How to Teach Sentence Structure to Children

Updated April 17, 2017

Providing young students a basic foundation in grammar is instrumental to enhance their reading comprehension and writing skills. Engage students with this interactive lesson, which breaks down sentence formation into simple terms that they can grasp. This is an ideal lesson plan for students who are just beginning to learn the parts of speech.

Define nouns. Explain to students the definition of a noun: a person, place or thing. Students should offer their own examples of nouns and explain why. Write these on the board.

Define verbs. Write examples of verbs or actions on the board. Students should provide their own suggestions or do very demonstrations in class, such as running, singing, talking.

Make simple sentences. Put short sentences together by combining one noun and one verb from the board, For example: The boy runs. Call on students to write their own combinations of nouns and verbs.

Explain how each sentence must contain a subject and a predicate. Subjects are doing the action, which is the predicate. Students should practice distinguishing between subjects and predicates, using their newly constructed sentences.

Add onto the predicates. Explain that not all nouns are going to be subjects. For example, some sentences will have another noun, which is the object of the sentence. For example, in the sentence: "The boy loves the girl," the girl is the object or the recipient of the action (love). Students should come up with their own sentences that contain objects.

Turn sentences into questions. Use the example sentences you have written to make questions, using the words: who, what, where, how and why. For example, "Who is running?"

Practice speaking in complete sentences. Students should partner up and have conversations, using full sentence questions and answers. They can refer to the examples on the board or create their own sentences.

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About the Author

Since 2008, Jen Kim has been a professional writer and blogger, working for national publications such as Psychology Today and Chicago Tribune affiliates. She holds a Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern University.