connection to syntax.
The students still do not know about prepositional phrases, indirect objects, subject complements, infinitive or participial phrases, gerunds, subordinate clauses, and others.
As I have time to correct their quizzes, I will post some of their sentences.
Before the "games resume", I want what I have taught them to have a little time to sink in.
One thing that has become abundantly clear is that people can very easily love Reed-Kellogg.
The halftime break will last about one week.
- For Teachers