How to Teach Kids to Write Sentences

Teaching your kid how to write complete sentences can be challenging, especially when a great deal of common speech consists of sentence fragments. In spite of this, there are techniques that have been shown to work. To successfully help your child learn to write complete sentences, consider the following tips.

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Teaching Your Child to Write Sentences

Putting Basic Sentences Together

Learning to write sentences is a gradual process for all kids because there are many steps and stages. Your child first needs to understand that a sentence is a series of words that form a statement, question, command or an exclamation. Then he or she can learn that a sentence is typically composed of a subject and a predicate. The subject of a sentence is what the sentence is about. The predicate is whatever is stated in relationship to the subject.

When teaching this to your child, a common method is to present her with sentence fragments to put together. You do this by dividing a sentence by the section relating to the subject and the section relating to the predicate. For example, take the sentence, 'The girl walks to school.' Divide it into the following two sections: 'The girl' and 'walks to school.' After showing your child a few of these exercises, have her begin to complete them on her own.

Expanding on the Basics

Ensure that your child is familiar with interrogative words for asking questions, such as who, what, where, when, why and how. He will also need to learn about verbs, nouns and adjectives. Urge him to use an action word (verb) in his sentences as well as a 'person, place or thing' (noun). This will help him learn about verbs and nouns. Try making lists of adjectives with him to describe specific nouns.

To help him avoid run-on sentences, have him read his sentences aloud. He may be naturally inclined to pause where a period should be, and then you can discuss what punctuation should go in that part of the sentence.

Using Reading as a Tool

One of the main ways that sentence structure is learned is through reading. A deeper understanding of sentence structure can be gained over time by seeing simple sentences laid out on the page, learning how to mentally attach the words to images and saying the words out loud. In addition to this, kids learn about sentences by understanding what kind of words there are and how they relate to one another.

Playing Games and Activities

There are numerous games and activities available online that you and your child may find useful. Some are available for free while others need to be purchased. Some of these address every aspect of forming a sentence. For example, there are games that challenge kids to differentiate between fragments and complete sentences. There are also activities that teach about everything from capitalization and punctuation to creating silly sentences.

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