Sentence generator

What did you and your family do on the holidays? In this activity you will experiment with our special sentence generator which reports on some unusual holiday happenings.

Goals

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will use a sentence generator to build a variety of sentences and explore the ways that they can be rearranged.

The sentence generator appears in the slides in the Activity page in the right hand menu. Familiarise yourself with it before class time. The generator builds up complex sentences by combining different elements. You can click on each column to scroll up and down, and make different combinations. Some combinations will make more sense than others! You can also click on the dice at the top of the columns to get a new random ordering of elements.

Students can use the generator in Slide 1 on a smart board and see who can come up with the five most interesting holiday activities.

The students shoud discuss how the sentence generator works to put together complex sentences. They might observe the following:

Slide 2 displays a different version of the sentence generator. In this version you can also experiment with changing the order of the elements within a sentence. You can do this by clicking within a column and dragging to left or right (or by clicking on the arrows at the tops of the columns). In this version, there are no full stops and no initial capitals for the first word, so you will need to add these if you write out some of the sentences. You might need to add some commas too.

Students should discuss what they notice about changing the order. Here are some points to think about:

Discussion

As you will have noticed, there is a fair amount of freedom in moving many of these sentence elements around, e.g.:

But the meaning can change in some cases, e.g.:

In this example it’s the complaining by the neighbours that was done very solemnly, instead of my harmonica-playing (at least in the most likely interpretation). Here the adverb phrase very solemnly has become part of the subordinate clause (until the neighbours complained very solemnly).

Some elements sound rather unnatural in some positions, for example eagerly (the question marks indicate doubtful examples):

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Sentence generator: Activity

Click on each column to scroll up and down, and make different combinations.

Click on the dice at the top of the columns to get a new random ordering of elements.

In slide 2, re-order elements by clicking within a column and dragging to left or right (or by clicking on the arrows at the tops of the columns).

We went for a bike ride
We went camping
I picked brambles
I sang the national anthem
I rode my scooter
We ate lots of icecream
We made pizza
I told jokes
I pulled my little sister’s hair
We played beach volleyball
I stayed up all night
I played computer games with my friends
My little sister rode her tricycle
My father told ghost stories
My mother read thrillers
The dog chased the ducks
I threw stones at the rabbits
My little sister had a tantrum
I practised my drumming
I mowed the lawn
I washed the dishes
I cooked spaghetti for dinner
I swam in the duckpond
I hid my little sister’s teddy bear
I played the harmonica
in the forest
with our dog Beano
in the town centre
in the hallway
stupidly
cheerfully
wildly
at the zoo
rather recklessly
eagerly
in a nappy
all day long
secretly
by torchlight
in the mountains
in the treehouse
annoyingly
reluctantly
lazily
most regrettably
as usual
with a heavy heart
every night
nearly every day
very solemnly
although it was raining.
wearing woolly scarves.
because it was hot.
laughing dementedly.
whenever I felt like it.
to irritate my mother.
because I was bored.
smiling sweetly.
gurgling happily.
when nobody was looking.
to impress everybody.
although my parents begged me not to.
until we were sick.
if nobody stopped me.
when my cousins were visiting.
until the neighbours complained.
to pass the time.
to surprise my parents.
because my parents nagged me about it.
feeling grumpy.
although it annoyed everyone.
while my parents were sleeping.
because I wanted to.
wearing striped pyjamas.
ignoring my family’s jeers.

we went for a bike ride
we went camping
I picked brambles
I sang the national anthem
I rode my scooter
we ate lots of icecream
we made pizza
I told jokes
I pulled my little sister’s hair
we played beach volleyball
I stayed up all night
I played computer games with my friends
my little sister rode her tricycle
my father told ghost stories
my mother read thrillers
the dog chased the ducks
I threw stones at the rabbits
my little sister had a tantrum
I practised my drumming
I mowed the lawn
I washed the dishes
I cooked spaghetti for dinner
I swam in the duckpond
I hid my little sister’s teddy bear
I played the harmonica
in the forest
with our dog Beano
in the town centre
in the hallway
stupidly
cheerfully
wildly
at the zoo
rather recklessly
eagerly
in a nappy
all day long
secretly
by torchlight
in the mountains
in the treehouse
annoyingly
reluctantly
lazily
most regrettably
as usual
with a heavy heart
every night
nearly every day
very solemnly
although it was raining
wearing woolly scarves
because it was hot
laughing dementedly
whenever I felt like it
to irritate my mother
because I was bored
smiling sweetly
gurgling happily
when nobody was looking
to impress everybody
although my parents begged me not to
until we were sick
if nobody stopped me
when my cousins were visiting
until the neighbours complained
to pass the time
to surprise my parents
because my parents nagged me about it
feeling grumpy
although it annoyed everyone
while my parents were sleeping
because I wanted to
wearing striped pyjamas
ignoring my family’s jeers

Full Preview

This is a full preview of this page. You can view one page a day like this without registering. But if you wish to use it in your classroom, please register your details on Englicious (for free) and then log in!