Monday, May 30, 2016

Introducing Reduction of Relative Clauses (with Freaks and Geeks)

Teaching grammar can get taxing. One week of classes that most instructors fear in our school is when we have to introduce reduction of relative clauses. The materials provided by our school are sometimes too rule-based and deductive, so I have come up with an alternative version to introduce reduction in relative clauses.

Image taken from Google Images

In the handout, relative clauses are reduced in 3 ways:
Rule 1: delete the relative pronoun and verb be (creating present or past participles)
Rule 2: delete the relative pronoun and change the verb to V-ing (creating a present participle)
Rule 3: delete the relative pronoun and change the verb to to+infinitive with certain expressions such as the first, the only, superlatives as well as modals verbs in the relative clause

The material that I've prepared follows these rules. However, you might as well change the rule sheet to include present and past participles instead of these rules. I had to follow the scope of the material given by our school.

Steps of the lesson:
Students begin the lesson by reading a short text about the TV series Freaks and Geeks, underlining the different sentences. It's important that students underline the differences in both texts.

Next, students read the rules and match the sentences that they've underlined with the respective rules. At this point, as I monitored the students I made clear any rule or instruction that may not have been clear to the students, doing one example together if necessary.

As an extra step, I went over the rules once again on the board and then the students did the rewrite exercises from the school's material.

What do you think about the handout? How would you adapt this to your students' needs?

Happy teaching!