Language: Grammar/Mechanics Skills

Trimester 1

One skill per week; quizzes can be given with vocabulary quizzes; instruction, practice and
feedback to precede quizzes when possible; independent study of skills can include practice
at and in the Writing Handbook

Skill #1 Writing complete sentences and combining sentences

• Definition of independent clause (subject, verb, complete thought)
• Three methods for combining independent clauses
1. Comma and conjunction (fanboys: for and nor but or yet so)
2. Semi-colon (for closely related independent clauses whose
relationship is clear)
3. Semi-colon; conjunctive adverb, comma (chant of the lambs:
consequently, however, also, nevertheless, thus, otherwise,
furthermore, therefore, hence, else, likewise, additionally,
moreover, besides, still)
• Editing for run-ons, comma-splices, and fragments
• No comma after a comma with a compound verb











Skill #2 Writing complex sentences

• Definition of a dependent clause (incomplete thought; common words that
create dependent clauses include when, if, although, since, because)
• Dependent, Independent or D,I rule (When a dependent clause precedes
an independent clause, a comma follows to signal the beginning of the
independent clause)
• Independent Dependent or ID rule (No comma is needed when the
dependent clause follows the independent clause)



















Skill #3 Writing compound/complex sentences
(at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clauses)

• Students can apply rules for compound and complex sentences in
• Examples: I;ID D,I, and I DI; however, I D





















Skill #4 Working quotes into sentences

• Three methods
1. Method 1: speaker tags (said, asked, explained) followed by a comma
2. Method 2: the quote is worked into the natural flow of the sentence
with no speaker tag
3. Method 3: The writer communicates something general about the
quote before a colon and follows with the quote as the specific.

• Knowing when to paraphrase, summarize or quote;
MLA documentation for a single source; rule for long quotes)




















Skill #5 Transitions (within paragraphs)

























Skill #6 Varying sentence beginnings (single word modifiers, phrases, etc.)


























Skill #7 Active voice/passive voice

1. Choosing appropriate phrasing of verbs for tone, meaning, clarity and context;
2. Use ACT practice questions as examples;
3. Science writing for lab reports requires passive voice;
4. Active voice clarifies who is doing what and brings writing to life.





















Skill #8 Parallel structure

Including verb phrases, all kinds of lists, and either / neither nor
and not only/but also.






















Skill #9 Subject/pronoun agreement

Vague pronouns, possessive pronouns, and when to use “you”




















Skill #10 Subject/verb agreement















Trimester 1
Barrons Vocabulary – Weeks 1 – 6

Honors Level (Full week, days 1-4 per calendar week;
quiz on 20 words per calendar week)

Vocabulary instruction
• How to use the workbook as a tool
• Prefixes, suffixes, and roots; 30-15-10
• Denotation and connotation
• Moving new words into your working vocabulary: using Barrons words when
writing and speaking
• Relationship between word study and reading comprehension



Trimester 2

Skill #11 Commonly confused words

Skill #12 Appositives

Skill #13 Colons and dashes

Skill #14 Apostrophes (singular and plural possessives)