1.2c How the Guthridge Grammar System (GGS) Works – Part 3

The Seven Wonders of the Word

Goal C: Link with History & Geography

Dr. G. was not fully satisfied with the system a few years after he created it. He wanted it more teacher friendly. He had conducted training for 5000+ teachers in his 48 years of full-time teaching. He knew that many teachers, especially elementary teachers, taught multiple subjects with textbooks whose lessons had little to do with one another.

Grammar concepts usually were coupled with exercises that did not fit with other subjects.

Therefore, he created short essays that link grammar concepts with world history, geography, art history, ecology, and so on.

Also, Dr. G. has gotten fed up with having to teach basic geography to students in first-year written courses in college. “I have had students in Italy who cannot name the two countries to the west and who think that Poland is below France and that Spain is above Germany.  I had a ‘B’ student in Kaiserslautern who did not know Germany’s main river, even though she had crossed it many times on her way to the airport in Frankfurt.”  
But it gets worse.

“We earlier had given an 80-question quiz to first-year college students in the U.S.  The scores were beyond appalling.” 

Some of the questions, none of which are trick questions:

Many of the students were their high school’s valedictorians and salutatorians.  Yet the fewest missed (again, out of 80 questions) was 29. One student missed 73, which the faculty administering the test didn’t think possible. Most students missed 40 to 50. Again, these are college students. Many said that Jesus came before Neanderthal man. Over 10 percent said Martin Luther King Jr. came before Martin Luther. 

“I have presented that evidence on the website, Quora, and a couple of others,” Dr. G. says. “People came unglued, as they should. But instead of being angry that young people do not know these things, they attacked me. ‘You must have taught in Podunk U.,’ one said. ‘This is a LIE,’ several said. Except it wasn’t.  And I have taught at the University of Montana, the University of Oregon, the University of Alaska, and the University of Maryland Global Campus, among other places. Such lack of basic knowledge seems universal, at least among Americans.  Dr. E. D. Hirsch, from the University of Virginia, wrote a bestseller, Cultural Literacy, several decades ago. He said the same thing. He also pointed out that, contrary to what some people insist, today’s generation is not the best educated. Not by a long shot.” 

Dr. G. decided to do something about the problem. Most of the essays he and a team of essayists have written for GGS are designed to teach basic geography and history while also teaching grammar. Many essays include cartoons created by Joshua Msonthe, a self-taught, highly gifted artist from Malawi. He drew them specifically for GGS.

    1. –Who came first, Jesus or Neanderthal man? 
    2. –What is the biggest city in Colorado?
    3. –Approximately when was the U.S. Constitution written?
    4. –What are the seven continents?
    5. –Approximately when did World War II occur?
    6. –During World War II, who was the leader of Germany? 

Of the Soviet Union? Of the United States? Of Italy?

    1. –What country attacked Pearl Harbor?
    2. –What is the capital of Oklahoma?
    3. –What is the continent below Europe?
    4. –From what country did the U.S. buy most of the American West?
    5. –From what country did the U.S. buy Alaska?
    6. –Approximately when was the U.S. Civil War?
    7. –What were tworeasons the U.S. Civil War was fought?
    8. –Who came first, Martin Luther or Martin Luther King Jr.?
    9. –What U.S. city is most associated with the American automobile industry?
    10. –What is the largest island (not continent) in the world?
    11. –How many states make up the United States today?
    12. –How many states were in the original United States?
    13. –How many moons does Earth have?
    14. –Excluding Pluto, how many planets are in our solar system?
    15. –What is the name of our galaxy? 
    16. –Who was the leader of the American Revolution? 
    17. –Who is credited with inventing the light bulb?
    18. –What was Herman Melville’s masterpiece?
    19. –What is the exact date when the United States became a country?

Extra credit: What is the northernmost state in the United States? The southernmost? The westernmost? The easternmost? (Answer all four correctly = +1point.)



How does it work? For example, ….

For example, instead of “showing action” (most verbs we use do not do that), a verb becomes “a word that fits She ______. OR They ________.”


          She runs.   They run.

          She talks.   They talk.

          She is.        They are.

Some verbs fit both blanks:  She ran.  They ran.

The Guthridge Grammar System describes verbs as the queen of the sentence.


To practice identifying verbs, teachers can have students work with short essays on The Evil Queen (grade 1+), Marie Antoinette (Grade 7+), Boudica (Grade 10+) and Queen Ranavalona the Cruel (AP+). Those help teachers teach children’s literature and teach about the history of France, England, and Madagascar, respectively.     


The essays are divided among the seven continents.

Similarly, the system divides grammar into seven subsections.

The result is The Seven Wonders of the Word.