Method Acting and the Sentence

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Have students review material on sentence types in the handbook. Put a simple sentence on the board, such as “The student asked a question.” Have the class identify the subject, verb, and object, and then ask students to come in front of the class and stand next to each other in poses that represent these parts of speech. Then, in groups of three to five, students should select a sentence from the essay or their drafts, identify its main parts of speech, and as a team work on representing the structure (NOT meaning) of the sentence just by standing in front of the class. How does one visually/physically represent a verb? What happens if the person representing the subject moves to the end of the line? What would a sentence look like if the students stood in a circle and not in a left-to-right line?
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About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.