Sentence Structure in Application

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SWBAT revise for a mix of simple, compound, and complex sentences via a partner-response activity.

Big Idea

Mix it up! A variety of sentence structures creates engaging writing.


This lesson is aligned to a 9-10 CCSS on sentence structure, but I'm using it in my 11-12 class. Why, you ask?

First, it's what my students need. At the start of the year, they use little sentence variety; most of their sentences are simple or complex (or, occasionally, incorrect compound). Our grammar study has been focused on different methods of writing complex sentences (correctly) all year, and it's now time to help them see the big picture--how does sentence structure impact the reader? Why does variety matter?

Second, it's in the district grammar sequence. Seeing gaps in our students' grammar abilities, we restructured our grammar focus for each year to spiral, and so I'm expected to teach this 9-10 skill.

If nothing else, though, the format I have my students use can be applied to any grammar study.

Do Now: Match Game

5 minutes

We start with competition to grab interest. I present students with a series of sentences. In teams, they compete to correctly identify the type of structure first.

Partner Response for Sentence Variety

25 minutes

In partners, students read their essays to one another sentence by sentence. After each sentence, the listening student must identify whether the sentence is simple, compound, or complex. The author marks the sentence and reads the next. Then, the students reverse roles. The end goal is for students to have a marked up essay so they can check their percentages.


20 minutes

Students revise their essays so that they have a mix of sentence structures in every paragraph, helping them be engaging for all audiences.