Friday, April 30, 2010

Llamas, Zombies, Ninja Deer, and Chuck Norris

Today I had my students get into groups of four to compose sentences with complements. First they were to create a sentence with a direct object.

Example: James ate a sandwich.
Then each group was to create a new sentence using that complement as a subject and introducing a new complement, this one a predicate adjective.

Example: The sandwich was delicious.

In the next sentence, because an adjective cannot be the subject of a sentence, the groups used the complement from the last sentence to modify a new subject.

Example: The delicious juice is sweet.

Then the groups were to repeat the pattern with a sentence using a direct object. If they created a sentence such as "The sweet kitten scratched me," the object pronoun (me) becomes a subject (I) and the next sentence could be "I play soccer." They completed several rounds and recorded their sentences on a large piece of paper with markers.

For the most part, students successfully practiced using complements correctly, but as 8th graders often do, created some pretty crazy sentences:

“The happy llama met the sad llama. The happy llama was very dirty. Dirty llamas run the plains. The plains were filled with milk. The milk cleansed the filthy crias (baby llamas).”

“Brock killed the zombies. Zombies are tough. The tough zombies tasted good. The good citizens killed the zombies.”

“The deer ate corn. The corn was salty. The salty corn was delicious. The man hunted the deer. Dead deer taste delicious. The delicious deer tastes good with corn. The man attacked a ninja deer. A ninja deer is extremely dangerous. The dangerous ninja deer jump kicked Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris chin-punched the ninja deer. The ninja deer lost its ninjaness. The ninja deer is dead. Dead ninja deer have been revived to zombie ninja deer.”

And my absolute favorite of the day…

“Little Timmy danced a ballet. The ballet was difficult. Difficult ballets are little Timmy’s favorite. Susan, little Timmy’s mother, cried and covered her eyes in the back of the theater. The eyes were blue and filled with depression. Blue leotards are little Timmy’s favorite to wear on stage. Stage fright cowers at the sight of little Timmy. The children at little Timmy’s school tease him, but he doesn’t care. He refused to follow the narrow-minded rules of society. Susan has never attended a parent-teacher conference. Conferences always lead to uncomfortable situations and questions concerning little Timmy’s clothing choices. Clothing choices are important to little Timmy because he insists on looking fabulous. Important designer shoes are little Timmy’s most prized possessions and fill him with happiness.”

Ah, it’s May….what else can I say?

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