Lesson plan

Sentence Combining: Subjects and Verbs

Help your students recognize when they are writing simple, boring sentences. This lesson will teach them to combine similar elements and improve the flow of sentences.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will learn to combine similar elements, such as subjects or verbs, in sentences.

(5 minutes)
  • Begin the lesson by explaining to your students that you are going to teach them to combine elements in sentences.
  • Remind that them these elements are subjects, or the topics of sentences, and verbs, or the actions that the subject performs.
  • Explain that sentence combing, or putting short sentences together to make longer ones, will make their writing smoother.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that they can combine subjects in a sentence.
  • Tell them that they can combine verbs too.
  • On the board, write examples of sentences that need combining. For example: Kat wanted to buy a new book. Dylan wanted to buy a new book.
  • Ask students to read the sentences aloud. Discuss the boring aspect of the sentences. Potential questions include: What sounds repetitive? What could you do to make it sound less boring?
  • Solicit their help in combining the elements and making revisions.
  • Ask students to read the revised sentences aloud to recognize the improvement. For example: Kat and Dylan wanted to buy a new book.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute the worksheet, and complete the first question of Exercise 1 together.
  • Clarify any questions.
  • Direct your students to complete the rest of Exercise 1 independently.
(15 minutes)
  • Instruct your students to complete Exercises 1 and 2 of the worksheet.
  • Have students take out their notebooks and write 10 sentences containing combined subjects.
  • Then, direct them to write 10 sentences with combined verbs.
  • As a challenge, have students write 10 sentences with combined subjects and verbs in one sentence.
  • Enrichment: Have students write brief personal narratives that include simple, boring sentences. Ask them to exchange their narratives with a partner. Direct the partners to revise the narratives by combining subjects, verbs, or both.
  • Support: Write the combined subjects or combined verbs on sticky notes to help students combine the elements.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the answers to the worksheet.
  • Have students correct their worksheets.
(5 minutes)
  • Discuss how students can identify sentences that need elements combined.
  • Ask one student to come up with a sentence.
  • Have another student come up with a very similar sentence.
  • Instruct the next student to combine those sentences to make it more exciting!

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