Part 1: Grammar
Section One: Sentences
1.2 Statements and Questions
1.3 Question Words
1.6 Kinds of Sentences
1.9 Combining Subjects and Predicates
1.10 Combining Sentences
1.11 Run-on Sentences
Asentenceis a group of words that expresses a complete thought.
Every sentence has a subject and a predicate. The subject names a person, a place, or a thing. The predicate tells what the subject is or does. It expresses an action or a state of being.
The pretzels were hard and salty.
Sue ate two pretzels.
My friends and I liked the pretzels.
The bag of pretzels is now empty.
To find the subject, ask yourselfwho or what is doing something or being some way?To find the predicate, askwhat is the subject doing or how is the subject being?To find a sentence, make sure there is a subject and a predicate.
Which of these word groups are sentences?
A. The tall apple trees
B. The apple tastes good
C. My sister picked apples
D. Were left in the bowl
You are right if you said that B and C are sentences. Each one expresses a complete thought. Each has a subject and a predicate.
A and D are not sentences. They do not express complete thoughts. A doesn’t have a predicate. D doesn’t have a subject.
EXERCISE 1:Tell which of these word groups are sentences. Tell which are not sentences.
EXERCISE 2:Match each group of words in Column A with a group of words in Column B to make a sentence.
1. At the circus, clowns
2. Eight brown horses
3. Several acrobats
4. A baby elephant
a. galloped around the ring.
b. wore funny costumes.
c. raised its trunk.
d. walked on their hands.
EXERCISE 3:These groups of words are not sentences. Add subjects or predicates to make them sentences.
Apply It Now
Imagine you are at the zoo. Choose three of these topics. Write a sentence about each.
Part 2: Written and Oral Communication
Water Buffalo Days
Growing Up in Vietnam
by Huynh Quang Nhuong
I was born in the central highlands of Vietnam in a small hamlet on a riverbank that had a deep jungle on one side and a chain of high mountains on the other. . . . Like all farmers’ children in the hamlet, I started working at the age of six. I helped look after the family herd of water buffaloes. Someone always had to be with the herd, because no matter how carefully water buffaloes were trained, they were always ready to nibble young rice plants when no one was looking.
InWater Buffalo Days, a man recounts his childhood in Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia. Water Buffalo Days has many characteristics of a personal narrative. It is a true story, told from the writer’s point of view, and it tells about events in the order they happen.
Bad, Bad Mud
by Charlotte Eaton
I come to you today with some good advice: DON’T WALK IN MUD! It all started when Melissa and I were walking outside, with umbrellas, rainboots, rain jackets, and no fear of the rain. We were set for anything. At least that’s what we thought.
Then Melissa asked, “Can we go into the cow pasture?” “Sure,” I said. We ran to the edge of the barn and came to a halt. There before us was a pasture full of mud. Melissa said, “What are you stopping for?” I said, “MUD!” She said, “Look, just follow me. You won’t get stuck. I promise.” Before I could say yes or no, she was off. My heart was pounding. A little voice in my head kept saying, “Don’t do it” over and over again.
Melissa was going deeper and deeper into the cow pasture. She wasn’t sinking, so why would I? It’s just a bunch of dirt, I said to myself. So I took one step, then another, and there I was in the middle of the pasture, actually, standing there in mud. “Melissa,” I said. “This isn’t so bad.”
Wait, what am I feeling? Thick, cold, gooey, watery, mud. I was sinking as fast as a lightbulb burns out. I felt like someone was pushing and pulling me under. My fear was coming true! I started yelling for help.
Melissa heard me and came running over to see what my problem was. I told Melissa, “The ground is sucking me under!” “Quick, pull me out!” She tugged and tugged at my boots, but the mud was winning. We both started screaming for help.
Finally, my sister Jennie and my cousin Natasha came to the rescue. They grabbed ahold of me and all pulled. Out I popped, but my boots remained. I stepped on my umbrella and then pulled my boots out. My feet were now black and freezing. I put my boots back on and made a mad dash, barely touching the ground, and I was out of the gate. I said, “Melissa, score one for mud and I’m out!”
What Makes a Good Personal Narrative?
The story on page 211 is about Melissa and Charlotte’s muddy adventure. Because Charlotte tells this true story about herself, it is a personal narrative. The interesting details of the events, people, and things make this personal narrative fun to read.
A well-written personal narrative has the following things.
What is the topic of a personal narrative? The topic of a personal narrative is you, the writer. A personal narrative might be about something that you did or something that happened to you. It might also tell how you feel about something.
A personal narrative can be about almost anything, but it should be a true story. When you write a personal narrative, you should tell what happened just as you remember it.
Point of View
Personal narratives are always told from the writer’s point of view. Did you notice how Charlotte is always part of the story? Go back and count the number of times you see the word I.
The words I, we, me, us, my, and our signal that you might be reading a personal narrative. When the audience reads these words, they know the story is told from the writer’s point of view.
When you write a personal narrative, tell about the events in the order that they happened. Use time words such as first, next, after that, then, finally, and last to show how one event comes after another.
ACTIVITY A:Read the personal narrative “Bad, Bad Mud” on page 211. Work with a partner to answer the following questions.
ACTIVITY B:Work in groups to draw a comic strip of “Bad, Bad Mud.” The pictures in the comic strip should follow the order of the story. Then write a sentence about what is happening in each picture.
ACTIVITY C:Read this excerpt from a personal narrative. Then answer the questions.
My friends and I thought it would be fun to build a clubhouse. First, we chose a secret spot in the back of my yard. We put boards on the ground under a big, old pine tree. We were sure no one could see us hidden under the branches. But then we were surprised when a little skunk waddled into the clubhouse.
Think about a personal narrative that you would like to write. Then werite a sentence that tell the topic.
Water Buffalo Days
Some of the best times of my life were spent roaming the rice field, riding on the young buffalo’s back. . . . The calf’s time was not yet in demand, so we were free to explore all the nooks and corners of the field or leisurely catch all kinds of living creatures for food or for fun.
Huynh Quang Nhuong
ACTIVITY D:Read the following topics. Which ones are good topics for personal narratives? Why?
ACTIVITY E:Each sentence comes from a personal narrative, but the time words are missing. Complete each sentence with a time word from the word box to show when things happened. More than one answer may be correct.
after before during finally first then today until when while
ACTIVITY F:Complete the personal narrative with the time words from the word box. More than one answer may be correct.
after that finally first next then
An Easy Choice
It was going to be a special day. My parents and I had decided to adopt a cat from a local animal shelter.
At the shelter we told the volunteers that we were looking for a cat. (1)_____, they gave us a form to fill out. (2)______, the volunteers took us to a room with several cats. Some were playing in the center of the room, and some were sleeping on shelves in the wall.
I just stood and looked around. (3)_____, I took a piece of string out of my pocket and begin to twirl it. A little calico cat came up to me. She batted the string with her paw. I knelt down. She kept hitting the string. Slowly I petted the back of her head. She started to purr loudly. (4)______ she rubbed her body against my leg.
(5)_____, I knew that this was the cat for me. Cali (short for calico), has become a member of the family. She is sitting on my lap as I write this.
ACTIVITY G:Here is a personal narrative. The order of the sentences is mixed up. Put the sentences in the correct order.
Tell a personal narrative about a pet or other animal to a partner. Use time words. Be sure you tell the narrative in the correct order. Have your partner write the time words you used.
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