How to Write a Complete Sentence

Do your students need some extra help writing sentences? Let’s spend some time brushing up on the writing strategies your students NEED! For my students to be successful at writing paragraphs by the end of the year, they first need learn how to write a complete sentence. Once they master writing simple sentences, then they can learn how to expand a sentence, how to combine two sentences, and how to proofread their sentences.

What does a complete sentence need?

The first step in learning to write beautiful sentences is to master how to write a simple sentence. When I first teach a student to write a sentence, I like to begin with a simple 3 word sentence such as He is tall. The sentence is very short, but it contains all the features that our students need to learn when first writing a complete sentence:

  1. A sentence has a subject and a verb.
  2. A sentence is a complete thought.
  3. A sentence begins with a capital letter.
  4. A sentence has an ending mark.

Practice Building Complete Sentences

Before my students even take a pencil to paper, I like to begin by building a sentence using word cards. You can write words on notecards and place in a pocket chart, use sticky notes, or small pieces of paper. To practice as a whole group, I prepare enough sentence cards for every student to take a turn.

I begin by selecting 3 students and giving each student one word card. We work together to read each word and talk about the features we see on each card, such as capital letters and ending marks. Then, I give these students time to work together to place the word cards in order to build a sentence. When they finish, we point to each word and read the sentence together as a class.

Over the coming weeks, we will slowly add additional words to our sentences to begin writing longer sentences.

How to Write a Sentence

After building sentences using our pre-made word cards, I like to break my students into groups and give them the opportunity to write their own sentences. When they finish, they present their sentences to the class.

Building Sentences Center Work

How to Write a Sentence

After completing our whole group lessons, I like to add a building complete sentences center for extended independent practice for my students. Depending on the time in your day, you can add a writing center to your literacy center rotations, or add this into your writing workshop time. You can download these practice pages in my How to Write a Sentence Worksheet Pack in my shop.



Writing Strategies to Write Complex Sentences

Once your students have mastered writing simple sentences, then it is time to move on to more complex sentences by extending, combining, and proofreading their sentences. You can read all about these writing strategies in this blog post: Writing Strategies to Build Strong Writers


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