Sentence building

In this activity, students ask the question: what is a sentence? Then, they answer it using an interactive smart board sentence generator.

Goals

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will answer the question: what is a sentence?

Younger students often have difficulty distinguishing between complete sentences and long strings of words that are not, in fact, sentences. This lesson walks them through the process of building a sentence step-by-step, focusing on what makes a sentence a sentence.

In the Activity page in the right hand menu, the first slide shows a set of nouns. The nouns can be scrolled up and down using a finger on the smart board. The 'dice' icon will re-order the nouns. All of these nouns (and the additional words and phrases in subsequent slides) have been selected because they occur regularly in our corpus.

Ask the students: 'Is this a complete sentence?' Most students will know that it is not.

The second slide shows the nouns preceded by adjectives. Again, you can scroll through the words or re-order each word list with the 'dice' icon. Let the students enjoy creating some funny and interesting noun phrases this way. Then ask the students: 'Is this a complete sentence?' Again, most students will know that it is not, but some may be unsure.

In the third slide, the phrase becomes longer, now including a determiner. Play with the combinations of words and ask the students if this is a complete sentence. Some may think it is - but it's not!

In the fourth slide, students are presented with a very long string of words that now includes a preposition phrase. Continue to play with the combinations. Now, many students will think that they have a complete sentence. Explain to them that there is still something missing.

In the fifth slide, a verb phrase is introduced. This verb phrase is essential - without it, we don't have a complete sentence. Review with students the meaning of verb

After students understand that slide 5 shows complete sentences with verb phrases, show them slide 6, which is identical to slide 5, but with capital letters and full stops to show that we are viewing complete sentences.

Now, the students can explore which elements can be taken away - that is, which elements are not necessary for a complete sentence. First, in slide 7, the preposition phrases are removed. Ask students if the examples are still sentences. They are! (And because they are, the capital letters and full stops have been retained). Then, in slide 8, the adjectives are removed, and the examples are still complete sentences. Why? Because they retain a Subject (in the form of the noun) and a Predicate (in the form of a verb phrase). Then, in slide 9, the complete sentences are reduced to their core elements.

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Sentence building: Activity

glasses
noises
faces
schools
lunches
phones
notes
desks
lemons
children
computers
stars
curtains
needles
dreams
words
mothers
tables
hands
kitchens
hills

tall
medium
frightful
glad
jolly
young
grey
bad
old
new
furious
hot
grassy
white
tired
fishy
friendly
special
clean
glasses
noises
faces
schools
lunches
phones
notes
desks
lemons
children
computers
stars
curtains
needles
dreams
words
mothers
tables
hands
kitchens
hills

three
many
two
few
four
fifteen
one hundred
two thousand
tall
medium
frightful
glad
jolly
young
grey
bad
old
new
furious
hot
grassy
white
tired
fishy
friendly
special
clean
glasses
noises
faces
schools
lunches
phones
notes
desks
lemons
children
computers
stars
curtains
needles
dreams
words
mothers
tables
hands
kitchens
hills

three
many
two
few
four
fifteen
one hundred
two thousand
tall
medium
frightful
glad
jolly
young
grey
bad
old
new
furious
hot
grassy
white
tired
fishy
friendly
special
clean
glasses
noises
faces
schools
lunches
phones
notes
desks
lemons
children
computers
stars
curtains
needles
dreams
words
mothers
tables
hands
kitchens
hills
with shadows
with slime
with ears
with presents
with marmalade
with questions
from the airport
from the train
in the mud
in the background
in the house
in her hair
at the fountain
at work
at bedtime

three
many
two
few
four
fifteen
one hundred
two thousand
tall
medium
frightful
glad
jolly
young
grey
bad
old
new
furious
hot
grassy
white
tired
fishy
friendly
special
clean
glasses
noises
faces
schools
lunches
phones
notes
desks
lemons
children
computers
stars
curtains
needles
dreams
words
mothers
tables
hands
kitchens
hills
with shadows
with slime
with ears
with presents
with marmalade
with questions
from the airport
from the train
in the mud
in the background
in the house
in her hair
at the fountain
at work
at bedtime
played cricket
are coming
enjoyed the show
want a party
keep worrying
were waiting
saw the light
are buying new chairs
drink coffee
are very tired
locked the door
climb the stairs
parked the car
were watching the dog

Three
Many
Two
Few
Four
Fifteen
One hundred
Two thousand
tall
medium
frightful
glad
jolly
young
grey
bad
old
new
furious
hot
grassy
white
tired
fishy
friendly
special
clean
glasses
noises
faces
schools
lunches
phones
notes
desks
lemons
children
computers
stars
curtains
needles
dreams
words
mothers
tables
hands
kitchens
hills
with shadows
with slime
with ears
with presents
with marmalade
with questions
from the airport
from the train
in the mud
in the background
in the house
in her hair
at the fountain
at work
at bedtime
played cricket.
are coming.
enjoyed the show.
want a party.
keep worrying.
were waiting.
saw the light.
are buying new chairs.
drink coffee.
are very tired.
locked the door.
climb the stairs.
parked the car.
were watching the dog.

Three
Many
Two
Few
Four
Fifteen
One hundred
Two thousand
tall
medium
frightful
glad
jolly
young
grey
bad
old
new
furious
hot
grassy
white
tired
fishy
friendly
special
clean
glasses
noises
faces
schools
lunches
phones
notes
desks
lemons
children
computers
stars
curtains
needles
dreams
words
mothers
tables
hands
kitchens
hills
played cricket.
are coming.
enjoyed the show.
want a party.
keep worrying.
were waiting.
saw the light.
are buying new chairs.
drink coffee.
are very tired.
locked the door.
climb the stairs.
parked the car.
were watching the dog.

Three
Many
Two
Few
Four
Fifteen
One hundred
Two thousand
glasses
noises
faces
schools
lunches
phones
notes
desks
lemons
children
computers
stars
curtains
needles
dreams
words
mothers
tables
hands
kitchens
hills
played cricket.
are coming.
enjoyed the show.
want a party.
keep worrying.
were waiting.
saw the light.
are buying new chairs.
drink coffee.
are very tired.
locked the door.
climb the stairs.
parked the car.
were watching the dog.

Glasses
Noises
Faces
Schools
Lunches
Phones
Notes
Desks
Lemons
Children
Computers
Stars
Curtains
Needles
Dreams
Words
Mothers
Tables
Hands
Kitchens
Hills
played cricket.
are coming.
enjoyed the show.
want a party.
keep worrying.
were waiting.
saw the light.
are buying new chairs.
drink coffee.
are very tired.
locked the door.
climb the stairs.
parked the car.
were watching the dog.

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!