I love all the English memory work our children do with Classical Conversations. In fact, it does so much with them that in these young years, I often like to pair the memory work with some fun, enjoyable, and casual grammar books that we love from the library.
Over the next weeks of memory work, we’ll be reading lots of Brian P. Cleary’s Words are CATegorical books to coincide with the memory work definitions. I thought I’d share which books we will be using and how I will read the books with my kids. Now, my children actually LOVE these books and enjoy reading them for fun, but I want to use them over the next few months for some extra focused grammar instruction to match up with our memory work.
Maybe some of you are much better at teaching English grammar than me and can do this in your sleep, but for anyone who’s still learning, this is how I’m going to use the books.
- Dearly, Nearly, Insincerely: What Is An Adverb? and Lazily, Crazily, Just a Bit Nasally: More about Adverbs
- The definition of adverb given at the beginning of the books is only has 5 questions, not 8 like CC’s memory work.
- For my little guys, we’ll just read the books, laugh over the funny pictures, and see how many adverbs they can find.
- For my big kids, we will actually start with Lazily, Crazily, Just a Bit Nasally. If you look inside the front cover, this book has a color-coded system for which question an adverb answers. We’ll go through the book together and see if we can figure out why each “how” word was labeled that way, and so on. If you only get ONE of the adverb books from the library, this would be my recommendation.
- Then, we’ll go back to Dearly, Nearly, Insincerely and see how well we can figure out which question is answered with each adverb. Hopefully, with success.
- To Root, to Toot, to Parachute: What Is a Verb? and Slide and Slurp, Scratch and Burp: More about Verbs
- In To Root, to Toot, to Parachute, the book’s verb definition is a little simpler than CC’s, but they don’t leave out “state of being” verbs. There are 2 pages that talk about forms of “to be” and another 2 pages that use have or has.
- With my little non-reading guys, I will encourage them to guess the verbs from the pictures or make up our own as well as reading the text of the book.
- I love all the different verb tenses used in the book. For my big kids, I will try to point them out as we read (and see if we remember any irregular verb tenses from cycle 3).
- My copy of Slide and Slurp, Scratch, and Burp is still on hold at the library so I’ll add more to this post if that book has something better or different in it.
- A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun? and A Lime, a Mime, a Pool of Slime: More About Nouns
- A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink talks just about nouns that are a person, place, animal, or thing. It does bring in the concept of proper nouns. I think this is a good introduction to nouns for my little guys.
- A Lime, a Mime, a Pool of Slime also brings up proper nouns, but it also includes abstract nouns and gives a great little explanations of them. We’ll have fun coming up with other nouns that week. I am actually thinking of us trying to make a master “noun” list of a day (or maybe just an hour) that we run across to see what types come up.
- But and For, Yet and Nor: What Is a Conjunction?
- I’m partial to this book because it was the first Brian P Cleary book we ever got from the library (and in case you haven’t noticed, we love these books: my kids will read them over and over again for fun).
- The book uses all the conjunctions that we memorize for CC along with lots of other ones.
- For the little guys, I hope to help them find all the conjuctions we have memorized as we read.
- For the big kids, I hope to look at all the different ways conjunctions are used: connecting words, phrases or clauses. I’m hoping they can help me decide which is which.
- Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What Is an Adjective? and Quirky, Jerky, Extra Perky: More About Adjectives
- The books don’t talk about the questions adjectives answer (from the CC memory work), but I plan on working through the books with my big 2 looking for some of the answers to those questions. At this age, I want my kids to love learning so I’ll only do some of the words – not every single one – unless we are having too much fun with it.
- Cool! Whoa! Ah and Oh!: What Is an Interjection?
- This book shows how interjections can be used as different parts of speech and has a bunch of fun interjections in it.
- We’ll enjoy curling up with this book and just talking about ways we use interjections in every-day life.
- NOTE: This book uses the phrase “Oh my gosh” – not a phrase we let our children use. I’ll use this book as a chance to talk about how, even though words might be used by others to show strong emotion, it doesn’t mean we have to use those words as well.
Sadly, Brian P. Cleary hasn’t written any books with gerunds or appositives in them, but there still are a ton to go with this second half of Cycle 2. If you missed my post about his book on pronouns, you can find it here.