Do you want to build a sentence?

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The reinforcement of concepts can sometimes be a tedious task. Here is a great way to practice sentence building during center time:

1. Create a word-bank wall using any flat surface. (An old metal filing cabinet makes a great wall.)

2. Make labels for the parts of speech that you have introduced to your students so far this year. 

3. Include examples of the parts of speech under the labels. 

4. Now, it's Activity Time! Instruct your students to move the words around to build sentences.

This is wonderful practice for your kinesthetic and concrete learners! Don't forget to make sure the sentence has a subject, verb, and makes complete sense.


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Cindy Goeden

Cindy Goeden has enjoyed being involved with Shurley English for the last sixteen of her twenty-six years in the field of education.  Working with various levels of students in elementary, junior, and high schools, in both the private and public arenas, Cindy surely is thankful for the providential day that she was introduced to Shurley English, which changed forever her approach to Language Arts instruction. That has led to her current job of having the joy of sharing about Shurley with other educators.  Her love of learning has prodded her to earn over two hundred and twenty hours, which includes two bachelor degrees in education.


Cindy currently lives with her husband, Donald, in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she enjoys puttering in her flowers, changing up her décor with the seasons, and occasionally getting out and traveling with Donald to either explore a new beach or view historic sights and gardens.

A Grammar Necklace: The Perfect Accessory


It's always a great idea to have an activity on hand for days when reinforcement is needed. Here's a great activity to add to your toolbox: The Grammar Necklace.

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 a part of speech on the construction paper. (example: SN for Subject Noun)

4. Repeat this process until you have created all the parts of speech you wish to use. (Remember, you may need to create several necklaces for adjectives, adverbs, article adjectives, etc.)

You can utilize these necklaces in a variety of ways. Here are a few ideas:

1. Divide students into groups. Give each student in a group one grammar necklace. Have the group create a sentence, using the correct Q&A Flow order. Each student is responsible for choosing the word that corresponds with the label he/she is wearing. (Remember to use the Sentence Jingle to verify that you have the five parts of a complete sentence.)

2. While studying prepositional phrases, create a "labeled" sentence by having a group of students stand at the front of the room. Each person should be wearing the appropriate part of speech for the sentence you are studying. Have the students in the prepositional phrase hold hands. Then, show what happens to the sentence when you take away the phrase. Show what happens when you move the phrase to the front or end of the sentence. This activity is a great way to show how the phrase stays together and must move as one unit!

3. Write a sentence on the board. Using magnets, label each word with the appropriate necklace piece.

4. Give each student in the room a grammar necklace. While you classify a sentence as a group, have each student stand when his/her part of speech is labeled.

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