More than anything, really, the Schoolhouse Rock videos served as items to reminisce over than a source of learning for me. My favorite of three was Unpacking Your Adjectives as I thought it was catchier and more insightful than the other two. This series was a wonderful reason way back when, but I think they can still be useful with today’s classrooms and in the future; not only do the songs describe how to use the parts of speech they talk about, they also actively use what they’re teaching in the lyrics of the song so students are getting a lesson and model text all wrapped in one.
The Grammar Girl podcast I chose to listen to was “Punctuating Questions” (http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/punctuating-questions.aspx), and in it Grammar Girl describes the different types of questions one could ask as well as how to properly punctuate them. The biggest things I took from this lesson were information on indirect questions and polite requests. An example of an indirect question would be I wonder if Coral would let me borrow her hairdryer. In the example the speaker isn’t asking a direct questions; and although this isn’t a revelatory, I realized that I use this all the time, especially in emails, when I’d like a professor to check something, but I don’t want to feel like I’m putting them out (did that make sense?) and I always wondered if the instructor would realize that I was asking a question even if it didn’t end with a question mark. And then a polite request, she explains, is only “a demand masquerading as a question” which I thought was a clever way to put it; an example would be Would you hand me those gloves. Sounds simple enough, but you end it with a period and not a question mark. This is interesting as students may not realize that some questions don’t actually end with question marks or carry the same inflections; a fun way to teach them/mess with them would be to go through an entire lesson and only ask indirect questions and see what kind of responses—if any—that you get.
Finally, my preposition poem—Untitled
Hand-in-hand the pretty pair went skipping down the way
From what they learned they could tell the dead from a bale of hay.
The two skipped and skipped to escape their duties of work at home.
Near the pond and beyond the bend, they went and went alone.
So, on they skipped, over the bridge and into the forest deep.
Through the forest they made their play and came upon a sheep.
In hearing its painful cries, the children flinched in shock.
Among all things they did not know why this would leave its flock.
Seeing the red that pooled around and matted the sheep’s fleece,
The children knew its time had come and prayed that it’d find peace.
Wolves were said to live in these woods according to the satyr.
The pair of two didn’t know they’d come for them sooner than later.
With howls, with growls, from shadow and in light,
The wolves bounded out of the woods, signing the children’s plight.
Around the pair they stalked, instead of killing quickly.
The wolves were wary of the two; perhaps of getting sickly.
From where they held the other, a gentle light did glow.
When others would have died, the light kept at bay the foes.
Off the beasts had scattered, not sure of what they’d seen.
The children, two, they would not go into the forest again.
This pair is different from other children that you know.
Between the two of us, I’d be cautious of that peculiar glow.
So back to mother they ran, over river, past bend and pond.
In spite of the dangers they had seen, they formed a pact through song
To never tell mother about the adventure they had gone.
I wasn’t sure if the poem was supposed to be about prepositions, but I decided that would be too taxing on my brain and didn’t do that.