Friday, November 23, 2012

Meet the Super Grammar Super-Teams!

Hey everybody,

We thought you might like to meet the four super-teams that are in Super Grammar, so let's take a look inside the book and meet them! But before we open the front cover, take a look at the edge of the book, and you'll notice that it's color coded.
The color coding makes it easy to find and jump to the grammar subject you'd like to learn about. Each colored chapter represents one of the four Super Grammar super-teams that you meet inside the book, and each super-team has the power to teach you about a specific area of grammar.

There are four color coded chapters in Super Grammar: Yellow, Red, Blue, and Green.


In the yellow chapter you meet the Completion Team!
This super-team has two members:
  1. The Subject
  2. The Predicate
The Completion Team is the smallest of all the super-teams, but they might very well be the most important grammar super-team you'll ever meet—because this team helps you learn about forming complete sentences that are strong and correct.

In the red chapter you meet the Amazing Eight!
This super-team has ten members:
  1. The Noun Team (the Common Noun and the Proper Noun)
  2. The Pronoun
  3. The Verb Team (the Verb and the Primary Helping Verb)
  4. The Adjective
  5. The Adverb
  6. The Conjunction
  7. The Preposition
  8. The Interjection
The Amazing Eight are the eight parts of speech. We need the eight parts of speech because they're the words that make up our sentences. Once you learn about these superheroes, your sentences will have all the power they need to express themselves to the fullest. 

In the blue chapter you meet the Super Symbols!
This super-team has twelve members:
  1. The Period
  2. The Question Mark
  3. The Exclamation Point
  4. The Comma
  5. The Colon
  6. The Semicolon
  7. The Apostrophe
  8. The Dash
  9. The Hyphen
  10. The Quotation Marks
  11. The Parenthesis
  12. The Ellipsis
The Super Symbols are the brave and dependable punctuation marks that help keep our sentences clear and organized. After you learn their super powers and master their code, these powerful punctuation marks will always fight to keep your sentences completely on point.

And finally, in the green chapter, you meet the Sabotage Squad!
This super-team has five members:
  1. Double Negative
  2. The Run-on
  3. The Fragment
  4. The Comma Splice
  5. The Disagreement
The Sabotage Squad is a rotten bunch of sentence supervillains, and these sneaky characters are out to wreck any sentence they can get their hands on. Whatever it takes to break your sentences—you can bet that this nasty bunch will do it!

OK! Now you've met the four Super Grammar super-teams, and in our book, each and every character comes with a full description of super powers and is accompanied by fun and colorful Super Example sentences (like these).

We hope you've enjoyed meeting our Super Grammar super-teams, and we hope that they'll be super helpful to you as you fight your never-ending battle between good and bad grammar!

Sincerely,
The Super Grammar Team

 Order Super Grammar BOOKS, WORKSHEETS, and POSTERS here: STORE

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Free Worksheets / Our Letter to Teachers

Hey everybody,

Here's a free (print-it-yourself) Super Grammar poster and three activity worksheets, compliments of our good friends at Scholastic. All you need to do is download the high-resolution PDF file and print!

Here's the link: http://www.scholastic.com/supergrammar/sg.pdf

Where did it come from? Well, earlier this year, Scholastic asked us if we would help them put together an official Super Grammar promotional poster for educator events and conventions. Their idea was to make a large (17"x22") double-sided poster which educators would be able to use in their classrooms or libraries in two different ways. We thought that this was a great idea, so we agreed to help make it happen.

We immediately got to work, and with the additional help of our super talented art team, Jenny Hanson and Joe To, we soon put together everything that we needed to complete this poster. It was a lot of work to do in a very short amount of time, but we all knew that it was going to be helpful to teachers, so we were very happy to do it. And now that the work is finished, we are even happier to learn that this poster is now available to anyone who wants to grab the download!

The front side of the poster features the Subject and the Predicate joining forces in order to form a complete sentence. Here's how it turned out:
The back side of the poster is designed to function in a completely different way. It is comprised of four different (8.5"x11") pages which all connect together to form the larger sized poster, but each of these pages acts as a separate Super Grammar activity sheet.

Most of these pages are Super Grammar worksheets which can be photocopied by teachers and handed out to their students. There are three worksheets in total:
  1. The Completion Team Challenge
  2. The Noun Team Challenge
  3. The Double Negative Team Challenge. 
All three of these worksheets are included as part of the free downloadable pdf from Scholastic.

There is also a fourth page on the back of the poster, but this fourth page is not a worksheet. Instead, it is a letter (from us) addressed to teachers. Having the opportunity to write this letter was really great for us because it gave us a chance to explain what Super Grammar is all about. Unfortunately, the original text which we wrote for this letter was a little too long for the space that was available on the page for the poster, so it had to get edited down. But since space isn't an issue on our blog, we'd like to end this post by sharing with you the complete and unedited version of our letter addressed to teachers:

Teachers of the world,

It’s no secret to us that teachers are really superheroes.

You all possess extraordinary powers which allow you to inspire large groups of children. You all have the amazing ability to transfer knowledge directly into the minds of your students. And we’re also pretty sure that most of you have eyes in the backs of your heads.

But we also know that, even with these tremendous superpowers, teaching the subject of English grammar can be a difficult task.

Knowing this dilemma, we’d like to offer you our super assistance in the form of our book: Super Grammar. Super Grammar is a very fun, super visual, and highly engaging approach to teaching English grammar using superheroes and supervillains.

In our experience, the best learning tools have always included these three things: word association, visual aids, and superpowers. For this reason, we’ve taken all the major elements of grammar and have personified them with the identity of either a superhero or supervillain, and we’ve taken their word functions and have transformed them into superpowers. 

So with Super Grammar, you won’t just learn about an ordinary part of speech called an adverb. Instead, you will actually meet the vibrant superhero called the Adverb, and you’ll learn about her awesome ability to modify verbs and other adverbs.

Also, you won’t simply be told that you shouldn’t use a double negative in a sentence. Instead, you will actually meet the sinister twin brothers that make up the supervillain team called Double Negative, and then you’ll learn why you shouldn’t let them trick you into falling for their double-talk!

And as you meet these super characters, there will also be illustrated and colorful example sentences that will help you practice and remember the grammar that you are learning. But Super Grammar will never use run-of-the-mill, textbook examples like, “Jane washed her hands before dinner.” No! Super Grammar will only use Super Examples like, “The masked hero rescued the crowd.”

In fact, Super Grammar’s superhero format is consistent throughout the entire book. From parts of speech, through punctuation, and in every one of the example sentences—the superhero tone and humor will always prevail!

So, good teachers of the world, when it comes to teaching English grammar—have no fear. Super Grammar is on the way, and we’re here to help!

Sincerely,

Monday, September 24, 2012

Today is Punctuation Day!

Dear citizens,

We, the Super Symbols, are not known to be characters of many words (it's just not part of our code). Instead, we prefer to stand quietly and faithfully by the words within your sentences, offering them guidance, functionality, and clarity whenever they need our help. And even though we primarily play a silent and symbolic role within your sentences, we always do so with honor, integrity, and respect.

But on this day, September 24th, we break our silence. On this day, good citizens, we will be heard. For on this day—we revel, we exclaim, and we shout these words to the world—"Today is Punctuation Day!"

To commemorate this special day, we offer you this: a Super-Grammar-style illustration, in the guise of a comic book cover. May it serve as a lasting and honorable tribute to punctuation everywhere.

And just for fun, here's a Punctuation Day bonus illustration! It features the brave Captain Hijinks, a superhero who is willing to put his very life on the line to show the importance of proper punctuation.
Happy Punctuation Day to all, and we hope you will celebrate the day with us by marking this occasion in your own special way!

Forever yours,
The Super Symbols

P.S. Don't forget to celebrate Punctuation Day by learning more about the Super Symbols. Use the "LABELS" menu bar (on the right-hand side) to choose a Super Symbol character, or click here!

We'd like to give credit where credit is due:
National Punctuation Day® was founded in 2006 by Jeff Rubin and his wife, Norma. To learn more, visit www.nationalpunctuationday.com.

Thank you, Jeff and Norma, for elevating the national conversation about punctuation and for creating a day that celebrates the importance of these silent sentence superheroes.

Sincerely,
The Super Grammar Team

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Amazing Eight

We're really super excited that our book Super Grammar is about to be released on September 1st. To order your copy, check out retailers like Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, BooksAMillion.com, or find a local bookstore at Indiebound.com.

If you haven't heard about our book yet, Super Grammar is a visual approach to teaching grammar using superheroes and supervillains (learn more here). And if you haven't seen any of our characters yet, take a look (below) at this courageous group of fearless Super Grammar superheroes!

They're called the Amazing Eight, and they represent the eight parts of speech. (Click on any image to see it at full size.)

 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thank you, Comic-Con!

This was a great year for Super Grammar at Comic-Con. And with our book being released on September 1st, we were really super excited to be there to share the news. The great thing, though, is that once people started learning about our book and how it uses superheroes and supervillains to teach the basics of grammar, they also wanted to help us get the word out—like these two MythBusters!

Holy interjections, did it feel great when MythBusters Tory Belleci and Kari Byron stopped by to show their support for Super Grammar. Tory even tweeted about us on his twitter feed.

Comic-Con also had other surprises in store for us, like another tweet about Super Grammar by the amazingly talented Industrial Light and Magic Art Dept. These super artists can draw and design some truly amazing stuff, so to have them give us a nod was really an honor. Thanks a lot, you guys!

With all this extra press happening, we were really glad that we had our promo posters and bookmarks printed up and ready for Comic-Con. We even had some Super Grammar logo t-shirts printed up. Here's a picture of Rhode and me at the Super Grammar booth wearing our t-shirts.
Well, actually, Rhode couldn't wear his t-shirt because he was dressed in costume to promote his very wonderful Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) inspired book called Skeletown (check out Skeletown here!). But he always kept his t-shirt nearby.
Costumes, posters, and twitters aside, though, the very best thing about going to Comic-Con is always the same for us—it's getting to meet you!

To all of you who have been following our blog and/or facebook page and took the time to stop by our booth just to meet us and say "Hi," (you know who you are) thank you so very much. We can't tell you how much we appreciate you and all the support that you give us. And to all of you whom we met for the first time at this year's Comic-Con and have only just learned about this blog and our book, welcome to Super Grammar!

Sincerely,
The Super Grammar Team

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's time for Comic-Con!

About a year ago, Super Grammar made its official public debut at the San Diego Comic-Con, and that's when we let everybody know that we were working on a Super Grammar book. But this year, we're coming back to say, "We finished it!"

To help us get the word out, we've printed up some new Super Grammar promos, like these two posters. The one on the left shows the actual cover to our book, along with its release date and where you can pre-order a copy. And the one on the right is a promo for our blog site.
Also, since we won't have an actual display copy of our book available to show (although we did try), we still wanted to be able to give the Comic-Con goers a preview of all our Super Grammar characters, so we printed up a couple Super Grammar Characters preview booklets that we'll be keeping on hand at our booth (which by the way is booth 1329) so that we can share the look of our Super Grammar superheroes and supervillains.

Here's a peek at the how the preview booklets came out. (And it's also a sneak peek at some new Super Grammar character designs!)
We're really excited to be going back to Comic-con this year, and we're super excited to share the news about our book being released. If you're also going to the Comic-con, please stop in on us at BOOTH 1329 and say hello. We hope to see you there!

Sincerely,
The Super Grammar Team

Friday, June 29, 2012

Super Examples!

When we first started our blog, it was so that we could share some of our ideas and artwork with you as we went through the production of Super Grammar. And now, even though our production of Super Grammar is finished, and even though it's going to be published (very soon—on September 1st!), it doesn't mean that we can't still share some Super Grammar fun with you. So that's what we're going to do!

As you know, at the end of any superhero or supervillain's character description, we always include Super Example sentences to help us better understand and remember what we just learned about that character. Well, in the book, each and every single one of our Super Examples will include a full color illustration.

Here are some of our favorites:

The Prickly Pair are causing trouble.
 
Dr. Brainstorm is hatching an evil plot.

Captain Cliché said, "You'll never get away with this."

Wherever you hide, I'll find you.

The cat burglar is stealing cats.

Every character in the book has at least two Super Example sentences, but many others have as many as eight or nine, depending on how many super powers they possess. And with 29 individual Super Grammar characters in the book, well, that means that you can expect to see over 100 different super powered illustrations in Super Grammar!

Making these Super Examples was a lot of fun for us, but it was also a lot of hard work, especially for Super Grammar's co-creator and illustrator, Rhode Montijo. Luckily though, we had the help of two fellow super artists (and good friends) who came to our rescue. The mighty Jenny Hansen did all the wonderful coloring and shading for all of our Super Examples. And the powerful Joe To helped us hit our looming deadline by inking several of the Super Examples.

They both did an amazing job, and we're proud to have them as part of the Super Grammar team. Thanks a lot, you guys. We couldn't have done it without you!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Super Grammar is on the way!

Hello Citizens,

We've been really busy here at Super Grammar Headquarters for the past few months. We've been working on a high priority super mission that has been requiring our full and undivided attention. But now that this super mission has been successfully completed, we can now share some super, amazing news with you.

Our book—Super Grammar—is on the way!
That's right, citizens; Super Grammar is getting published! We just finished wrapping up production on 176 full color pages of Super Grammar. And, as promised, these pages are all jam-packed with superheroes, supervillians, and fully illustrated super example sentences which are all designed to help everyone better understand and easily remember all the important elements related to English grammar (See "ABOUT: SUPERGRAMMAR" on the menu bar at the top).

Super Grammar will be available on September 1st of this year—just in time for back-to-school. But you don't have to wait for back-to-school to order your copy of Super Grammar. You can reserve a copy anytime through this link: Order Super Grammar!

We're really super excited to share this news with you. And in the coming weeks, we'll be sharing more information, artwork, and Super Grammar related fun, so stay tuned!

Sincerely,
The Super Grammar Team

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Comma Splice

Beware, citizen, for this is not really the Comma!   
This imposter is The Comma Splice, and as a sinister member of the Sabotage Squad (a.k.a. grammar mistakes), this counterfeit comma is out to fool you into making a classic grammar mistake: splicing together complete sentences.

Real commas are useful and powerful pieces of punctuation, but they don't have the power to join two complete sentences together.  That’s why true commas would never try to do such a thing.  But The Comma Splice is neither honest nor true, and that’s why she’s on a malicious mission to trick you into thinking that she has the power to join complete sentences.

For example:
They need help, I must fly to the rescue.

This sentence is not correct.  It’s a comma splice: a fake comma that is incorrectly splicing (or patching) together two complete sentences. 

Complete sentences cannot be correctly joined together by a single comma.  In order to be correct, complete sentences must either be: 1) ended with proper sentence-ending punctuation, 2) joined together by using the combination of a comma with a coordinating conjunction, or 3) joined together using a semicolon.  

To fix this sentence, we’ll use a semicolon, like this:

They need help; I must fly to the rescue.

There’s a correct way to join two complete sentences together, and there’s a wrong way; using a comma splice will never be a correct way.

So, citizen, now that you know about this counterfeit comma, The Comma Splice, don’t let her fool you into splicing your sentences together; because in the end, no matter how you splice it—it’s still a mistake!

EVIL POWER: 
The Comma Splice has the power to fool you into thinking that she can join together two complete sentences.

SUPER EXAMPLES:

1) 

I can’t believe it, he’s breaking loose.

comma splice: two complete sentences spliced together with a comma.

I can’t believe it.  He’s breaking loose.

Fix by: separating them out into two sentences, and  ended both with proper sentence-ending punctuation.

2) 

It’s true, I’m a mutant.

comma splice: two complete sentences spliced together with a comma.

It’s true; I’m a mutant.

Fix by:  adding a semicolon to properly join them into one sentence.

3)

You grab the cash, I’ll snatch the jewels.

comma splice: two complete sentences spliced together with a comma.

You grab the cash, and I’ll snatch the jewels.

Fixed by: adding a comma and a coordinating conjunction to join them into one sentence.

4)

Your muscles are strong, your mind is weak.

comma splice: two complete sentences spliced together with a comma.

Your muscles are strong, but your mind is weak.

Fixed by: adding a comma and a coordinating conjunction to join them into one sentence.