Across the Curriculum: Sentence Construction

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Across the Curriculum activities are intended to be purposeful and meaningful, but coming up with a great idea that truly connects content can be tough. Today, let's explore an Across the Curriculum activity that you can utilize during your ELA block using Sentence Blueprints. 


What is a Sentence Blueprint?

Sentence Blueprints are a unique feature in Shurley English. Writing Sentence Blueprints helps students make the connection between grammar and the writing process. Writing Sentence Blueprints from grammar labels establishes a foundation for sentence composition. Then, students learn to expand and improve their original sentences, using revision strategies to write improved sentences. In addition, Sentence Blueprints sneak in many other skills, including sentence analyzation and sentence sense work while the student is experiencing the power of revision as they focus on only one sentence.

In our Across the Curriculum activity, your students will use vocabulary from an area of focus to help them build understanding in two ways. First, they will learn to build and revise their writing. Secondly, they will grow in their knowledge of the content area you are exploring.


Getting Started:

First, decide on a theme or topic from another subject area. For example, if your school is focusing on the theme of fitness- emphasizing exercise, healthy eating, good sleep habits, and living a balanced life, you can design a lesson with Sentence Blueprints that helps your students focus on the vocabulary related to that emphasis. Here's a quick checklist that you can follow:

  1. Select your area of focus/theme.
  2. List the parts of speech your students have learned.
  3. List the sentence patterns your students have learned.
  4. Model a themed Sentence Blueprint for your students.
  5. Provide your students with a Sentence Blueprint worksheet.
  6. Let your students get focused while being creative!

Here's an example of a completed Across the Curriculum Sentence Blueprint using a fitness theme:

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IMPORTANT REMINDER: Don't forget, an important step in this process is going through the sentence showing the six revision strategies. This will help your students see the power of revising as they participate in the writing process at the sentence level. (We'll dive deeper into the six revisions strategies on another day.)


Comment /Source

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.