Activities to teach types of sentences

Written by alexis muirhead
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Activities to teach types of sentences
Children and teens respond well to fun group activities, role-playing and engaging worksheets. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Successful teachers must use a dash of creativity and a pinch of imagination to help their students master difficult concepts. Grammar lessons, particularly initial lessons on sentence types, can be hard to teach. But by making your lesson on sentence types exciting, challenging and fun, you'll engage your students and encourage them to improve their language skills.

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Get Them Moving

Sitting quietly and discussing a problem on the board might work well for mastering mathematics, but when it comes to developing language skills, it's a good idea to have your students interact with each other. Try singing a song like "Simon Says" or playing a game like "Telephone" in which one student gives an order (imperative sentence) that the rest must act out.

Before the game starts, give them an example to follow, such as "Ms. Clarke says, "Stand on your head!" Explain that an imperative sentence usually gives a command or makes a request, and typically ends in an exclamation mark. Have one student give the others similar imperative commands, and soon you'll have the students laughing and learning at the same time.

Activities to teach types of sentences
Children absorb information more quickly if presented as part of a game with lots of physical action. (Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Start a Competition

Children and particularly teens love competition. To help encourage mastery of sentence types, split your students into two groups (boys vs. girls, A-M last names vs. N-Z last names, etc). Have them name their teams, and put up a scoreboard. Next, have the two teams square off.

Give the two teams a sentence ("Michelle hit seven home runs last week!" "Jeff wanted to know, 'How much was the backpack?'") and ask one person from each team to identify the sentence type--declarative, imperative, interrogative or exclamatory.

Keep track of the score, and when the students feel confident, allow a representative from each team to make up a sentence and challenge the other. The students will master the concepts even more quickly if there is a prize on the line, so offer small treats, extra recess time or a homemade trophy as a reward to the team with the highest score.

Activities to teach types of sentences
Children, like adults, love competition and the thrill of victory. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Make the Abstract Concrete

Tie the types of sentences to something the students are familiar with and can identify with. For example, play a Disney movie in class and pause the tape after a song or a line of dialogue, and ask the students to identify which type of sentence their favourite character was using. For older children, try playing a clip of a favourite celebrity or sports hero being interviewed. Ask them how often the different sentence types were used.

Activities to teach types of sentences
Try tying an abstract concept (like an "interrogative sentence") to a favourite movie clip or a comment made by a referee in a sports game. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Have Fun

Teaching can be a challenging task, and often the hours spent grading papers, preparing for lessons and designing worksheets can be monotonous. By having fun yourself, you'll help encourage your students to master the lesson material quickly.

Design a worksheet that offers an example of your artistic ability. Write a play about characters using different types of sentences, and have your students play the different parts. Write a song about sentence types and perform it for your class. "Grow" a paper flower garden in your classroom by having your students identify one of the four sentence types to make petals for the flowers.

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