5 Simple Activities to Teach Writing Complete Sentences

When it comes to writing complete sentences, students (and teacher) often find this tricky, frustrating, and just all-around problematic! Today I want to share with you my favorite activities for writing complete sentences so students can write them and start writing strong, detailed, descriptive sentences!

Writing Complete Sentences: The Basics

Before you do anything with writing complete sentences, students must understand the foundation of every sentence: Every sentence must have a WHO (a naming part also known as the subject) and a WHAT (a telling part also known as the predicate.)

These posters are the perfect visuals to use when you teach writing complete sentences. They’re great to add to your focus wall!

We talk about how even two or three words can make a sentence.

The dog ran.

Sure, it’s a terribly boring sentence that lacks detail, but it’s a complete sentence. Remember, this is just the beginning. Use this sorting activity below to sort complete and incomplete sentences.

Building Complete Sentences

Students must truly understand and practice what makes a complete sentence before moving on to writing their own. To make it fun and engaging, let students build silly sentences.

In this activity, students “stitch” together complete sentences by choosing a subject and predicate.

I love this activity for a few reasons:

  1. Students love creating silly sentences!
  2. This activity gives students exposure to detailed sentences!

One activity that’s fun to try after doing this activity is letting students write their own subjects and predicates. First, grab some index cards, and split your class in half. Tell one group to write their own SUBJECTS, and tell the other group to write their own PREDICATES! Now students build silly sentences with ideas they’ve created!

Writing Descriptive Complete Sentences

Once students have a solid understanding of writing complete sentences, we move on to making them detailed and descriptive.

First, start with a small “dose of detail” by adding adjectives. Students take sentence strips and choose various adjectives to add to the sentence.

Practice Adding More Details

In this Spin a Sentence activity, students will spin a simple sentence, but they will make it strong by adding their own descriptive details! This would be a great activity to do with your whole class. First, spin a simple sentence as class. Then, give your students a minute or two to create a detailed sentence to share with the class!

Finally, when students are ready, have them create descriptive, complete sentences with a fun Sentence Surgery day! I have a bunch of cards that contain different parts of a sentence: naming parts, telling parts, adjectives, etc. *Note: Copy each part in different colors!!

With this activity, students can rearrange the words easily to make sentences in a variety of ways.

For example, we could have made the sentence say, “In the morning, the fast clown jumped on the school bus.”

Students can glue sentences in notebooks or on paper, or you can have them write down the sentences they build on the recording sheet!

If you’re ready to start your writing complete, descriptive sentence lessons, you can find all of these activities here!

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