Grammar Reinforcement + Sentence Building FUN!

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As you near the end of your school year, it’s more important than ever to change up how you review any of the skills you want your students to retain over the summer. If you’re using Shurley English, there are many ways to add a twist to almost any concept you want to reinforce.

Earlier in the year, we showed you how to make Grammar Necklaces with the parts of speech. Here's a variation of this activity that I like to call "Team Building Sentences." (Team Building/Building Sentences...see what I did there?!?)  Here's what you need to get started:


Supplies Needed: yarn, construction paper, markers, stapler or tape

Assembly Instructions:

1.   Fold a sheet of construction paper in half over the yarn.

2. Staple or tape the outside edges to keep the yarn in place.

3. Write words on the construction paper. The more choices you offer, the more fun your kids will have! Be sure to have samples from all eight parts of speech. Here are some examples to get you started:

a, an, the

bug, lizard, leaf, log, rock

creepy, slimy, brown, scary, hairy, fuzzy, wet

under, over, around, inside

scuttled, oozed, crept, slithered, zig-zagged


Now, you can utilize these word necklaces in a variety of ways. Here are a few ideas:

1. With students wearing the word necklaces, arrange them in front of your classroom or learning space in a scrambled order. Then, when you say “Go!” have them rearrange themselves so that the necklaces create a complete sentence. You may even want to spice up the competition by giving them a time limit. Students who aren’t wearing the necklace can be the audience first, and then have everyone switch roles after one turn.

2. To help build teamwork skills, have your students who are “wearing the words” to collaborate and assemble their own sentences by traveling around, linking arms with other suitable partners whose words will help them build a great sentence. Be sure to have punctuation signs available that are not on necklaces, but displayed where they can be selected and used to make the sentences complete.



After you have verified that a correct sentence has been created, it’s time to jazz it up a bit by having students experiment with the four sentence types taught in Shurley English: declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory. Students will get a great grammar workout by arranging and re-arranging the “human sentences” so that each kind of sentence is created, using the same words.


The possibilities are endless! Feel free to share your ideas with us by using the comment section below.

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David Lutz

David, a former classroom teacher, administrator, and self-proclaimed grammar nut, considers the oddities of English vocabulary and grammar his playthings! He received his degrees in elementary education, teaching, and curriculum design from CMU in Fayette, MO, and the University of St. Mary, Leavenworth, KS, respectively. His career has been a colorful collage of experiences in education, ranging from Kindergarten to Adult education and parenting classes.


He and his wife, Marjorie, have been blessed with 30 years of marriage, three grown sons, a cherished daughter-in-law, and the smartest, cutest grandson on the planet! He’s worked for Shurley Instructional Materials, Inc., for over 11 years and loves to help students and their teachers learn to love language and language learning as much as he does.