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October 07, 2012

Sentence or Fragment

Why is it most kids can answer a question in a complete sentence but can't write one?  I think they just get in a hurry.

Well, we are working on complete sentences like crazy.  Knowing how to write complete sentences is crucial for the whole year since I require almost all written answers to be in complete sentences.  (Is that mean of me?  Or do you do that too?)

We started out by learning what a complete sentence is and isn't.  Enter "The Sentence Song" which the kids and I love.  I don't recall where the original came from (not me) but I've tweaked it just a smidge.  (Oh, snap that's on my computer at school so I'll post it later this week.  Sorry.)

Then we played the "Secret Question" game.  Again not my original idea but don't ask me where it came from.  For this you have one student come to the front of the room and whisper a question in his/her ear.  The child then answers in a complete sentence for all to hear.  The rest of the class has to figure out the question you asked based on the child's answer.  FUN!  Divide kids into teams and score points for correct questions if you want.  Some kids have a really hard time with this and some get it no problem.  One of my brightest was dumbfounded.

We also played "Sentence or Fragment Shazam!"  For this game, students draw a card from a container.  I like to use a lunch bag from the Dollar Store.  The student reads the card out loud and tells (in a complete sentence of course) if it is a sentence or a fragment.  If correct, the child keeps the card.  If incorrect, the card gets put back in the bag.  But, dun dun dun...if a shazam! card is drawn all that child's cards go back into the bag.  The winner (if you want) is the child with the most cards at the end.

Click on the picture to download

I don't make this game self-checking because I like the kids to have discussions about why or why not it is or isn't a sentence.  I say prove it a lot to my kiddos.  I very rarely have huge arguments.  But if you want you could number the cards and make an answer key.  Most of my kiddos were quickly able to tell what part was missing which will help this week when we actually learn the terms subject and predicate.

If you can use it please leave me some love.


  1. I am just as mean as you! :-) And nearly all my second graders can do it already. (But my fifth grade teacher friend laments that hers can't...go figure.)

    Great ideas for more practice...and the students won't even know it is practice...they will just think it is fun!

  2. I figure in the long run they'll thank me.

  3. I'm mean, too. Don't feel bad :) It's good for them! And I bet their future teachers thank you, too.

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad


Thanks for filling my bucket!


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