Sentence Pattern Study: Pattern 3

Sentence Pattern 3 with Shurley English ELA.jpg

Last week, we began our study of sentence patterns. Remember, if you recognize the pattern of a sentence’s core parts, the grammar of the sentence (or its word arrangement) will make more sense. Last time, we discussed Pattern 1 and Pattern 2.

Today, let’s start our study with a new Pattern 2 Sentence: Jackson throws some bread. Remember, transitive verbs (V-t) transfer action to an object.

Pattern 2 Review.png

Now, let’s remake this sentence into a Pattern 3. We will simply add an indirect object (IO).

Pattern 3 Sentence with Shurley English.png

The chickens get the bread Jackson is throwing. That makes the chickens the indirect object. Here is the pattern: SN V-t IO DO.

You can talk yourself through it like this: 

Jackson throws what? bread – direct object

Jackson throws bread to what?  chickens – indirect object


The chickens are the indirect objects that get the bread. Now, practice some Pattern 3 sentences on your own, using these steps:

Step 1 – Substitute the subject noun, verb, and direct object in your own sentence.

Step 2 – Add an indirect object that can receive your direct object…and still make sense!

Next time, we’ll learn about Pattern 4!

How to Implement Team Writing: Establishing Guidelines

Team Writing with Shurley English.jpg

The overall goal of team writing is to provide an opportunity for small groups of students to collaborate during each step of the writing process to produce a shared piece of writing

If a team writing activity sounds like an implausible dream (considering your students’ diverse stages of writing development), take a deep breath and listen up!  You might be surprised to learn that there are tremendous benefits in store!  Some of the most notable student benefits include having the opportunity to…

a)   discuss the writing process with peers.

b)   listen to the ideas and perspectives of others.

c)   learn to negotiate.  

d)   learn to meet deadlines.

e)   find a complementary partner(s).

f)    get inspiration from others.

g)   have fun.


Shurley English includes team writing opportunities in most grade levels, and as these lessons are introduced, two key components for success are defined:  respect and teamwork

Students are taught that respect is first and foremost.  It means to show people that they are important through our words, actions, and attitude.  Students are expected to treat others with respect and to follow these Guidelines for Respect during team writing. 

Guidelines for Respect with Shurley English.png

The other key component for team writing success is Teamwork. Students learn that teamwork means working closely with others to reach a goal.  They also learn that teamwork and respect go hand-in-hand.  When teammates respect each other, they make an effort to work together to reach their goals.  Everyone on the team must participate, communicate, and cooperate equally! 

Guidelines for Teamwork with Shurley English.png

As you can see, there are many positive benefits that come from team writing opportunities.  As the teacher, you can rest assured that Shurley English provides the necessary steps for students to collaborate successfully through each step of the writing process.  Why not make a team writing project a part of your lesson planning soon?

Sentence Pattern Study: Pattern 1 and Pattern 2

Sentence Patterns with Shurley English.jpg

Learning English grammar can be tough, but, as the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words. So, I am taking the high road on this series and making it visual—thereby sparing well over 980 words…and your sanity!

If you are up on your brain science, you know that our brains seek patterns to make sense of the world. In English, even our sentences fall into patterns. If you recognize the pattern of a sentence’s core parts, the grammar of the sentence (or its word arrangement) will make more sense. Look at this:

Pattern 1 with Shurley English.png

This sentence follows the SN V pattern. In Shurley English, we call this Pattern 1. We know who the sentence is about and what he is doing.

Now, watch as the pattern changes to Pattern 2.

Pattern 2 with Shurley English.png

Pattern 2 sentences have a SN V-t DO pattern (DO stands for direct object). You still have the subject noun and a verb, but the verb is transitive this time. Transitive verbs (V-t) transfer action to an object. In this case, Jackson has become the object that gets chased…by the chickens. (Run, Jackson, run!) Jackson is now the direct object that is getting chased by the chickens. Jackson receives the action of the verb, chase.

Next time, we’ll learn about Pattern 3. (Stay tuned!)