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Assignment: Copy the sentences for this lesson filling in the blanks with is or are.
When it says, 'Copy from your reader', this can be from any book the student is currently reading from. It can be a reader like the 'McGuffey Readers' or a book such as, 'Little Women.'

This lesson introduces is/are. This isn't a language lesson per se, but more of learning correct speech. We have all learned to speak and can tell by hearing if a sentence sounds funny.

"Two squirrels is in the tree," doesn't sound right. Most kids will know the answer is are.

In later lessons, if you continue with Intermediate Language Lessons, the student will be introduced to subject/verb agreement.

But for those who are using this with older students and wish to teach the concept, here is a short lesson below you can use.

Download This Lesson
Is/Are Worksheet


1. Herbert is in the house.
2. Herbert and Alfred are in the house.
3. The pencil is dull.
4. The pencils are dull.

Who is spoken of in the first sentence?
Who are spoken of in the second sentence?
Why do we use is in the first sentence and are in the second sentence?

What is the third sentence about?
How many pencils are spoken of?
What is the fourth sentence about?
Which is used in stating something about one pencil, is or are?
What word is used instead of is in speaking of more than one pencil?

Look again at the sentences given in this lesson, and tell when we use is. Tell when we use are.

Use is in speaking of one.
Use are in speaking of more than one.

Assignment: Have the student copy the selection.
Have the student write the first 3 lines from dictation.

Homeschoolshare has a few squirrel notebooking pages you can use for this lesson.
Cute diary kept on a squirrel named Furry who was a pet.

A quick post to say that Primary Language Lessons is in the final stages of proofreading and feedback.

I hope to have it all finished in a few weeks.

Part 1 is READY!!

I am now tackling Part 2.

Part 2 is READY!!

My proofreaders have given me invaluable feedback and suggestions. This is why it is taking me longer. Some of what has been done is:

Now it is on to Saxon 76!!

By finishing her math book, she has earned a free day of be used whenever she chooses.  How exciting!!

I had her do the tests until she missed more than one. On test 3, she missed 3. They were simple, careless adding wrong. But, I decided to have her begin with Lesson 16 anyway even though it is mainly review.

She does need to work on her speed of doing her math facts. I had her do a few problems oral, and sometimes it would take her a while to add or subtract... usually 2 or more digits. In the next few weeks, we will begin doing oral problems like:

Where I would have her add orally to me. 

6 plus 3 is 9, plus 5 is 14, plus 2 is 16. Bring down the 6, carry the 1. 1 plus 1 is 2,  plus 2 is 4, plus 4 is 8, plus 5 is 13. The answer is  one hundred and thirty-six.

With time, I am sure it will bring up her fluency in adding. We will do the same with subtracting, multiplying and dividing.

She will be learning about negative numbers and plotting numbers on a graph. She will go more into geometry with finding the area of a triangle and also finding the degrees of each vertice. She will work more with decimals and fractions.

Saxon 76

Yay for MaryEllen!!



Edwin Landseer was an English artist. This artist's home was in London, where he was born in 1802.

When he was a little fellow, only four or five years of age, he delighted in drawing pictures of animals. On holidays he and his two older brothers used to leave the noisy, dusty city and walk out into the green fields that lay beyond London. In one of these fields there was a great oak tree, and in its shade the three boys would sit, while Edwin drew pictures of the shaggy donkeys and thick-fleeced sheep that grazed around them.

Landseer's father encouraged and helped the boy in his drawing, and when Edwin grew older he was sent to an art school. There he worked so earnestly that, while he was still a very young man, he became well known as a painter of animals. He painted pictures of horses, deer, cattle, and sheep, of squirrels and of monkeys, but he was especially fond of painting dogs. He showed his fondness for dogs very young, and on account of it was sometimes jokingly called "the little dog-boy."

Landseer loved animals. He studied their looks and actions and habits, and because of this love and knowledge of them his pictures are full of life.


Piper and Nutcrackers

Assignment: Look at the picture. Answer the questions in complete sentences.

Artist: The  picture called “Piper and Nutcrackers” is a copy of a painting by Edwin Landseer, an English artist

Edwin Lanseer at Wikipedia.

Make this into a nature lesson!


Other Resources:
Click here for information on picture study.

[amazon-product type="text" text="Handbook of Nature Study"]0801493846[/amazon-product]

Feel free to share your ideas for this lesson.

The object of this little volume is to lead children of the second and third grades into the habit of speaking and writing the English language correctly. To accomplish this, the author has prepared a drill book which emphasizes the reproduction of many of the short stories current in our literature, and also introduces practice exercises to familiarize the pupils with correct forms. Beginning with simple, graduated exercises, they are continued till a general principle is inductively reached.

It is assumed that the child will learn to speak and write correctly, by imitation, if the proper forms are presented to him. Accordingly much attention is given in this book to expressions frequently misused, as for example, troublesome verb forms. The lessons are designed, as well, to awaken and sustain children's interest in natural objects, and to put them in sympathetic relations with living things.

The author has written from the standpoint of the child, and in language that the child can readily comprehend. The book, too, is so unconventional that the Suggestions to Teachers, which follow, are all that is necessary to guide the novice in the successful use of it.


This is taken from Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl.

This book is intended for use with pupils of the second and third grades.

Assignment of lessons - It is not intended that each lesson shall represent one day's work. The intelligent teacher, knowing the capabilities of her pupils, can best determine the amount of work that should be done. Some of the lessons will doubtless require part of the recitation periods of many days.

Dictation exercises - In giving a dictation exercises, the teacher should read each sentence once. The sentences in the exercises have been made short so that they can be retained easily in the pupil's memory. The results of the pupil's work should be carefully noted by the teacher, attention being called to mistakes in spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, or to failure to reproduce the exact words dictated.

Careful work in these dictated exercises and frequent drills on the lists containing "troublesome words" are sure to produce good results in written composition.

Selections to be memorized - These selections should be read to the pupils and discussed with them before being memorized. The "November" poem, "The Brown Thrush," and "The Bluebird" should be taught at appropriate seasons of the year.

Drawing - Several exercises are given in drawing. The purpose is not to obtain finely finished pictures, but to secure the representation of ideas. Let the pupils select the central theme of the pictures to be drawn, and then decide on a fitting background and surroundings.

Nature and observation lessons - These lessons should be introduced by oral discussions covering the points indicated by the questions or directions. After the discussion, a pupil should read the question silently, and then give the answer aloud as a complete sentence. As the class progresses, these answers may be written, but they should always be preceded by the oral discussion.

Lessons on troublesome forms - These lessons should be repeated many times, not at a single period or at succeeding ones, necessarily, but at different times during the year. A little quick work on preceding lessons fixes important forms as no single treatment can do.

Lesson 86 should be repeated many times until the expressions, "It is I" and "It is he," no longer seem strange. This exercise may be read by two pupils, and the answers given from memory.

Variety may be given to this line of work by having pupils occupy different positions about the room, the teacher asking questions that will require the use of these forms in the answer; as, "Who is at the blackboard?" "It is I," "It is she," or "It is he."

This book in the hands of the pupils makes possible much review work that cannot be given when each lesson must be written on the board by the teacher.

The teacher should keep a record of the most common errors committed by the pupils, and should give frequent drills on sentences containing the correct forms.
The best results in the use of good English comes from continued practice on correct forms rather than from learning of many rules.

Every lesson should be a language lesson. No mistake in grammar, pronunciation, or in the use of a word should pass uncorrected.

A good picture is a silent teacher.

Another valuable means of developing the child's aesthetic nature is picture study.

In giving him pictures which are examples of the best in art, we are giving him standards which influence his ideals and his feelings.

Children must be taught how to look at pictures, as they are taught how to look at nature — for they look but do not see. For this phase of the work pictures which appeal to the child's interest are selected. They may be connected with some thought that is uppermost in his mind—Christmas pictures, or good animal pictures in connection with the primitive life study, or with some experience in the child's life—so that he may see some of his own experiences realized.

It must be remembered in making selections that unless the child has had experience which will help him to interpret a picture, it means little or nothing to him. It is the thought and the spirit that are expressed in the picture that the child must be led to find.

Questions and suggestions lead him to get these, and telling the story which the picture tells him often deepens the impression. Although no study is made of the technique of the picture, the child's feeling for its beauty is awakened. This is greatly influenced by the teacher's feeling for the picture, but questions and suggestions may lead the child to see the light and shade, balance and harmony, that make the picture beautiful.

As he becomes familiar with good pictures, he unconsciously becomes acquainted with some of the true principles of art.

A writer describes what he sees, or expresses his thoughts and feelings, by means of words; an artist describes what he sees, or expresses his thoughts and feelings, by a picture. Hence, a picture is a kind of thought expression.

As we study a literary selection to get the writer's thought, so we study a picture to get the artist's thought. This study can be made valuable, and should have a place in language work.

Conversation lessons should be given, and such questions asked as will bring out the story which the picture tells or the thought which it expresses.

In studying a literary selection we try to find the central thought, and then select the things that contribute to it. This is also true of picture study. The mere enumeration of the things seen in the picture is not picture study, and is valueless.