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Sept. 9, 2019
Why Every Student Deserves to be Taught with a KISS-like Approach to Grammar
Welcome to the
KISS Grammar
Site
Pierre-Auguste
Renoir's
(1841-1919)
Irene Cahen 
d'Anvers
1879
The Kiss Discussion Groups
Free Articles on the Teaching of Grammar 

     Note: Everything on this site is free: there are no materials for sale. Many of the documents on this site are now being made in MS Word. If you do not have MS Word (or a program that can open these documents), go to the Microsoft site where you can get a free reader that will let you open and print them, or you might want to find and try the free "OpenOffice" software on the web.
 

Why I Like KISS Grammar  From Dione and Dominique (Thank you.)
The KISS Difference The KISS Grammar Game
Using KISS Instructional Materials
     Instruction with KISS can begin as early as first grade, or in college. The site was started around 2003, and since then it has grown. There are, therefore, parts of the site that need to be completed, revised, condensed, or replaced. The options now include several one-year (or semester)  sequences and also two multi-year designs. The options are large enough that I have moved them to their own page.
The links to the free KISS Instructional Sequences
The Codes for the Teachers' Answer Keys
The Master Collection of Exercises
     This page includes links to the instructional materials and most of the exercises for each of the original KISS levels. You can use it to find supplemental or optional exercises for your students.
For additional materials, click here.

What KISS Is -- And What It Is Not

      Most approaches to grammar cover individual constructions (subjects and verbs, for example), give students a few simplistic exercises, and then ignore subjects and verbs to move on to another construction. They never put all these constructions together such that students can understand how sentences work. KISS, however, is a group of carefully designed sequences of instructional materials and exercises in which students build on what they have previously learned. Ultimately, the KISS sequences can enable students to identify and discuss the function of almost every word in anything that they read or write. Along the way, KISS enables students to understand major questions of errors, style, and logic. 

     Originally, KISS materials were organized into five "levels" that more or less follow the way in which these constructions naturally develop.

Level 1. The Basics: simple subjects, verbs, complements (predicate noun, adjective, direct and indirect objects), adjectives and adverbs, compounds, and prepositional phrases

Level 2. Expanding the Basics: The complexities of S/V/C patterns and of prepositional phrases. (These are generally either ignored or glossed over in most textbooks. The result of that is that students cannot apply what they have learned to their own writing and reading.)

Level 3. Clauses (Subordinate and Main): An understanding of clauses is one of the most important things that students should master.

Level 4. Verbals: Verbals are verbs that function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs, as in Swimming is good exercise. In Level 2, students are taught how to distinguish finite verbs (that make clauses) from verbals. In this level, they learn more about verbals per se.

Level 5. Eight additional Constructions: Three of these (Nouns Used as Adverbs, Simple Interjections, and Direct Address) are easy to understand, but they are not required for students to understand the constructions in Levels one to four. The other five are most easily learned after students have mastered KISS Level 4. They are appositives, post-positioned adjectives, delayed subjects and sentences, passive voice, and noun absolutes.

As KISS was being developed from real, randomly selected texts, complications were found that are not addressed in most textbooks. As a simple example, "to" can function as a preposition ("to the house"), or it can function as the sign of an infinitive ("to go"). This confuses students, so KISS devotes exercises to such complications, exercises that you will not find in most textbooks. Over the years, these complications became sub-levels in the original five.
Other Major Parts of the KISS Site
Theory and Research The Political
About me:
Short Biography Bibliographies
Resume Contact me

* Although I am somewhat embarrassed to note it, you may find grammatical and spelling errors on this site. I do my best, but I teach five sections of Freshman composition/Introduction to Literature every semester. As a result, I often have to rush to get something onto this section of the site, or I have to drop it before I would like to, so that I can prepare for my classes. That is not a good excuse, but it is, I hope, justification for a plea for help. Someone once sent me an e-mail to tell me that she found several spelling errors "on the site." The "site," however, consists of several hundred documents, and if I take the time to reread/edit all of them, I will have even less time to respond to questions, etc. If you find an error, please send the page to me . It will be even more helpful if you tell me what and where the errors are. Thank you.