August 3, 2017
by Maggie Knutson

Lesson plan

Dissecting Sentences

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  • Students will be able to identify and correctly use articles.
  • Students will be able to diagram a simple sentence.
(10 minutes)
  • Conduct an image search on the Internet using the term "diagram." Project the results for the class to see.
  • Ask students to study the examples and consider how they would define the word "diagram."
  • Review that a diagram is a simplified drawing that shows the structure or workings of something. Point out that there are usually labels and lines and that information is organized in strategic ways.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the class that they are going to learn how to make a diagram of a sentence.
  • Explain that first they need to recall the two main parts of a sentence, the subject and predicate. Tell the class that the subject is the answer to the question "Who or what?" and the predicate is the answer to the question "What about it?"
  • Go over a few simple sentences to demonstrate this.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute the worksheet Awesome Articles.
  • Go over the instructions together and do the first example as a class, identifying the articles and the nouns they modify.
  • The important thing is that students understand that articles are describing words, or adjectives.
  • Have the class complete the activity independently and then check their answers with peers.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute the worksheet Sorting out Sentences.
  • Go over the information and examples at the beginning.
  • Demonstrate the diagramming of a new sentence on the board.
  • Instruct students to complete the three exercises on the sheet, using peers for help if needed.
  • Support: Do the sentence diagramming examples together, or one by one, reviewing after each one.

  • Enrichment: Provide more challenging sentences for students to diagram as examples. Have them check out the website in the Suggested Media section.
(5 minutes)
  • On the back of one of their sheets, have students diagram the following sentence: "The worker built the beautiful house."
(5 minutes)
  • Discuss: How can diagramming sentences help you learn how to construct better sentences in your writing?

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