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Here are some lessons I use with my students to teach them about sentences.


Activities & Lessons

Sentence or not a Sentence?
One of the first things I try to teach my students is to recognize sentences. They learn that sentences express a complete idea.  Here are some exercises that will help them recognize sentences.

  • Have each student make two cards (one will say SENTENCE and the other will say NOT A SENTENCE). The teacher then reads phrases aloud.  If it's a sentence, then children must raise the correct card. If it is not a sentence, then they raise the other card.

  • Sentence editing: Using spelling words, make pretend a student has written their spelling sentences and it is the class' job to correct them.  Give each student a copy of the spelling sentences and a red pen (or have them use a red crayon).  Students need to circle all the sentences that are not complete.  Then, on the bottom, students need to complete the sentences they circled.

  • On sentence strips, write phrases that are sentences and incomplete sentences.  On the board or on a pocket chart, have two columns with the headings Sentence and Not a Sentence.  Give each student a sentence strip.  Have students place the strips under the correct heading.  To extend the activity, as a class, complete the incomplete sentences together, emphasizing capitalization and punctuation.

Subject and Predicates
Most teachers use subject and predicate to teach the parts of sentences.  Here are some activities using subject and predicate.

  • Silly Sentences:  Create packets with subject, verb, and predicates.  EXAMPLE: The big butterfly flew in a jar of jelly. Have students choose one strip from each packet.  Put the strips together to form a silly sentence. Have them draw an illustration and write the sentence underneath.  Have them circle the subject and underline the predicate.

The Five W's
The five w's are who, what, where, when, and why.  I teach my students how to "diagram" sentences using the five w's.  I have found that it helps students create better sentences.

  • Use a sentence with the five w's to show how to create these sentences. An example is The kids ran down the street today to see the parade.
  • Have students trace their hands on a piece of construction paper.  On the palm of the hand have them write the title "Five W's". Use dot stickers and place on the tips of the construction paper fingers.  On each dot write a W word. This will help students memorize the five w's.
  • If you require your students to write spelling sentences, have them use at least 3 w's to complete the sentences.  Increase the required number as the months go by.
  • Have a contest that requires them to write the longest sentences they can using the 5 W's.


Learning Centers

Center 1: On sentence strips, write complete sentences.  Cut them into subjects and predicates.  Place the strips in a large brown envelope and place in a center.  Students must match the subjects with the predicates, rewrite the sentences, and illustrate them.

Center 2:  Create 5 packets of strips for who, what, where, when, and why.  Have students take out strips of phrases from each packet to form a sentence. Ask students to see how many sentences they can make using the strips.

Center 3: Computer Center-- Use some of the online activities to create a computer center on sentences.  Bookmark the pages.  When students work on the different online activities, have them record the sentences on a their own individual record sheet.



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