Lesson 9: Parables


Activity 1: Labeling Sentences

Materials: colored pencils, journal
Copy any three of the following sentences in your journal, leaving extra spaces between each line. Use an orange pencil to underline prepositional phrases, a dark blue pencil to underline appositive phrases, and a red pencil to underline verbal phrases. For each verbal phrase, label how it functions in the sentence using the laminated parts of speech symbols or by drawing the symbols above the phrases using colored pencils (noun = large dark blue triangle, adjective = smaller green triangle, adverb = orange circle). Finally, if a sentence contains any verbal phrases, note the type after the sentence (gerund, infinitive, or pariticipial).
Note: you may find phrases within other phrases.
  1. Then you will learn to detach yourself from your useless burden of cravings.
  2. James, a fourteen-year-old newsboy, has saved his earnings for three years to finally buy the new bike of his dreams.
  3. He crouched beside the road and watched a heavy two-wheeled cart, drawn by slouching oxen.
  4. He could see it, just how each man was, two sleeping curled up and the third squatting in the sand.
Your child should have copied three of the four sentences in his journal, underlining prepositional (PP), appositive (AP), and verbal phrases (VP). He should have also identified each verbal phrase and labeled how it functioned in the sentence.

Answer Key:
  1. Then you will learn to detach yourself from your useless burden of cravings [VP, infinitive phrase, noun; also "from your useless burden" and "of cravings" are PPs].
  2. James, a fourteen-year-old newsboy [AP], has saved his earnings for three years [PP] to finally buy the new bike of his dreams [VP, infinitive phrase, adverb; also "of his dreams" is a PP].
  3. He crouched beside the road [PP] and watched a heavy two-wheeled cart, drawn by slouching oxen [VP, participial phrase, adjective; also "by slouching oxen" is a PP].
  4. He could see it, just how each man was [AP], two sleeping curled up [VP, participial phrase, adjective] and the third squatting in the sand [VP, participial phrase, adjective; also "in the sand" is a PP].

Activity 2: A Parable

Materials: colored pencils*, ruler*
For this activity, select one of the parables you read today. You can either draw a picture to accompany the parable or practice telling the parable orally.
Your child can decide whether he wants to create an illustration for one of the parables he read today or practice a retelling of the parable.

Option 1: Illustration

Pick one of the parables described in this lesson and draw a picture that effectively illustrates the parable and could accompany the parable in a book.
Explain to your child that the picture should be detailed and should express an important aspect of the story, helping to bring the story to life.

Option 2: Oral Retelling

Select one of the parables you read today and practice an oral retelling of the parable. You don't have to know it word for word, but you should be able to retell the story without reading it. When you think you can tell the story in a way that engages your audience, gather your family and tell the story. Remember that good storytellers cause the listener to hang on to every word and almost cast a spell on their audience. You can bring in props, hand gestures, and body movements to make the retelling more dramatic. After you tell the story, ask your audience if anyone can explain the lesson the story teaches.
When your child is ready, he can retell the parable. Discuss his storytelling skills with him.

Activity 3: Grammar Review

Materials: note cards
The following chart compiles much of the grammar information covered in this unit. Review the chart each day to help you prepare for the test you will take at the end of the unit. Note that some information is not included on the chart, such as how to test which part of speech a prepositional or infinitive phrase functions as. Be sure to read back through the lessons to review that information.
Another way to help you study is to copy information from the chart onto note cards and then use those for review. (For example, one side of the note card would say, "prepositional phrase," and the other side would provide the definition. Another prepositional phrase note card could explain how the phrases can function in a sentence.)
The chart provided summarizes much of the grammar covered in this unit to help your child review for grammar part of the unit test. If he needs additional review, he can create note cards with the phrase type on one side and information about the phrase on the other side; he can then use these cards over the next few days to test his knowledge. Note that your child will still need to read over the individual lessons to review other grammar information.
Grammar Review
Phrase TypeDescriptionPart of SpeechExample
nounContains the noun and all the words (such as articles, adjectives, and prepositional phrases) that modify it.nounA thin, timid dog came close.
verbContains a verb and all of its helping verbs. Does not include adverbs or other modifiers.verbKino could never remember it.
prepositionalBegins with a preposition, ends with a noun or pronoun, and includes any modifiers found in between.adjective or adverbI put the picture beside the dark blue lamp.
appositiveRenames or further identifies the noun that comes right before or after it.nounMr. Cho, my neighbor, owns two dogs.
verbalBegins with a verbal (a verb form) followed by one or more words. The three types are gerund, infinitive, and participial.noun, adjective, or adverbThe boy standing on the steps is my brother.
gerundStarts with a gerund (a verb form ending in -ing).nounSinging in the shower is fun.
infinitiveStarts with an infinitive (the word to + the basic form of a verb).nouns, adjectives, or adverbsThe parents want to see the new playground.
participialStarts with the present participle form of a verb (skipping) or the past participle form (worried, thrown).adjectivesBalancing on its hind legs, the dog walked across the room.