At TurtleDiary.com, we were recently challenged by fellow educators to…
Writing doesn’t have to be a struggle! Through the use of tools like a simple sentences worksheet, quizzes and games, kids can get the practice that they need to build a strong foundation in writing in a fun way.
The reason that it’s so important for children to learn to write sentences effectively is so that they can move those ideas that are in their heads out of the ether and onto the paper in a way that others can understand. A strong foundation in writing is a key element in success in literally every area of education and life outside of the classroom as well.
Understanding Early Writing
In order to understand these early learning forms of writing, let’s explore the simple sentence definition and examples.
A sentence is a grammatical unit that is made up of one or more words. There are three kinds of sentences – simple, compound and complex. Simple sentences have a subject and one verb, as opposed to compound and complex sentences that have clauses and connecting words.
Here are some examples:
- The dog barked.
- The bus was late.
- Kim and Tommy walked to school.
- I looked for my shoes.
Keep in mind that just because a sentence is short, doesn’t mean that it qualifies as being simple. Conversely, just because a sentence seems long doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not a simple sentence either! If there are two or more verbs (action words) in a sentence, then it is most often a compound or complex sentence. Sometimes we think of these sentences as clauses, as they can be combined with other words in order to make longer sentences but can also stand on their own.
Making Writing Easier
For some kids, writing flows easily and organically. For others, it presents a constant challenge. Keep in mind that there are a lot of moving parts that go into getting words onto the page, from speech and language to hearing to motor skills. If your child is struggling with writing, this could be for a number of reasons. But one thing that every teacher will tell you is that effective and consistent practice is the best way to develop the skill. Kids learn by doing.
Worksheets provide the backbone of practice, because they offer children the opportunity to engage with text. It’s important that kids work by writing in addition to all of the other fun activities available! There are a wide variety of worksheets available that allow kids to practice in various ways that make them excited about learning. Worksheets don’t have to be just lines of text that children copy, but rather that encourage students to connect text with pictures, to recognize when words are out of order or when vocabulary fits into the right place within a sentence. Mixing up the method of practice and exposure is key to keeping kids interested.
One wonderful way to help develop a child’s understanding of simple sentences is to look for them within familiar texts. Here are some great examples from a few popular books:
- “This is George. He lived in Africa.”
-H.A. Rey, Curious George
“Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways.” -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
“Fern came slowly down the stairs.”-E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
“Let the wild rumpus start!”-Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Thing Are
Grade appropriate books will be full of simple sentences, but it’s also essential for kids to see that they are in all kinds of writing, from books and magazines to advertisements and even blogs. Reading together and talking about how text is created offers your child exposure that is invaluable.
Here are some other effective things that parents can use at home to help teach sentence writing, in a way that offers lots of practice and exposure but that is also lots of fun!
- Create a simple sentence scramble
- Use a clothesline to create an active sentence building activity
- Take a simple sentence quiz
- Practice with worksheets
- Watch videos about sentences
- Play online games about sentences
You’ll can also find lots of resources like videos, quizzes, worksheets and games that will help your child build their mastery of sentences in a fun and engaging way! Good luck and happy reading and writing!