Language Arts Mini Spark #64 Modifiers: What are they? Where do they go?

Modifiers are words, phrases, and clauses that add information about other parts of a sentence—which is usually helpful. But when modifiers aren’t linked clearly enough to the words they’re actually referring to, they can create unintentional ambiguity.

Incorrectly placed modifier: Perched up high on a tree branch, I yelled at the cat to leave the sparrow alone.

Meaning: I don’t tangle with a tabby unless I am perched 10 feet up in the air.

Correctly placed modifier: Seeing a sparrow perched up high on a tree branch, I yelled at the cat to leave him alone.

Meaning: ohhhh….the sparrow is up in the tree. Watch out little sparrow!

#1 Read this teaching page to look over some modifier examples.

#2 Watch this TED Ed video and take detailed notes about modifiers and their placement and navigate the sticky world of misplaced, dangling and squinting modifiers.

#3  Make a visual explaining modifiers with examples of how they are used. Also include your own sentence with a misplaced modifier and then correct the sentence so that the reader understands the meaning.

Challenge:  Do more research about misplaced, dangling and squinting modifiers. Include what you learned in your visual.

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