I’ve offered ideas for using advice columns in the past. I’ve suggested using such materials for grammar topics, such as gerunds and infinitives. In the context of an advance writing class, I once used advice letters as a means to practice parallelism. Let me share the materials I used.
STEP 1 – Have students read the model. Have them identify the structures which require parallelism. Here they are in the order they appear (in response letter):
- gone over and talked
- that his cats make so much noise or that the walls are so thin
- explain the situation and not complain about it
- Speak rather than yell
- how you yourself love cats and how you’d like to find a solution that keeps everyone happy
- keep his balcony door shut during the day and have the cats spend the night in his living room instead of his bedroom
- you, your neighbor, and his cats
STEP 2 – Present additional structures if desired. They might include: not only…but (also), whether…or, either…or, neither…nor, just as….
STEP 3 – Place students in pairs. From the tasks sheet assign them each a letter to respond to. In their letter, they must provide advice using at least three different examples of parallel strucuture.
STEP 4 – Create small groups of 4 or 6 by combining pairs who responded to the same letter. Each pair will present their advice to the other pair(s). Encourage them to discuss similarities and differences.