Lesson plan

Sentences, Transformed!

Do your students frequently write short sentences that don’t contain much detail? With this lesson your students will use prepositional phrases to beef up their sentences. Sentences will be transformed!
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  • Students will be able to use prepositional phrases to lengthen sentences.
  • Students will be able to construct sentences that include greater elaboration and depth of meaning.
(5 minutes)
  • Give students a simple sentence such as the following: "The girls went shopping."
  • Invite students to share anything that they wonder about the sentence. Where did the girls go shopping? What time did the girls go shopping?
  • Tell the students that prepositional phrases can be used to extend sentences, give more information, and to clarify (or make details more clear).
  • Explain that they will be learning how to expand and extend their sentences using prepositional phrases.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain that prepositional phrases usually show the relationship between a noun and other words in the sentence. This can include giving more information about the time, place, or direction.
  • Using several simple sentences (or suggested sentences from the lesson plan attachment), show the students how you can use prepositions and corresponding prepositional phrases to lengthen the sentences.
  • Write each simple sentence on a piece of chart paper and then show the students how you can transform that sentence into a longer sentence using a prepositional phrase that shows place, time, or direction.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell the students that they will be practicing creating longer sentences using shorter sentences.
  • Explain that each student will be given an index card or sentence strip and their task is to find a person with a card that completes and makes their sentence longer.
  • Distribute one card to each student.
  • Invite students to mix and mingle around the room, working on forming a sentence.
  • Once students are finished, invite pairs of students to come to the front of the room and share the sentences that they created.
  • If desired, place the two sentence parts on a single line of a pocket chart to form a complete sentence.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask the students to complete the Powerful Prepositions worksheet.
  • Circulate around the room and provide assistance as needed.


  • Guide students in creating visuals that help them match preposition use in context or provide additional visuals for the students.


  • Invite students to brainstorm other ways that they can bring greater meaning to sentences, such as including additional adverbs and adjectives to describe verbs and nouns.
  • Ask students to complete the Preposition Placement worksheet.
  • Use an interactive whiteboard to write sentences on the board and color code them, labeling and highlighting different parts of a sentence.
  • Invite students to work collaboratively on extending sentences within a shared document.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask the students to complete the Sentence Stretching worksheet.
  • Circulate around the room to check sentence formations.
  • Provide additional probing and instruction as needed for students to extend sentences and provide greater detail.
(5 minutes)
  • Lead the students in a brief discussion.
  • Ask the students how prepositions can enrich a sentence and provide deeper meaning.

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