Some people believe that sentence diagramming is out of date–it is likely one of the oldest graphic organizers we have in language arts. Sentence diagramming, invented in 1847 by a schoolmaster in New York named S.W. Clark, is often considered to be archaic and pointless. But there are those who see the value in it still, after all these years; they view it as a kind of lost art. Why? Read on to find out.
Sentence diagramming initially was created as a method for helping teach students about sentence structure during grammar lessons. Before this method was introduced, it was taught by way of the more tedious activity called parsing, which requires students to break down sentences into component words and then classify each word in terms of its part of speech, tense, number, and function within the sentences. But sentence diagramming was different because it provided a visual representation of the original word-centered breakdown.
Sentence diagramming became the go-to method for teaching sentence structure for years after it first appeared, with some tweaks along the way. In the late 1870s, two professors at Brooklyn Polytech Institute, Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg, developed the diagramming format with which most people today might have experience. It has been used to guide students through complex sentences in a way that helps them understand the meaning of specific words and how each word relates to the others in the sentences. Many still see sentence diagramming as an effective tool for helping students understand how and why sentences are constructed as they are.
There are many potential benefits that can come from the lost art of sentence diagramming. Diagramming helps students learn how to pay attention to detail and encourages greater analytical thinking skills. Further, it reinforces students’ understanding of sentence construction by helping them identify how the parts of a sentence work together and how individual words function to clarify meaning. So, if students need to gain a better understanding of grammatical relationships, sentence diagramming can be extremely useful.
Sometimes, students struggle with English language arts in school, especially with grammar concepts such as parts of speech and sentence structure. But there are tools, such as sentence diagramming, that can help students. If your student is having difficulty comprehending these or other academic concepts, it might be helpful to seek out assistance from a professional tutor.
Tots ‘N Tutors is a professional mobile and remote tutoring company that offers support in every academic subject. Tots ‘N Tutors serves students of every age and stage, from pre-kindergarten through college, by offering structured tutoring sessions that are tailored to each individual student. The supportive and knowledgeable learning guides of Tots ‘N Tutors are happy to schedule sessions with individual students or small groups, in person or virtually, to help with the comprehension of academic information and the development of other foundational learning skills as needed. Contact Tots ‘N Tutors online at any time or by calling 512-789-8949 to learn more.