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complete sentences



Hello! What are some ideas for teaching 2nd graders about writing in complete sentences? I appreciate your thoughts! :)


Senior Member
We have them map out sentences using who, action, where, and when. We also sometimes add a why box. The students get used to having good details in their sentences. I have them plan three or four but then only write out one. I also write short, boring sentences and have them add details to make it a better sentence. I have noticed that when I focus on the details it cuts down on sentence fragments.


old and not popular idea

but I think it works!
I believe, after many years of teaching little ones, that we must first teach them the component parts...noun, verb, prepositional phrase, pronoun, state of being verbs, direct object....before they can know if the sentence has what it must have to be complete. I know this is controversial because prepositions and direct object are usually reserved for Jr. High, but I'm a firm believer that if you can teach them common prepositions and how to delete the prepositional phrases and the direct object they will be left with so many fewer words to choose from and it will be so much easier for them to identify the noun/pronoun as subject and the verb/state of being verb as predicate indicators. I did teach these to my 2nd graders and they were so much more able to write complete sentences and to understand communication about writing in general. When they wrote a story and I wanted them to elaborate more, I could say, "Try adding some prepositional phrases in some of the sentences." Or I could say, "I think your writing would be more interesting if you'd replace some of the state of being verbs with action verbs." Their writing was pretty awsome for 2nd graders by the end of the year, and they were one of our not-so-high groups to pass through 2nd. Like I said, it's my philosophy, and one that I haven't heard many primary teachers embrace. :)