Loving Grammar: Mr. Lund’s Guide to Professional Clamdigging is a light-hearted grammar worktext that should be great for junior and senior high students who are still trying to sort out the complexities of grammar and usage.
Developed by Steven Lund based on years of classroom teaching experience, Loving Grammar’s zany approach might be just the thing for teens who should appreciate the conversational style and easy-to-understand presentation. The text is written as a dialogue between Mr. Lund and three fictional students, Kristy, Felix, and Giovanni. While it is often humorous, it still teaches very effectively. Sample lessons available on Lund's website will let you get a taste of the style before buying.
One of the most important concepts of the book is shown in a visual on page 14, “Mr. Lund’s Magical Wheel of Function.” Lund likens grammar to chess, using an the analogy that certain chess pieces can only move in certain directions just as certain parts of speech can only function in particular ways. Consequently, he teaches the “moves” for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. He simplifies things by bringing under each “move” all of the grammatical structures that function that way. For example, adjective moves encompass not only adjectives, but also adjective prepositional phrases, participial phrases, appositive phrases, and adjective clauses.
The book is divided into five chapters, with five to ten lessons per chapter. The first chapter covers noun and verb moves, the second chapter continues with adjective and adverb moves. Since punctuation plays such an important role in grammar, the next three chapters deal primarily with punctuation although student are studying punctuation in the context of phrases (in chapter three) and clauses (in chapter four). The fifth chapter, “Mickey Mouse, Semi-Colons, and End Game Music,” covers the “introducers,” “interrupters,” semi-colons, and problems with sentence fragments, run-ons, and comma splices.
The soft cover student book is 331 pages in length. Students will complete exercises directly in their books, since lines and space is provided.
In addition, students are required to memorize “mastery rules” and “memory sentences” that will help them recall key concepts. Parents or teachers are expected to check student memorization of the rules and memory sentences. Other than that, students should be able to work independently.
Each chapter concludes with a lengthy “review” that might serve as a test. However, their inclusion in the book makes the “open-book” option most practical. In fact, for the final review, Lund specifies that it is open-book and asks students to note on what page they found each answer, Even if students use the open-book approach on all of the reviews, parents will appreciate having the answer key to check student responses. The answer key is available only as a downloadable file.
While Loving Grammar isn’t the beginning point for students who have never studied grammar, it might well be the perfect resource for students to “polish” their grammar skills. By the way (for those who are curious), Lund explains what “Professional Clamdigging” has to do with grammar in the first lesson.