This week in Language Arts, we continued learning about independent clauses and phrases. An independent clause MUST contain a subject, verb, and complete thought. We learned about how a simple sentence can have added phrases if it only has one independent clause. We also learned that a phrase cannot stand alone as a sentence. We showed our understanding by looking at several sentences, circling the phrases, and putting the independent clause in brackets. For example, if you write, When I went to the store, I saw John. It would look like this (Parenthesis will be used as a circle for this example):
(When I went to the store), [I saw John]
I saw John is the independent clause, as it can stand alone. When I went to the store is a phrase, so it can’t stand alone.
This week, we also continued our new book The Night of the Burning by Linda Press Wulf. In our book, the main character, Devorah, and her younger sister, Nechama, are in Warsaw as part of a group of 200 children being saved by Mr. Isaac Ochberg. Devorah grows to love the owner of a local restaurant, Madame Engel. She help Madame Engel around the kitchen. We also learned during a flashback that when her Uncle Pinchas returned from the war, he was so overwhelmed by the effects of German gases that he died after six days. Within a few months after Pinchas died, Devorah’s father died of stomach swelling. When we return to 1921, the children are getting ready to leave Warsaw. As Madame Engel hands out food, she hugs Devorah. As the boat pulls away, Devorah turns around and screams “Mama!” because she was the closest thing to her mother that she had.
This week we have been reading The Outsiders. We are on chapter four. The Outsiders is about a Greaser named Ponyboy. It takes place in the sixties and is very interesting! On Monday studied for our quiz Tuesday. We did review questions on the Outsiders on Monday, as well. On Tuesday, we took our quiz. Wednesday, we went over our homework and every day we read some of our novel except for Thursday.
Thursday, we had a middle school field trip to MOSH to see the Roman exhibit, we went to Sally Robotics, and we did S.T.E.A.M. activities at the downtown public library.
We have been working on semicolons and colons. Semicolons have three uses.
1. They connect two independent clauses. Here’s an example: Dave writes the books; Joe publishes them.
2. The second rule says semicolons connect to independent clauses using a conjunctive adverb. Here’s an example: Joe has a lot of homework; however, Dave did his homework in advance so he has no work to do.
3. The last use of a semicolon is to connect items in a list with comas. Here’s an example: Joe has lived in Boise, Idaho; Jacksonville, Florida; and Detroit, Michigan.
Colons also have three uses.
1. The first rule introduces a list. Here’s an example: He will need the following items for his sleepover: a tooth brush, toothpaste, a change of clothes, a book, and a phone.
2. The second rule is a colon goes in between two clauses when the second clause introduces an explanation. Here’s an example: I know why you are so moody: you didn’t go to sleep last night.
3. The last rule for colons is: a colon introduces a quote. Here’s an example: The students shouted: “No more homework.”
This week in language arts we reviewed about when to use a colon or a semicolon. The rules of a semicolon are: join two independent clauses that are connected and joins two or more items in a series when commas are used. The rules of a colon are: introduce a list and quotations.
Colon example. John brought the following items on the camping trip: a flashlight, pillow, sleeping bag, a football, and food.
Semicolon example. There are two choices at this time; you can run away or fight.
This week we started reading a book called To Kill a Mockingbird. This book takes place during the Great Depression. When we read this book, the first chapter wasn’t that good, but the other chapters have been great. To Kill a Mockingbird has intense vocabulary which challenges us on our reading level. For our homework, we have to write context sentences using the vocabulary words that are used in the book. Every couple of weeks we have a test on those vocabulary words. We have a lot of work to do in language arts. I like that we have a lot of work because next year we are going to high school, and we need to be prepared.