Grade: Middle
Subject: Language

#1928. Sentence Stretching

Language, level: Middle
Posted Tue Aug 29 22:44:45 PDT 2000 by Charles Wyckoff (
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Materials Required: Writing materials
Activity Time: 15 minutes to one period
Concepts Taught: Parts of speech, creative writing, punctuation, capitalization

This lesson hits upon many areas of basic language arts. The teacher writes
a simple (boring) sentence on the board, i.e. The dog ran. The class is then asked
to expand the sentence by adding words. As words are added, the teacher can teach
parts of speech (if "big" is added, point out that it's an adjective and that it modifies
to the noun "dog", etc. If two adjectives are added (big, brown dog) the teacher has an
opportunity to discuss punctuation. When you get to the point where you have something
like "The big, brown dog ran quickly", add "because" at the end of the stretched sentence
and let the class take it from there. Eventually you will have an interesting, descriptive
sentence and you can point out where the class started and where they ended up and how they
got there. After doing this as a class a number of times, it will make great bellwork. Put
the simple, boring, three word sentence on the board and tell the students they have to make a sentence
of at least eight words.