(What makes a strong sentence? Scholars need to understand that strong, complete sentences answer the questions - who, what, when, where, how, and why.)
Today, I begin the lesson by getting my scholars to stand up and make muscles in their arms. Now, say "Sentence Strength." That's exactly what we are going to do today - create strong, complete sentences, without lifting any weights! What makes a strong, complete sentence? We know all sentences must have a subject, predicate, and express a complete thought. But, also strong, complete sentences must answer the questions - who, what, when, where, how, and why.
First, we watch a short Brainpop video on "Strengthening Sentences" and take the graded quiz at the end in order to check our understanding. (Click here to watch video.) (Teacher will discuss quiz whole group and get students to show answers (a, b, c, or d) using sign language or write answers on a personal dry erase board. This will allow teacher to monitor and adjust instructional strategies.)
Next, I get my scholars to examine the simple sentence - The boy ran.
Although the sentence is complete, it is not strong. It tells the who - the boy and the what - ran. We want to make this sentence stronger by adding when, where, how, and why.
If we add when - On yesterday morning, the boy ran.
If we add where - On yesterday morning, the boy ran to the playground.
If we add how - On yesterday morning, the boy ran very quickly to the playground.
If we add why - On yesterday morning, the boy ran very quickly to the playground to play with his friends.
This is a much stronger sentence than simply saying - The boy ran.
Now, I get my scholars to try writing a stronger sentence for the simple sentence - The girl went to the store.
We share whole group when they're done.
My scholars get very excited when I tell them that today we're going to play Sentence Jeopardy! We'll play in 2 teams and strengthen simple sentences by adding information like who, what, when, where, how, and why. I remind them to remember to respond in the form of a question. The winning team will receive treats! Let's play Sentence Jeopardy! (Click here to play Sentence Jeopardy.)
I know my scholars enjoyed playing Sentence Jeopardy. Now, to close our lesson I get them to take a sheet of paper and list all the things they can think of that make a strong, complete sentence. We share whole group when they're done.