Want to help your child recognize the recipe for a successful sentence? Here's a fun activity to get your child thinking about how sentences work. Plus, he'll create a truly crazy story!
What You Do:
Does your child know what a noun is? A verb? If he scratches his head when you ask him, remind your child that a noun is a person, place, or thing. And a verb is usually used to show action, for example “runs” or “plays”. Invite your child to brainstorm with you. Come up with 10 nouns and ten verbs, and write each one on its own index card. Now it's time for the fun stuff! Explain to your child that you're going to use these cards to write a mixed up story. Place the noun cards in one shoebox (or envelope) and the verb cards in the other. Sit your child down with the pad of paper, and have him pick five of the noun cards and five of the verbs. Lay them out on the table so he can easily move them around. Time to write! Using the cards, ask your child to start writing a story. Explain that nouns and verbs are the key ingredients in sentences, and that he'll use them now to create his own mixed up story. He can pick any noun card he'd like, and any verb card and put them together for each sentence of his story. Did the “giraffe” “throw” something? Did the “teacher” “sing?” It's all up to him! As he comes up with each sentence, have him write it on a piece of construction paper. Once the whole mixed up story is written, your child can illustrate it if he'd like. He can bind it, too! Sure, this story is silly, but it's a fun way to take a dry topic, nouns and verbs, and make it a little more fun.
Vanessa Genova DeSantis has been teaching for fourteen years in public and private elementary and middle schools. She's also an educational freelance writer as well as a private tutor for elementary, middle and high school students.