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.
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
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……..