Second Grade Lesson: Sentence Combining

The educational books that I enjoy reading are those that have lesson plans incorporated in them. Chapter 8 has just that; a lesson plan for second grade and tenth grade are given after explaining how to teach sentence construction: “Only one approach to teaching sentence construction skills has received the sustained attention of researchers. This approach, called sentence combining…” (p.164).

Writing Workshop-Sentence Combining Instruction: To help children construct better sentences and better stories
Grade: 2nd
Time: 10-15 minutes several times a week
*Below is the sequence that the writing workshop should occur throughout several days

Sentence Combining Writing Workshop

Whole Group Discussion: Start a whole group discussion by showing a pair of simple kernel sentences on the overhead projector and model how to combine them
example: The cat meowed
The cat is soft
Combination: The cat is soft and meowed
Oral Session: After the introductory session all of the subsequent lessons are done with oral practice. “…when combining sentences the ear must hear alternatives to be able to choose the sentence that sounds best” (p.168).

Oral Practice in pairs: Arrange class in pairs, on the overhead show kernel sentences. Have the pairs discuss the kernels and provide examples of how to combine the sentences orally. Randomly call on pairs to give examples orally and write the examples on the overhead.
Partner Practice Sessions: Have brief partner practice sessions where students work together and write out combinations of several different kernel sentence clusters. Students can do this on a transparency so it can be showed on the overhead

Group Practice: Project a paragraph from one of your students work (maybe one from the year before to avoid any criticism a child may feel) on the overhead and ask the class to suggest ways the sentences could be improved. “…students’ own work was the most natural way to engage then at their level of need…” (p.171).

*To reinforce what is being taught in Social Studies, Science, Math etc. make the kernel sentences on a topic that is being taught to reinforce the information from a previous lesson.
*For a modification or at the beginning clues can be given next to each kernel.
example: Bryan had a headache
Bryan stayed up to late (because)
Bryan had a headache because he stayed up to late


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