Compromise Those Run-On Sentences

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TSWBAT fix run-on sentences using receipt tape and punctuation.

Big Idea

Strip and Cut Run-On Sentences!

Warm Up

10 minutes

Students are instructed to purposely write a run-on sentence Writing Run-On Sentences of approximately thirty words.  The topic can be about anything they want, but all of the components required in sentence structure must be evident. Run-on sentence Writing Run-On Sentences example.

Once they complete these, read a few examples outloud and discuss the absurd nature of the run-on.  The kids will enjoy hearing these.  Due to the fact they were supposed to write incorrectly, no one takes it too seriously. Collection of Run-On Sentences

This is a good activity because students often write with run-on sentences.  Thoughts come quickly, and ideas are written down exactly as they flow.  The problem comes when they don't take the time to edit.  Important to note: I'm not referring to a specific writing assignment where using the writing process is the objective.  I am more concerned about day to day writing expectations- answering questions, summarizing assignments, or writing response paragraphs.  With this kind of writing, students tend to move on to the next part quickly.  It is much better if they are conscious of run-on sentences, and can self-edit so as to avoid them in the first place.



25 minutes

Each group is give a roll of receipt tape and must recreate their run-on sentences onto this strip of paper.  I put the students into groups of four for the purpose of keeping order- the receipt tapes are a great resource, but take up space. On the classroom door isn't the best place to work...More plans With receipt tape all over the place, it's good to have small groups around the room.  I let some groups use the outside Picking a Course of Action but it was a windy day which made it a little complicated.  Masking tape was definitely necessary. Sentences Running Everywhere The kids always jump at the chance to work out of the classroom, It gets complicated with the wind though.

As the kids rewrite their warm up run-on sentence on receipt tape, Writing on the Receipt Paper I monitor and make sure they write the sentence as run-ons. There is a tendency to add punctuation- especially as they are also writing in an out of the norm manner on the receipt tape.  It's important that these don't initially contain punctuation. Some of the sentences get quite long. Two tiny rows on a long strip!   

After everyone in the group has finished writing out their run-on sentences, the strips are traded amongst each other in the group.  With the run-on sentence from someone else, the student has a new task. Their job is to first add punctuation throughout the sentence.  Next, they cut the strip after each section with the punctuation, taking care to keep them in the right order.  From here, the strips are glued onto a piece of construction paper, Gluing corrected sentences down on paper and a well written sentence is the final product.


10 minutes

The new sentences are shown and read aloud to the class.  Example of an original run-on sentence and it's corrected sentence strip.  Run-On Sentence and Stripped Down

We also discuss final conclusions about Run-On Sentences.  Student example of a corrected run-on sentence.  Corrected Run-On Sentences One of the things that came out of the discussion was the fact that many people TALK in Run-On Sentences, and that causes mistakes with writing.  I always tell my students to, "Write the way you talk," to get your ideas down in the most authentic way.  This was mentioned, of course, and I explained that it's great to get it all down, but the next important step is always to EDIT THE WORK!  The Collection of corrected strips.