Sunday, April 19, 2015

Parents' Reviews: A Grammar Lesson

Parents' Review, Volume 15, Number 3, pages 228-229. (1904) (This lesson also appears in the Appendix of School Education.)

Subject: Grammar.

Group: English.  Class II.  Time: 20 minutes.

By H.M.A. Bell.


I.  To increase the children's power of reasoning and attention.
II. to increase their knowledge of English Grammar.
III. To introduce a new part of speech--prepositions.


Step I--Draw from the children the names of the two kinds of verbs and the difference between them, by putting up sentences on the board.  Thus in the sentence "Father slept," "slept" is intransitive, therefore he could not "slept" anything, as "slept" cannot have an object.

Step II.--Put on the board the sentence "Mary went," and ask the children to try and make it more complete by adding an object. "Mary went school" would not be sense, but "Mary went to school" would be. Ask for other phrases saying where Mary went, as: for a walk, in the town, with mother, on her bicycle, by train, etc.

Step III.--Tell the children that these little words on, in, by, for, with, etc., belong to a class of little words which are very much used with intransitive verbs, and though they have not much meaning when used alone, yet in a sentence they cannot stand without an object.  You cannot say "Mary went in" without saying what she went in.

Step IV.--Introduce the word "preposition" giving its derivation.  Because these little words always take objects after them and because their place is before the object, they are called prepositions, "pre" being the Latin word for "before," and "position" another word for "place."

Step V.--Write on the board the definition:-- "A preposition always has an object after it."

Step VI.--Let the children work through the following exercises:--

(1.) Put three objects after each of the following prepositions:--in, on, over, by, with and from.

(2.) Put three prepositions and their objects after the following:--Mary plays, Mother sits, John runs.

(3.) Supply three prepositions in each of the following sentences:--The book is ____ the table.  The chair is ____ the door.  I stood ____ the window.

(4.) Supply three subjects and verbs to each of the following prepositions and objects: ______ in the garden, ___ ___ on the floor, and ___ ___ by the fire.

(5.) Make three sentences about each of the following, each sentence to contain an intransitive verb, preposition and object:--The white pony, my little brother, that pretty flower.


  1. What year is it recommended to start teaching grammar as is demonstrated here?

  2. This was a "Class II" or "Form II" lesson plan, so approximately ages 9-11. Upper elementary.