Notes for Selections from
by J. M. Barrie
"Two is the beginning of the end." So ends
the first paragraph of a tale that ends with "When Margaret grows up she
will have a daughter, who is to be Peter's mother in turn; and thus it
will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless." It
would be interesting to read what third graders have to say about this
story. My guess is that they will primarily be interested in the action,
the fantasy, and the humor. It seems to me that it might be more interesting
to use this story with high school students. They would probably have more
to say about its moral, social, and psychological implications.
I used Exercise #1, the opening paragraph
of the story, for an edition of the KISS Grammar Game, back before the
internet was available. If we include interjections, every word in the
passage can be explained in terms of prepositional phrases, S/V/C
patterns, adjectives, adverbs, and clauses. With the exception of one gerundive
and one noun used as an adverb, the same is true of the second passage.
The third passage is syntactically much more complex -- the gerundives,
infinitives, etc. add the the bustle of the sword fight.
There are enough prepositional phrases and
different prepositions in Exercise # 4 to make it a very good assessment
quiz for third graders who have been studying prepositional phrases throughout
third grade. They are, moreover, all simple phrases so that third graders
should be able to get all of them.
Should you use this passage at KISS Level
Three (clauses), you might want to have the students do the sentence-combining
exercise first. Then, when they see the original, ask them if the subordinate
"who flung him" clauses create a rhythm to the sentence that imitates the
flinging from one person to another.
When people in our set are introduced,
it is customary for them to ask each other's age, and so Wendy, who always
liked to do the correct thing, asked Peter how old he was. It was
not really a happy question to ask him; it was like an examination paper
that asks grammar, when what you want to be asked is Kings of England.
(from Peter Pan)