Diagramming Sentence: Prepositional Phrases

Before you can effectively write using the English language, or even analyze how others use writing effectively, you need to be familiar with the basic parts and components of the English language. Knowing and being able to identify these smaller component of your own language will allow you to write more effectively and assess and improve your own writing as the year progresses.

This week we will be examining how to correctly diagram adjectives and adverbs. Remember, you must pay attention to whether the adjective or adverb describes the verb or subject or direct object of a sentence, or if the adverb is modifying an adjective to determine where you should place it in your diagram.

A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begin with a preposition and end with a noun. The whole phrases functions as either an adjective or adverb.

But what is a preposition? The technical definition is that a preposition is a word that shows the relationship between nouns or pronouns and other elements in the rest of the sentence. The easy definition is that a preposition is anything a worm can do to an apple:


Remember, when a prepositional phrase acts as an adjective, it modifies nouns and pronouns:


When prepositional phrases act as adverbs the modify verbs, adverbs or adjectives:

Remember, when a prepositional phrase acts as an adjective it can modify any noun or pronoun – not just those in the subject. Sometimes they modify the object of another prepositional phrase:

Practice diagramming prepositional phrases with the sentences below:

  1. The exquisite, red flowers in the garden are growing strong.
  2. Has Lucy been reading all night?
  3. The hot air balloon floated above the puffy, white clouds.
  4. Little Jack Horner sat in the corner of the room.
  5. The chocolate chip cookie dough is in the back of the freezer.
  6. The rusty lawnmower with the broken axle sat in my garage.
  7. In May, the vigorous plants in Cathy’s vegetable garden grow very quickly.

8. Which of these is NOT a prepositional phrase?

  • in the journal
  • at the table
  • how are you
  • on the floor

9. True or False: Some prepositions show time and place and others add detail.

10. True or false: As an adverb, a prepositional phrase will answer questions such as How? When? or Where?

11.Most people in Japan follow the traditional customs of their country.  Is this prepositional phrase acting as an adjective or adverb ?

12. The Japanese traditionally bow on certain occasions.  Is this prepositional phrase acting as an adjective or adverb?



11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Diagramming Sentences – Adjective and Adverbs

Before you can effectively write using the English language, or even analyze how others use writing effectively, you need to be familiar with the basic parts and components of the English language. Knowing and being able to identify these smaller component of your own language will allow you to write more effectively and assess and improve your own writing as the year progresses.

This week we will be examining how to correctly diagram adjectives and adverbs. Remember, you must pay attention to whether the adjective or adverb describes the verb or subject or direct object of a sentence, or if the adverb is modifying an adjective to determine where you should place it in your diagram.

Please watch the video below if you need an example, or didn’t get the notes from class.

image from english-grammar-revolution.com

You will be diagramming the sentences below as examples:

  1. Two fat birds chirped.
  2. That cute baby has been laughing.
  3. Will my mother sing?
  4. The lovely, scented candle burned brightly.
  5. Very politely, Henry bowed.
  6. The little red bird flew rather gracefully.

    image from english-grammar-revolution.com

  7. Where did that fat cat go?
  8. Who is eating so noisily?
  9. Can my chicken stay here?
  10. Stop rudely slurping that soup!
11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Diagramming Sentences – The Basics

Before you can effectively write using the English language, or even analyze how others use writing effectively, you need to be familiar with the basic parts and components of the English language. I know grammar isn’t your favorite subject to study and learn (hey, it isn’t my favorite either), BUT knowing and being able to identify these smaller component of your own language will allow you to write more effectively and assess and improve your own writing as the year progresses.


We’re going to begin by  looking at sentence diagramming. Many of you can list off the parts of speech, but you may not actually know how these parts fit together to create syntactical structures. We’ll begin by looking are very basic, simple sentences. These will contain a Subject, Verb and Direct Object. We’ll then move on to sentences that also contain Adjectives.

Please review the videos below from class, and practice with the sample sentence below.

  1. The flowers grew.
  2. Birds were singing.
  3. The bunnies hopped.
  4. Cally was sleeping peacefully.
  5. Sydney has been hiking.
  6. May I play?
  7. Did Josh eat dinner?
  8. Should we have been reading?
  9. Are they coming?
  10. Can I sing?


11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Conducting A Visual Analysis of Rhetoric

We come across many images on a daily basis, but we rarely stop to think about what those images mean or about how they persuade us. Yet, images have power, which is why we need to understand how to analyze them. When you’re analyzing an image to understand the message it portrays, this is called visual rhetoric. Visual rhetoric is a means of communication that uses images to create meaning or to make an argument.

The first thing to consider when breaking down, or analyzing, an image is the rhetorical situation: the audience, context, and purpose. Each of these elements is essential in order to understand the message an image portrays. It is important to remember that you can analyze all different types of images, including advertisements, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), websites, paintings, photographs, and more. Here, we will look at an advertisement:


The audience consists of who is being targeted by the author, designer, or creator. In the above image, it appears that the audience is men. How do we know this? Not only is the person running in the background a man, but the color of the watch and the size of the watch face indicate that the watch is likely a man’s watch. Of course, women could indirectly be an audience, too, since they might want to buy this watch for someone or wear it themselves. In addition, the audience might be male athletes or outdoor enthusiasts. If you pay close attention to the watch features, it includes North, South, East, and West orientations; it is digital with various modes that likely include a stopwatch, and it has a light for when it is dark. All of these features are likely to appeal to outdoors types, athletes, or both.


The context includes any background information that will help you understand and analyze an image. In the above image, the most important context is that the watch is a Pro Trek watch. If you did some research, you would find out that Pro Trek watches are part of Casio, an electronics manufacturing company. Knowing that Casio is an electronics company, we might assume that they value functionality over aesthetics; therefore, this might be the reason why the above watch is not very decorative or complex, but is still the focal point of the image. This is because Casio wants to feature the watch’s functionality.


Purpose refers to the overall goal for creating an image. With advertisements, that goal is fairly easy to understand. Advertisements are almost always made to sell items.

There are many other strategies to consider when breaking down an image. It’s always important to consider the rhetorical situation first, since that will help you interpret the purpose of the other strategies the designer uses. Then, you can begin to interpret the other persuasive techniques that influence the overall message of the image, including the tone, arrangement, text, typography, and color.


In literature, tone refers to the author’s attitude toward the subject. So, with regard to images, tone can also refer to the photographer/artist’s/designer’s perspective on the issue.


Arrangement refers to the placement of images, graphics, and text in an image. There are two key elements of arrangement—location and scale. Location refers to where a text or image is placed, whereas scale refers to the relative size of the visual components.


Typically, our eyes scan an image, text, and/or webpage from left to right and from top to bottom. The designer of this advertisement has placed the Jello logo and the image of the product to the right side of the page. If the designer wanted our eyes to go to the logo first, he or she probably should have placed the logo at the top left corner so our eyes would catch that logo first. However, because the size of the watch is so large, it is obvious that the focus is the watch. This brings us to the term scale.


As discussed in class, image of the ice cream cone is much smaller in scale than the cup of pudding. Thus, the scale of the ice cream (its size in relation to everything else on the page), indicates that the designer wants to viewer to focus on the pudding, ensuring that viewers understands what this product being sold is, and how much better a cup of pudding for 60 calories is compared to a tiny bit of ice cream.



Text is another important element to analyze, assuming an image includes text. If it does, the text is obviously there for a purpose. Now, the only text on this advertisement is the company logo and the name of the dog food. This is obviously there for the purpose of showing viewers what type of dog food it is so they can find it online or in a store. However, it is possible that this image could have been more effective if it included a catch phrase like those we often see in print ads or in commercials (think of Skittles’ “Taste the Rainbow” or Subway’s “Eat Fresh” slogans). If you see an image with text, consider the connotations of the words, the possible underlying assumptions of the phrase, and the effect the words are meant to have on the audience.


Typography refers to the font size and font type choices that are made in a visual composition.

Font Size

Notice that the font size of ‘Jardiland’ is actually smaller than the ‘Light’ under it, indicated its a low fat dog food! This seems to actually reduce the importance of the company as compared to the importance of the benefits of this dog food for your pets. Do you think this is an effective visual strategy to persuade the audience?


Color choices can really affect your audience, too. Colors can have different meanings (connotations) that implicitly portray a message. Colors can also enhance or detract from an image’s readability depending on the level of contrast used.


Notice that this advertisement has yellow hues in the background. The orange/yellow hues from the background tie in nicely with this complimentary color of blue under the Pedigree logo. The color pops and gets your attention, and contrasts with the image of the dog in the foreground.


You also should think about practical concerns with color, such as whether or not the text color is contrasted well enough with the background so that it is readable.

In class we will also be analyzing a series of commercials,  – you will be tracking how these ads use rhetorical appeals, and determine if they effectively appeal to their audience. Additionally, you will form an argument on whether you believe the use of rhetoric in their advertisements has improved over time, and why.

Two of the ads we watched together focus on how a company can use music and an upbeat tone to sell their product, or how they can use diversity to appeal to a broad audience.

Apple iPhone 5s – 2014

Apple iPad Air – 2014


We also looked at how companies can use commercials that surprise us – either to shock us into action, or to rebrand their products in a new light.

The Sandy Hook Promise organization filmed their PSA to look like a real news report – this shocking irony got our attention and made the audience focus on the issue of gun violence.











Opening up on a dalmatian, and focusing on a beautiful and unpolluted landscape with wind-turbines, the Superbowl ad put out by Buswieser this year focused on re branding their company as environmentally friendly.







I would like you to analyze the visual rhetoric being used in the ads provided to you in class (color versions are posted below). Post a detailed analysis of the rhetorical devices being used in the advertisement and whether or not you think it uses these to effectively or ineffectively achieve its purpose in the comments below. You analysis should cover all the elements discuss in this post for visual rhetoric, as well as the elements of SOAPSTone, and should be at minimum of one 6 sentences – though a well done analysis may be longer.

10th Grade Literature Spring 2019

An Introduction to Rhetoric

We have begun what is probably the most important unit that you will study in this class – rhetoric. Rhetoric is ‘the art of speaking and writing well to achieve a purpose’, and it is all around you, all the time. Advertisements use rhetoric to persuade you to by their merchandise, organizations use rhetoric to garner your support and to recruit you as a follower, politicians use rhetoric to convince you to vote for them or their party, and so on. Once you learn how to identify and analyze rhetoric, you become very powerful – you can look behind the language that people or organizations use on you and figure out WHY and HOW they use language to persuade you – ultimately allowing you to make more informed choices.


The first aspect of rhetoric that we learned about today were the rhetorical appeals: ethos, pathos and logos. Remember, we represent these appeals in the form of an equilateral triangle because good rhetoric should use an even mix of all three appeals.



Please watch the video below from class today to review what exactly the appeals of ethos, pathos and logos are:

Remember, we will be examining advertisements, propaganda and speeches this week for their use of rhetoric, so make sure you are familiar with these concepts!

We also covered an easy acronym to help you analyze rhetoric in the documents and visuals we are covering in class – SOAPSTone Plus. Please see the helpful reminder below:

Arch Method

10th Grade Literature Spring 2019

Writing Your Second Informational, or Expository, Essay

For this unit’s writing assessment, you will write an informational essays over a series of selected passages that you are provided. Be sure to review your feedback from the first informational essay to ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes twice! Below you’ll find additional review over informational essays if you need it:

According to Owl Purdue:

“The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment.  Does your thesis answer the prompt? If not, fix it!

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include support.

Each paragraph should be limited to one general idea. Each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Support! Support! (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

You should have two pieces of quality evidence from the sources that support your thesis statement in general, and the topic of that particular paragraph specifically. Use a mix of direct quotes and paraphrases.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of  writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.”

You will be graded with a rubric based on the EOC test rubric – please click here to review the grading tool.

For this essay you will be explaining some of the challenges that young people your age are facing in India today, as the country’s culture is quickly changing. Be sure to use information from BOTH passages provided to you in your essay.

Click here to access Word Doc versions of the documents:

Click here for your essay prompt.

Click here to access Source 1.



Click to access PDF Versions of the documents:

Click here for your essay prompt.

Click here to access Source 1.

Click here to access Source 2. 


• Use information from the two texts so that your essay includes important details.
• Introduce the topic clearly, provide a focus, and organize information in a way that makes
• Develop the topic with facts, definitions, details, quotations, or other information and
examples related to the topic.
• Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion.
• Clarify the relationship among ideas and concepts.
• Use clear language and vocabulary to inform about the topic.
• Provide a conclusion that follows the information presented.
• Check your work for correct grammar, usage, capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

10th Grade Literature Spring 2019

Magical Realism and Academic Discussions

As we move forward in our unit on stories, we’ll look at the genre of writing known as Magical Realism.

magic-realism-paintings-rob-gonsalves-1001Magical Realism is a type of fiction – when a story that takes place in a realistic setting that is recognizable as our past or present world (this excludes futuristic space colonies, lost ancient cities), incorporating impossible or supernatural elements (ghosts, spirits, miracles, powers, prophecies, etc.) where these extraordinary things are viewed as not just normal but also unremarkable, and thus, nobody bothers to explain why they exist or happen. Or, where fantasy and reality are smashed together and everyone acts like its normal! Please see the video below for an overview of magical realism:

The Four Elements of Magical Realism are:

  • -Hybrid/Hybridization – this mixing of the real and unreal
  • -Irony
  • -Authorial Reticence – the author not clarifying details, but letting the reader decide for themselves
  • -Supernatural + Natural

Click here to access the story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “Light is Like Water”.

As we discuss this story you will be asked to focus on one of the following aspects: Characters, Plot, Figurative Language, Elements of Magical Realism and Theme. In small groups you will discuss your analysis of the story, and then prepare to lead a small discussion for the class. We’ll be focusing on the speaking and listening standards during class discussion from now on, so be sure to work towards being able to do the following things during discussion:


  1. Be able to clearly answer the question being asked. No um’s, or looking around, or acting confused. Be prepared.
  2. Be able to reference exactly where you got your answer from, or be able to point out an illustration of your answer.
  3. Engage others by asking them questions, or being able to add to their answers without interrupting them.
10th Grade Literature Spring 2019