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Constructing Crazy Halloween Sentences
Students will learn how to identify a complete sentence and a fragment.
Students will learn the two parts of a complete sentence: subjects and predicates.
- Students will learn how to identify and practice crafting subjects and predicates.
- Ask students to consider creating a new kind of hybrid animal where they can interchange the head and body of different animals. Some examples: Centaur (upper body of a human, lower body of a horse), or a mermaid (upper body of a human, lower body of a fish). Generate some fun ideas as a class.
- Explain that sentences have two halves, too, and they can be interchanged. Tell them they will be swapping parts of sentences to create new ones that have never been thought of before.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Tell students that the a complete sentence must have two parts: a subject and a predicate. These are like the top and bottom or a mythical hybrid creature.
- Explain that the subject of the sentence answers the question “Who or what?” and the predicate answers the question, “What about it?”
Guided Practice(20 minutes)
- Write some simple sentences on the board like: The snowman melted. The baseball player hit a home run. The woman danced the night away in her colorful dress.
- For each example, underline the subject and circle the predicate. As a class, ask the questions, “Who or What” are we talking about? (That’s the subject - underline it), and “What about it?” (That’s the predicate - circle it).
- Explain that if a sentence does not have both of these parts, it is a fragment.
- Give them some examples of fragments and complete sentences to see if they can identify each (these can be in writing or oral).
- Now, using the sentences on the board, ask the students to pick one of the subjects underlined, and combine it with a different predicate.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Pass out one color of the slips of paper (each student may have 1-3 slips).
- Instruct students to write ONLY the subject of a sentence on the slip. They may write up to three but at least one should be Halloween related. Examples: The two year old; The baby vampire; My best friend; The principal; My crusty and moldy lunch.
- Collect the slips and put them in a container.
- Pass out the other color of the slips of paper (1-3 per student).
- Instruct students to write ONLY the predicate of a sentence on the slip. They may write up to three but two must be Halloween related. Examples: went hunting for zombies; sat on a moldy porcupine; got bit by a vampire; turned into a werewolf and howled at the moon.
- Collect the slips and put them in a different container.
- Have students create subjects and predicates in pairs or small groups.
- Create a bank of subjects on the board as examples.
- Have students create compound subjects and predicates.
- In front of the class pull one subject out of the first container and one predicate out of the second container.
- Read the subject and the predicate together - you may need to make a few subject-verb agreement edits on the fly.
- Allow each student a turn to create a crazy, yet complete sentence. Again, stand nearby in case you need to make last minute edits.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Ask students, what are the two parts of a sentence?
- What can you ask yourself to find the subject of a sentence? The predicate?
- If it doesn’t have both parts, what is it called? Fragment
- Explain that students can use these questions in their own writing to make sure that every sentence they write is a complete sentence and has both parts.