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May 16, 2009

Teaching Sentence Structures


In a previous Blog post, I shared that I teach my kids to write different types of sentences by giving them different sentence structures to practice.  Recently, a kindergarten teacher asked me to share some of the sentence structures that I teach my kids to write over the course of the year.  Here is a list of some that I usually use.

The ______ is (color).
I see the ______ .
I see the (color) ______ .
I like the ______.
I like the (color) ______ .
Here is a ______ .
Here is a (color) ______ .
It can ______ .
I can ______ .
I can see a ______ .
My ______  is (color).
I have a ______ .
I have a (color) ______ .
They are ______ .
They are (color) ______ .
I can go see a ______ .
I can go see a (color) ______ .
The ______  is for me.
The (color) ______  is for me.
I like to play with ______ .
You like to play with ______ .
He likes ______ .
She likes ______ .
He can ______ .
She can ______ .
You can ______ .
You can see ______ .
That was a ______ .
That was a (color) ______ .


At the end of the year, we try to write a story about ourselves.  It usually goes something like this:

I am a ______.  (girl or boy.)
I have (color) ______.
I like ______.
I can ______.


We sound out the ending words, or get them off of a word wall.  We use the word wall for the ending words more in the fall, and progressively less over the course of the second semester.  That way, by the time they have to write the story about themselves, they can pretty easily sound out the final word in each sentence.  They can write other sentences, too, if they want.  The structures are just a guideline to get them started.  I put one of these sentence structures into their homework each week so that they are also practicing at home on these types of sentences.  Recently, I added a mini Word Wall to their homework binders, too.  It is mounted on a file folder and laminated, and then I punched it so that it would fit in the binder.  Now they have a word wall to work with at home as well.  It seems to work great!

I do also have the kids do some journalling starting in February or March, and at this time they can write anything that they choose.  But when we journal, they cannot ask for any help with spelling, etc.  They are on their own while writing, and then if I can find the time, I let each of them read me their entries during their playtime about once a week.