Today the seventh graders and I were having quite a bit of fun diagramming. Seriously. First of all, I explained to them that diagramming is art. We draw triangles around our conjunctions and make all these lovely lines which make a big puzzle -- that is art.
They usually have their colored pencils with them because we use them in our journals and for our maps in history class, and several of them had gel pens as well. So, I told them that since we were doing art anyway, they might as well get out their different colored pens and pencils and use them.
Next we had lots of fun making the dotty-dots -- those dotted lines in between the fork of the diagram where the conjunction goes. Then, when I made my dotty-dots on the board, I banged the marker on the board making loud knocking noises. I told them that was fun to do as well, and that they should try it.
There were twenty-one of us making loud, colored dotty-dots all over our papers. I told them that was a diagramming symphony. We laughed some more, got out more colored pens, made more loud dotty-dots, and learned an awfully lot about diagramming. And THAT makes me very happy.
Since I had mentioned that we use our colored pencils for our maps, here is a picture of the map from our last four-page history test which included an essay question on the Mongols.