Often I put one sentence on the board and ask students “What do you notice about this sentence?” Any answer about the structure is acceptable. Eventually one of the students will notice the particular grammar lesson I am trying to introduce. Very often it is also a review of other grammar structures.
Today I showed the following sentence from the Appositive power point (screen 2)
The lord’s chief steward, a man named Shozo, tried to discourage his master.
- Katherine Paterson, The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks (1980)
Student responses included: a demonstrative sentence, begins with a capital letter, ends with a period, lord’s is possessive, tried is past tense, it is from a book, written in 1980, etc
With each response we talk about the rule that coincides.
When a student finally mentions the use of commas, they were not sure why. This was my cue to begin to instruct about appositives.
Referring to Screen 3, I explain appositives. On Screen 4, I ask students to notice again (the same routine as before).
Using the same sentence that students just noticed, they began to practice writing appositives modeling it after this sentence. (Screen 5)
Catherine the Great, my Russian grandma, is already awake.
Dave Braswell, my New York grandpa, is swimming.
Students share; when reading their sentence aloud, they read the commas.
Using screen 6 as examples, we notice the various ways to punctuate a sentence using appositives.
Using screen 7, students combined the simple sentences while incorporating an appositive. I displayed the sentences and gave them about a minute to write down their new sentence; then we shared as a whole class.