Beginning Grammar and Writing with Linking Blocks I – Live Online Video Course


Beginning Grammar and Writing with Linking Blocks I is semester one of a two-semester English live online video course for students grade 5-9. It will be taught by our author, Mr. John Menken. The course covers grammar, sentences, and outlining skills that are necessary for writing good paragraphs. Students learn the eight parts of speech through hands-on methods as they manipulate colored blocks that represent words. Throughout the course, students will learn to write descriptive and expository paragraphs as well as simple narratives. Mr. Menken will grade the student’s written work. There are 15 sessions per semester. The second semester course must be purchased separately.

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SKU: BWG1 Category:


Title of Class: Beginning Grammar and Writing with Linking Blocks
Instructor: Mr. John Menken
For Grades: 5-9
Class size: Min. 4 Max. 12
Homework: 3 hours per week
Fee: $399/Semester
Sessions: 15 sessions per semester

Please note: This purchase covers the first semester of the course. The second semester is offered alternating with this course and must be purchased separately. If a minimum enrollment is not met, we may cancel or postpone the course and issue a refund.

Class Description

Words fit together in predictable, patterned ways to build rigid structures we call sentences. The Hands-On English with Linking Blocks™ program builds sentence structures using blocks. We will assign a color to these blocks to represent each part of speech. Next, we will learn the color patterns of the most common sentence structures. This is a new way to learn English!

As we manipulate tangible, three-dimensional objects that represent words, principles of the language become evident in ways that are obscure or unnoticed in a two-dimensional study on paper. Those students who are challenged with normal pencil-and-paper learning will readily grasp a more visual, object-based presentation. The course is appropriate for most 5th through 8th graders.

Beginning Grammar and Writing with Linking Blocks™ is a two-semester course that will introduce all eight parts of speech. Students will use their new grammar skills in writing sentences, paragraphs, and small compositions. The course will be taught by John Menken, who developed the Hands-On English with Linking Blocks™ program. A minimum enrollment of five students is required to offer the class.

This two-semester course will be presented in one-hour classes one day a week using the Zoom platform. It is offered at 11:00 a.m. Central Time on Fridays.

View Fall 2024 Class Schedule

Required Materials/Texts

Instructor Background

Mr. Menken has taught English in public and Christian schools, at community colleges, and at home school co-ops for almost twenty years. He has also been a technical writer, an editor, a workshop presenter, and a published author. He is the author of the Hands-On English with Linking BlocksTM grammar program and co-owner of Rockford Tutors in Machesney Park.


“My children had the opportunity to take Linking Blocks both in person and then online when the class was moved to a virtual format due to COVID-19. I was impressed with how Mr. Menken maintained the integrity of his in-person teaching by keeping the online classes engaging and informative. Not only was the online instruction well-received by my children, but it gave them the tools to continue their bookwork and writing assignments just as they did when they were in the classroom.”
-Katrissa Howard

“Over many years, my four children have had the privilege of taking the Hands-On Linking Blocks course with Mr. Menken. My children came into the class with vastly different strengths and weaknesses; however, they all profited from this course. Each one came out with a greater understanding of the English language and improved writers. Due to the pandemic, my youngest daughter’s class was moved to the online communication platform, Zoom. Her transition from the classroom to video conferencing was a smooth process. She was able to take instruction from Mr. Menken as well as participate in discussion with her peers just as she if she was in a classroom. Utilizing Zoom was a positive experience for her. I have seen firsthand the benefits of this course and would highly recommend it.”