Lesson plan

Get Crafty! Combining Sentences

Give your class the "write" stuff! In this lesson, your students will learn to master combining sentences using sentences with the same subjects or predicates.
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Students will be able to combine sentences with common subjects or predicates.

(5 minutes)
  • Explain to your students that today they will be learning how to combine, or put together, two sentences to make their writing more interesting.
  • Ask the class some questions to review what goes into a complete sentence. For example: What is a complete sentence? What is a subject? What is a predicate?
  • Define subject as what or whom the sentence is about. Define predicate as the part of speech that tells something about the subject.
  • If necessary, write a simple sentence on the board to give your class an example of a subject and a predicate within the context of a sentence.
  • Tell the class they will use what this knowledge to try a new writing strategy called combining sentences. Remind the class that they can combine two sentences only when they have a common subject or a common predicate.
  • Hold up the ball, or object of your choice, and show it to the class. Give a verbal example of two simple sentences, then one combined sentence. For example: This ball is green. This ball is round. I can combine those two sentences by saying, "This ball is green and round."
(15 minutes)
  • Ask for two volunteers to come to the front of the class.
  • After the two volunteers have been chosen, ask the class for two commonalities, or things that the students have in common. For example, Jenny is wearing tennis shoes, and Tracy is wearing tennis shoes.
  • List the commonalities on the board until you have 4 or 5 commonalities.
  • Write the commonalities as 2 complete sentences on the dry erase board for the class to see. For example: Jenny has brown hair. Tracy has brown hair.
  • Ask the students if the subject or the predicate of each sentence are common. The students should answer predicate.
  • Ask for volunteers to attempt to combine the pairs of sentences you have written on the board, helping as needed.
  • Next, ask for one volunteer to come to the front of the class.
  • Ask the class for at least two characteristics about the volunteer. For example: Ian has brown hair. Ian has green eyes.
  • Continue until you have 6 characteristics about the volunteer. Write each in a complete sentence on the board.
  • Ask the students if the subject is common or the predicate is common in each sentence. The class should answer subject.
  • Ask for volunteers to combine two sentences on the board into one.
(20 minutes)
  • Arrange students into pairs.
  • Give each student a piece of writing or notebook paper.
  • Tell each student to find and observe two objects in the room. Using one object, write two sentences about the object. For example: The desk is tan. The desk is square. You may want to write a few examples on the board.
  • Have the pairs collaborate and discuss which two objects to write about, and then write their sentences on a piece of paper. Underneath the two sentences, ask each pair to write a combined sentence. Each student should have a total of four independent sentences and two combined sentences. For example:
    The desk is tan. The desk is square. 
    The desk is tan and square.
    The book is blue. The book is big.
    The book is blue and big.
  • Walk the room helping students as needed.
  • Next, have the students find and observe two objects or people in the room and find a commonality among them. Write an example on the board. For example, Rebecca has a blue backpack. Jesse has a blue backpack.
  • As above, have the students write four independent sentences and two combined sentences combining predicates.
(10 minutes)
  • As the students finish completing the independent and combined sentence, pass out the Crafty Combining worksheet as independent practice.
  • Enrichment: Challenge students to combine more than two sentences with the same subject or predicate, using commas correctly.
  • Support: Provide these students with examples of two independent sentences to combine during paired time, and support them as needed. Or, have a student complete half the amount of sentences per assignment. Pair a student who needs support with a student who understands the concept.
(10 minutes)
  • To assess knowledge of combining sentences, have students independently complete the Combining worksheet.
(15 minutes)
  • Always have students look for sentences to combine in their own writing when they are editing.
  • Have students search for ways to combine sentences in authentic writing during reading in any subject, such as identifying commonalities in science, social studies, and/or reading texts.
  • Provide students with writing and having them identify ways to combine sentences in the text.

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