Sentence diagramming is a valuable tool to help students visually represent the structures of sentences. It’s true that it is not essential. There are many people who comprehend the deep structures of the English language that do not know how to diagram, but everyone who understands diagramming understands basic grammar.
However, one road that I’ve crossed in my instruction is how to grade diagrams. Often time students understand the grammar, but they forget the diagramming technique. As a teacher, I had to ask myself whether to deduct points for small mistakes. The conclusion that I’ve reached is that when presenting tests containing diagrams, I should allow my students to utilize a reference guide that reminds them of the sentence diagramming forms. This allows me to use diagramming as a way to determine if the students are understanding grammar, and I don’t have to deduct points for mistakes in diagramming technique.
This chart uses the Reed-Kellogg system.
I’ve created a basic sentence diagramming chart. In the coming weeks, I’ll make one for advanced concepts.
I’ve uploaded the chart in both OpenOffice.org 3.0 and PDF formats. Feel free to modify and distribute this material.