Thursday, April 7, 2011

December 1976: Sentence Fragment Solution

Question: How can teachers help students learn how to correct sentence  fragments?

Answer: Building on the short, oral answers to questions in the real world. Examples:

How was he running? Awkwardly.
Awkwardly, he was running down the street.

Where does the city expect to build the new stadium? In Rowlett Park.
In Rowlett Park, the new stadium is to be built.

When are you going to build the log cabin? Whenever we get permission from the YMCA.
Whenever we get permission from the YMCA, we’re going to build the log cabin.

What got Joe into trouble? Trying to get the teacher’s attention.
Trying to get the teacher’s attention, Joe kept waving his hands and blurting out answers.

What did Joe get for being noisy? Sent to the office.
Sent to the office, Joe dallied along the way.

What got Joe into trouble? Making too much noise.
Making too much noise got Joe into trouble.

What do you want out of life? What everyone wants.
What everyone wants out of life is health, wealth, and creativity.

Comment: I like this idea. It will also reinforce understanding the nature of a sentence fragment. William W. West, the author of this article, was one of my teachers in graduate school at Syracuse University. He pioneered in using models, especially student models, in teaching writing. An excellent teacher. RayS.

Title: “Using Questions to Develop Language.” William W. West. English Journal (December 1976), 58-61.

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