Grammar isn’t taught with much specificity here in England. Maybe it’s the same in the US these days. Sure, kids learn to write and work hard at developing their literacy skills, but there is not much emphasis placed on the terminology of language or how these grammatical building blocks construct sentences. When I was in school we learned to identify adverbs from adjectives, predicates from subjects, proper nouns from pronouns. And to diagram whole sentences (which was probably overkill).
Anyway, the other day it arose that Isobel was unfamiliar with the term “conjunction” as it applies to the parts of speech. Preparing to provide an answer I found myself humming a familiar tune. If you grew up in America in the 70s you probably know what it was. Schoolhouse Rock! An absolutely glorious public service television project that taught a generation of kids the Preamble to the Constitution, as well as grammar.
Through the magic of YouTube all the old favorites are waiting to be rediscovered (or enjoyed for the first time). Isobel and I loved watching many of them, including “Interjection!” and “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here” and “No More Kings” – a very ‘patriotic’ take on the American Revolution.
Why don’t you start with “Conjunction Junction, What’s Your Function?”