I picked up a book at the Salvation Army second-hand store a few weeks ago that is interesting. Published in 1887, the title of the books is Graded Lessons in English. It is an elementary school grammar book, offering one hundred practical lessons in grammar. Some time is spent in diagramming a sentence. I think most of us have gone through that, but I don't think that students today are doing it, at any level, much less the elementary school level. In this thread, I'll bring out a few representative sample lessons, including suggestions for teachers. Lesson 14. CLASSES OF WORDS Hints for Oral Instruction -- By the assistance of the few hints here given, the ingenuous teacher may render this usually dry subject interesting and highly attractive. By questioning the pupil as to what he has seen and heard, his interest may be excited and his curiosity awakened. Suppose that we make an imaginary excursion to some pleasant field or grove, where we may study the habits, the plumage, and the songs of the little birds. If we attempt to make the acquaintance of every little featured singer we meet, we shall never get to the end of our pleasant task; but we find that some resemble one another in size, shape, color, habits, and song. These we associate together and call them sparrows. We find others differing essentially from the sparrows, but resembling one another. These we call robins. We thus find, that, although we were unable to become acquainted with each individual bird, they all belong to a few classes, with which we may soon become familiar. It is so with the words of our language. There are many thousand words, all of which belong to eight classes. Those classes of words are called Parts of Speech. We classify birds according to their form, color, etc., but we group words into classes, called Parts of Speech, with respect to their use in the sentence. We find that many words are names. Those we put in one class and call them Nouns. Each pupil may give the name of something in the room; the name of a distinguished person; a name that may be applied to a class of persons; the name of an animal; the name of a place; the name of a river; the name of a mountain; the name of something which we cannot see or touch, but of which we can think; as beauty, mind. Remind the pupils frequently that these names are all nouns. NOUNS DEFINITION -- A Noun is the name of anything. * Write in columns, headed nouns, the names of domestic animals, of garden vegetables, of flowers, of trees, of articles sold in a dry goods store, and of things that cannot be seen or touched; as virtue, time, life. Write and arrange, according to the following model, the names of things that can float, fly, walk, work, sit, or sing. Model: floats or float Cork Clouds Wood Ships Boys Such expressions as Cork floats are sentences, and the nouns cork, ship, etc., are the subjects. You will find that every subject is a noun or some word or words used for a noun. Be prepared to analyze and parse the sentences which you have made -- naming the class to which a word belongs is the first step in parsing. Model for Analysis -- This is a sentence, because ------; cork is the subject, because ------; floats is the predicate, because ------. Parsing -- Cork is a noun, because it is the name of a thing -- the bark of a tree. * We shall frequently use the word thing as we do here, in its most extensive sense, applying it to persons as well as to other objects. We have for this the warrant of general usage. See Webster and Worcester.