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How do you teach kids how to structure sentences?

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Quick Answer

Teach kids sentence structure using subject, verb and object wheels. Other ways to teach sentence structure are using color-coded sentences and having kids unscramble sentences. Any type of hands-on activity where the child is able to physically create the sentence so it makes sense visually helps teach kids the parts of speech and their purpose in the sentence.

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Full Answer

For subject, verb and object wheels, students begin by tracing three circles on a sheet of corrugated cardboard with each circle 6 inches larger in diameter than the last. Each circle is cut out and has a small hole punched into the center. The larger circle is labeled "subject," while the midsized circle is labeled "verb," and the small circle is "object." Divide circles into eight equal wedges that are filled in with appropriate words at the edge of the circle, such as "The girl" for a subject, "has" for a verb and "dolls" for an object. The wheels are attached by a brad in the center, with the smallest on top and the largest in back, so that full sentences are created as kids turn the wheel.

To have kids make color-coded sentences, create simple sentences that the kids copy onto a sheet of paper. Assign each part of speech a color, and help the kids make a color key with a square for each part of speech. Using coloring supplies, the kids recopy the sentences but write each word in the color that corresponds to its part of speech.

To have kids unscramble sentences, print several copies of a longer sentence on sheets that are all a different color. Cut each word of the sentence, and place each color into separate envelopes. Divide the kids into groups, and give each group an envelope. The first group to decode the sentence properly wins a prize.

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