Building a Sentence

We have worked all year on writing down the sounds we hear, putting our stories into drawings and words and now its time to start writing in sentences.  I looked around for a fun and engaging way to teach my students how to write a sentence.  I have a 2:1 ratio of boys to girls so I tend to think on what will engage my boys.  I decided to use a construction theme to teach my kids about writing a sentence.  I created a lesson for my Mimio interactive whiteboard using this theme.  We spent about a week learning the ins and outs of sentences and then finished the week with an amazing craftivity that I tweaked from Stephanie Stewart's Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Here's a how I taught sentences.
Day 1:  Letters, Words, and Sentences - We learned that a sentence is a group of words that tells us something.  We read groups of words and determined if they were a sentence or just a group words.  We also sorted letters, words and sentences to reinforce our prior learning.

 
Day 2: What does a Sentence tell us?  We learned that sentence tells WHO and WHAT THE WHO IS DOING.  We did lots of examples that helped us learn that the who does not have to be a person.
 
 
 
Day 3: All About Blueprints.  After reviewing what we learned so far, we spent a few minutes talking about blueprints.  We learned how important it was for a builder to follow the blueprint if they want their project to go as planned.  Then we learned about the Blueprint for a Sentence.
Day 4: We reviewed the important blueprint for a sentence and then practiced putting sentences in order according to the blueprint.  We did some on the Mimio as a group and then the kids went back to put their own sentences in order.
 
 
 
Day 5: Today was the day to put into action everything we had learned.  I found this adorable Sentence Buddy at Stephanie Stewart's Teachers Pay Teachers Store
 
 
I tweaked the idea just a little to fit kindergarten and our construction theme.  We started by singing the song in Stephanie's packet.  Then I sent the kids off to write a good sentence.  Here's what we did to make our construction workers.  The students used an orange sentence strip to write their sentence.  Why orange? Because all construction workers wear an orange safety vest, of course.  The students had to write their sentence in order to earn the parts of their construction worker.  If they started their sentence with a capital letter (and there were no other capitals in the sentence) they earned the head and hard hat (copied on yellow).  If the sentence ended with an end mark they earned the work boots.  If they had spaces between their words they earned the arms (plain strips of paper - since we did not go into noun and verb).  My conferencing would sound something like this:  "Oh that is a great sentence.  I can give you a head and some arms, but no feet."  They would immediately take their sentence and fix it!  Here was the final product. 
 



I love the mustache!

 

The entire week was a lot of fun!  Better yet, my kids remember and understand how to write a sentence.  Now its time to transfer that knowledge into writer's workshop. 
 
I think this has been one of my favorite lessons so far this year.  What lessons do you love teaching?  Leave me a comment with your favorite lesson, e-mail address and format (.pdf or .ink) preference by Friday, February 8, 2013 (11:59 p.m.) and I will e-mail you the Building a Sentence lesson!  Don't forget to download the Sentence Buddy from Stephanie's store - it's not in my lesson!