Unlike the standard grammar program, which tries to do everything every year, the Clamdigging® program skips the easy and irrelevant material and focuses only on the issues that students (and even adults) struggle with, like commas, semi-colons, agreement.
The Clamdigging™ makes the pledge to students thatthey will never have to learn any grammar information without knowing how it will help them to solve a specific writing problem. For example, students learn the difference between action verbs and linking verbs (in Chapter 1) so they can choose the right modifier (I feel bad/badly) in Chapter 2.
Most grammar books skip around from point to point without allowing the reader to see the simple patterns in the language. Mr. Lund’s Magical Wheel of Function on page 14 lets the students see that, amazingly, essentially all grammar structures follow one of four basic moves—just like the moves of chess. Anyone can follow that.
The overwhelming number of grammatical structures in English and punctuation points follow some very straightforward and basic rules. Students give up in the face of endless exceptions.
Students may forget the intricate explanations or rules, but they rarely forget the memory sentences that go with the rules, like this one: Whenever I see an adverb clause in the beginning of a sentence, I put a comma right after it. There you have it: the structure, the rule, the punctuation—all in one package!
Let’s put it this way: if writers of English books can’t model and sell splashy English, who on earth can? The lessons and the language here are challenging but cool and fun!