Lesson: Imperative Sentences with "Monsters Eat Whiny Children"

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Lesson Objective

Students will learn the purpose of and how to write an imperative sentence. They will recognize the implied “you” in imperative sentences and understand that imperative sentences are complete sentences, not sentence fragments. Students will be shown examples of imperative sentences and write their own examples with a partner. Students will then listen to the book “Monsters Eat Whiny Children” by Bruce Eric Kaplan and create their own whiny-child recipe using imperative sentences.

Lesson Plan


  • The student will edit writing for correct grammar and punctuation. (SOL English 2.13)
  • The student will use and punctuate imperative sentences.
  • The student will give three and four step directions (SOL English 2.3f)



Learning Activities:

  • Learn About Imperative Sentences:


  • Write “Eat your peas,” on the board. Read aloud the sentence and ask the class, “Is this a sentence?” Have student vote yes or no.
  • Tell students that they will be finding out if it is a sentence. Go over the components of a sentence (taught in a previous lesson) with the students. Ask students to find the verb. Label “eat” as the verb. Then tell students that now we need to find the subject, so we need to ask the question “Who is eating?” Ask students, “If you were at the dinner table and heard “eat your peas,” do you know what that means? Who should be eating their peas?”  Tell students that “Eat your peas,” is a special type of sentence that has an implied or invisible subject, and that subject is “you.” Your parent wants you to eat your peas. Even though no subject is written down, “eat your peas” really means “You eat your peas,” and is a sentence.
  • Try another example. Have students find the verb in “Walk the dog.” Then ask the students what the subject is. Remind the students that the subject comes before the verb, but this time it is implied, or invisible. 
  • Tell students that a sentence where someone is ordering you to do something and there is an invisible you, it is a special sentence called an “imperative sentence.” That person is saying “It is imperative that you do this,” or “You must do this.”
  • Ask students for examples about what their parents or siblings tell them to do. Write a few on the board, i.e. “Make the bed.” Have students identify the verb and ask what the implied subject is.
  • Have students work in pairs to come up with their own imperative sentences. Have students label the verb and write down what the implied subject is.
  • Have some groups share their sentences with the class. Using students’ examples have the students explain why their imperative sentence is a sentence.
  • Optional: repeat the exercise individually or in pairs if necessary, this time having students come up with things they wish their parents would order them to do!


  • Use Children’s Literature to Write Imperative Sentences:


  • Read the book “Monsters Eat Whiny Children” by Bruce Eric Kaplan to the students. Tell the students that when you read, you are going to keep track of how the monsters want to eat the whiny children. As you approach each different whiny-child delicacy, discuss briefly with the class.
  • Enlarge the recipe at the end of the book on the elmo, or print on board. Tell the class that they will be figuring out if the sentences are imperative sentences. Ask, “Is ‘Lay out slices of fluffy white bread” telling you to do something? Does it really mean ‘You lay out slices…”? It is an imperative sentence.
  • Go over the other steps in the cucumber sandwich recipe and discuss why they are imperative sentences.
  • Tell the students that they will be writing their own recipes using imperative sentences that tell “you” what to do.
  • With your students, recall the ideas of whiny-child salad, whiny-child burgers, whiny-child cake, whiny-child vindaloo, and whiny-child cucumber sandwich. Have students choose one of these, or use their own idea, to create directions for the recipe.
  • Let the children know that their directions should be imperative sentences. The sentences should have punctuation, tell you to do something, and have an invisible, or implied, “you.”
  • Have students share their recipes with their partner and explain to their partner why their sentences are imperative sentences.




         Students who need help recording information can be assisted by the teacher. Students with motor skills delay can use the type of technology that their IEP specifies. Some students with learning disabilities or requiring special education can be encouraged to write directions for something they are already more familiar with making (such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) if the creative aspect of the task feels overwhelming. If possible, the time limit could also be extended for some students.




            Students’ work will be collected and their sentences will be checked to see that they tell you to do something, have punctuation, and have an implied “you”.  One such way is a quick table that can help identify students who will need more help.




Implied “you”










- (no period)


- (“you” actual, not implied)







Lesson Resources



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