Sentence-Shapes Grammar

Many students, after completing substantial Cognitive Training, are finally able to keep up—even excel in the classroom, but some have missed years of instruction before their learning difficulties were addressed and resolved. For such students, the McNatt Learning Center, Inc., provides combinational grammar and generative rhetoric instruction using LinguiSystems' No-Glamour® Sentence Structure by Monica Gustafson and the ARK Institue for Learning's Sentence Shapes. No-Glamour® Sentence Structure uses cartoons to teach the following sentence structures:

  1. Noun + Verb
    "The boy is running."
  2. Adjective + Noun + Verb
    "The tall boy is jumping."
  3. Noun + Verb + Direct Object
    "The boy is reading a newspaper."
  4. Noun + Passive Verb + Prepositional Phrase
    "The dog is walked by the boy."
  5. Noun + Verb + Indirect Object + Direct Object
    "The boy is giving the dog a bone."
  6. Compound Subject + Verb
    "The boy and the girl are smiling."
  7. Noun + Compound Verb
    "The girl is singing and dancing."
  8. Noun + Verb + Adverb
    "The bus stopped slowly."
  9. Noun + Verb + Direct Object + Indirect Object
    "The man is selling a car to the woman."
  10. Noun + Prepositional Phrase + Verb
    "The boy in the bed is sick."
  11. Noun + Verb + Adjective + Direct Object
    "The boy is watching the buzzing bee."
  12. Noun + Verb + Infinitive/Infinitive Phrase
    "The boy is going to dive."
  13. Noun + Adjective Clause + Verb/(Verb + Direct Object)
    "The girl who skinned her knee is crying."
  14. Noun + Verb + Adjective + Adverbial Clause
    "The girl is crying because she lost her balloon."
  15. Noun + Negative Verb Phrase
    "The girl is not wearing a hat."

As students place a Sentence Shape for every word in the sentences they create from the cartoons in No-Glamour® Sentence Structure, trainers in the McNatt Learning Center use questions to teach students parts of speech—and how to make their writing drammatically stronger.

Our lessons are based, loosely, on those found in Joseph Williams' Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace and Max Morenberg's Doing Grammar. At every step, we emphasize the pros and cons of one manner of expression over another—and thereby empower students with an understanding of English sufficient to quell that age-old question about grammar: Why should I care?