Language Arts with Lyn Stone (St Monica's Wodonga)

The Sentence-Level

The formation of high quality sentences is a key component in increasingly strategic, fluent writing.

For this to happen, a consistent and concise metalanguage has to be established from the very beginning of school.

In the scope and sequence for grammar and syntax, it is suggested that even foundation students be alerted to the fact that stories (and subsequently, sentences) minimally contain a subject and what that subject is, does or has.

The subject + verb construct can then be worked upon to support knowledge of sentence types.

Spoken communication is far more prone to incomplete sentences. Written communication, however is built upon sentences.

Model, dictate and guide the composition of sentences at every opportunity. Tell students that written material is not supposed to be a carbon copy of speech. Too often, children write as though they are speaking and the result is disastrous.

Instead, get the idea across that written material is a series of sentences, each of them containing subjects and verbs, intended to transmit a thought from one mind to another. That thought can be simple. That thought can be complex. The quality of the sentence determines how well that thought is transmitted.

Below are some quick-reference charts:

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