Writing Sentences for Spelling

18 May

Sentence Strip Magnets

Writing sentences with spelling words is one of our regular, old school activities. I have them write each word (whether it is misspelled or not) from the week’s list in a sentence.

Having them write sentences is immensely useful in developing writing and grammar skills (not really sure if it helps spelling as much, lol). Writing sentences also draws out other spelling words that they have problems with. In that case, I record non-spelling word words in a misspelled words list for review.

Now, sometimes we get some really whacky sentences. I know it can be tough sometimes to come up with meaningful sentences, so I sometimes have them apply certain requirements for their sentences.

Some examples:

1. Sometimes they must vary the sentence types because typically we will just get statements.  So I have them write commands, exclamations, or questions.

2.  Have them apply the grammar rule that they are currently working on (say, use adjectives if they are studying adjectives).

3. For misspelled words, I may try to have them write repetitive sentences that those words are repeated in, such as

misspelled: sour

So they may have to come up with 5 things that are sour and write simple sentences.

Lemons are sour.

Limes are sour.

Sour cream is sour.


or once we did this for “annoy:”


Write five things that annoy you and use them in  sentences.

Loud noise annoys me.

My brother annoys me.

Losing my toy annoys me.



4. Sometimes I require them to vary their sentence beginnings, otherwise all the sentences they write tend to start with nouns.

Start two sentences with a who/what (noun)

Start one sentence with a where (In the field, …….)

Start one sentence with a when (This morning, …….)


5. Sometimes I ask them to write sentences for nouns that define the word or tell what it is used for…..

A  desk is a piece of furniture


A drill is used for……………….


6. Combine as many words as you can in one sentence.

This is a fun one where they get whacky sentences on purpose, but the sentences are grammatically correct.  We don’t do this as often, but it is a winner.  This one is really great because while fun, it really makes them have to stretch their imagination to make a sentence that flows well with so many words.

7. Sometimes I make a requirement that nouns must be exact; Instead of “boy,” they have to name him, say, Fred. Or  “the man” must transform into something like, Mr. Jacobs. And then even add a descriptor like…Mr. Jacobs, the man across the street, …….etc.


These are just a few ideas that we have used to improve writing, grammar, and hopefully somewhere in there, lol, spelling skills.


Do you have any other variations that would be useful in this activity? If so, I am always looking for new ways to make sentence writing even more meaningful. Would love to hear your ideas……..


Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Spelling, Writing


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2 responses to “Writing Sentences for Spelling

  1. Umm Carter

    May 22, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Asalamulakum, We have our “journal-page” that we do everyday. A very simple thing. My little guy goes to the word wall (a pocket chart that has relevant words to what we are learning about both in Arabic and English) He picks one and copies the word the makes a picture that specifically matches the word. He does this for a word in each language, but they don’t have to be the same word. He also needs to use the selected word in a complete sentence to verbally describe the picture.
    I have intentions, inshallah of gradually moving to sentences. The idea is to make detailed picture, for example if he picks the word home, he needs to do more than outline the house. I ask “Is this the front of the house?” “Is this the inside of the house?” “Who lives here? Where are their rooms?” “What color is the roof?” “What kind of floor do they have?” The idea is to get time thinking about details. The words that are specific to what we are learning, such as eyes, nose, ears etc, are removed when the unit if finished. Articles are always kept up for reference.
    On the back of all Arabic words is a simple picture to help identify it. English words for now are blank on the back.
    Obviously we are well below defining words as nouns, adjectives etc, but inshallah as we go along.
    Just thought I’d share.

    • talibiddeenjr

      August 31, 2010 at 5:49 am

      This is a nice idea, ma sha Allah. I need to do something like this for my kindergartner. He’s not yet forming letters well, so we have been doing reading/phonics mostly without written work. I like the discussion you get into with simple, everyday concepts and I like the unit concept.

      Thank you so much for sharing. Do you have pictures of your word wall?

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