The skeleton sentence expanded

Language probably began when people gave names to things, people, and actions. It has developed into a sophisticated, flexible instrument since then.  The language in the exercise below is akin to a primitive pidgin, but was probably the way our earliest ancestors spoke when language was first developing.

Exercise: Take the skeletal sentence elements below and ask your students to flesh them out into a full story.

girl fruit pick   look  bear see
girl run   tree reach   climb   bear tree shake
girl yell yell yell   father come   scare bear
bear run   girl father hug

Review their versions of the story, and note how prepositional phrases, conjunctions, “which/when/where/who” phrases and other tools can make (or have made, in their versions of the story) the story clearer, with a better flow.

* The story above is adapted from the book The Unfolding of Language, an evolutionary tour of man’s greatest invention (2005), p. 210, by Guy Deutscher.

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