Diagramming the Preamble

I am pretty much the worst blogger ever.  It’s OK.  I own it.  I know it.  😉

When I started this blog, it was to chronicle our adoption journey.  At the time we had no clue what that journey was going to look like.  Since the Lord led us to foster care, there’s very little I can say about our adoption process on here without getting into trouble with the state.  So our adoption blog has morphed into a school blog (sort of… one has to actually WRITE in order for it to be a blog…).

I realize I hardly ever post about Essentials.  I’m sure once my child actually gets into Essentials and we’re doing the work at home, I’ll post more about it.  But since I’m only tutoring Essentials, our home life consists of just Foundations material.  Plus it’s really hard to post info about Essentials without violating the textbook or IEW copyright material.

But every blue moon, I create something for class that can be shared, so that’s what I’m doing today.  This week is our final week of CC.  It’s bittersweet for me.  I just absolutely love CC.  I love being with my daughter in the morning in her class.  I love tutoring.  I love my daughter’s tutor and our director.  I love the families in my Essentials class.  When I was interviewing to contract for next year, my director asked why I wanted to renew for Essentials, and I told her one of my big reasons was that I love the community-within-a-community we have.  I am going to miss it terribly over the summer.  Thankfully August isn’t too far away.  And it will be nice to not have to review Memory Master material every. single. day. for a while.  😉

Back on topic.  This week we’re doing the Faces of History presentation for IEW, and then for EEL I’ve planned to have them diagram the Preamble.  I got this idea when I saw a diagram of it on pinterest a while back.  At the time, I thought, “There’s no way my kids can pull that off.”  However, I’ve done some research, and I think they totally can.

Now, let me disclaim before I put the links up.  (I feel like every post I write has a disclaimer.  Sheesh.)  Let’s spend some time talking about the phrase part “in order/in order to.”  I have done a lot of research on this, because I was clueless as to what to do with it.  I found several different suggestions on what to do with it, and the way I have it presented is the one that I feel is most accurate (you can find more details about why I chose this method here).

To me, it makes the most sense to have “in order” functioning as a compound preposition with “to form…” as an infinitive functioning as the object of the preposition.  Then that entire section (“in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”) is an adverbial modifier modifying the verbs “do ordain and establish” in the independent clause.  It also answers the question of why the people do ordain and establish the Constitution – to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, etc. etc. etc.

I may be totally off here, and if so, call me out on it!  I don’t even come close to pretending I know everything about English grammar.  🙂  But I’m hoping this will be a fun, end-of-the-year activity for my kids, and to show them that grammar and super-giant sentences really aren’t that scary… once you know how to break them down.  😉


Preamble - blank

(Download the blank version here)


(Download the completed version here)


(Oh yeah, I left the “in order” part on the blank one for my kids because there’s no way they’d figure out that’s where it went.  I’m not that mean.)  🙂

If you have an Essentials student, you’re welcome to download these and see if they can work through it themselves!

I know most of the other campuses are done for the year, so I hope you all have a wonderful summer!


Edited to add:  So many of you have been so kind to email me about doing a new planner for next year.  The answer is yes, I am working on a 2014-2015 planner.  I will most likely put it in my etsy shop because with a baby now, I don’t have time to email it out one-by-one anymore.  🙂  Don’t worry – I’ll keep the cost super-low; I know ink & paper are expensive.  I will upload the CC planning pages to CC Connected, so you can still download those for free, whether you purchase the calendar part or not.  When I get it made and uploaded, I’ll do a post about it!  Thanks for your support and your kind words and encouragement.  The CC Community is the best!


Edited to add #2:  I will also make science pages for Cycle 3.  That’s on the to-do list once the planner is finished.  🙂

Classical Conversations Carnival


7 thoughts on “Diagramming the Preamble

  1. Wow — this is totally amazing!! I’m so glad I stopped by your blog today — I am taking over the CC Blog Carnival for Brandy and wanted to introduce myself to you. 🙂

    If you have a submission next month, you can email it to me at CCBlogcarnival@yahoo.com.

    Thanks! — and nice to “meet” you!

    • Hi Mary!

      I’ve been a long-time follower of yours on Pinterest & your blog. I was super-excited to see you’re taking over the carnival! I don’t do too many blog posts, but when I do some CC related posts, I’ll be sure and send them in to the carnival. Thanks! 🙂

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