January 30, 2014

Writing SUPER Sized Sentences

Do you ever feel like you've practiced
and practiced
and practiced
writing detailed sentences with your students?
So what did we do last week, we practiced some more.
But...I introduced it in a different way that they had heard before.
By the end of the week, some of them were pro's at writing super-sized sentences.
Here's how I explained it to them in "kid terms":
"Ice cream is one of my favorite things to eat and I'm sure you love it too.
 But think about eating ice cream this way.  If you had a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream it would be good right? But what if you got to add a scoop of vanilla, a scoop of strawberry, some chocolate syrup, sprinkles, whip cream, and a cherry. Now that would be delicious to eat! Writing sentences is kind of like eating ice cream. Who wants to read a book with a bunch of plain and boring sentences. This is like the chocolate ice cream, plain and boring.  I know I like to read books where the author writes detailed sentences that paint pictures in my brain as I read. These are like the bowl of ice cream with everything on it. We want the sentences we write to be super-sized ice cream sentences instead of boring chocolate ice cream sentences."
Yeah, after that they totally got the picture I was wanting them to have.
So there's where our journey began.
Here's a printable you can show to get their brains thinking in the right direction or hang in your writing center once you have talked about writing super-sized sentences.
Together we practiced taking a boring chocolate ice cream sentence like,
"The child played".
We turned it into a super-sized ice cream sentence by adding adjectives, verbs, and other details.
We would brainstorm a list of adjectives to describe our noun...which in this case was child.
Next, we would brainstorm where the sentence would take place.
Then, we would put our super-sized sentence together.
"The nasty child played outside in the mud."
Pick this up as a freebie from Swamp Frog First Graders
We practiced for 3 days stretching out our sentences to make them super-sized by adding adjectives and verbs before we came up with our own super-sized sentences.
Here is some great work my firsties produced by the end of the week.

"A cute baby dog took its very first steps at the doctor and the doctor said it was amazing."
"My pretty cute dog takes a bath with me in my bath tub."
I am hoping (fingers tightly crossed) that next week when I let them choose which type of writing they want to do...we've learned books, stories, and letters...that they remember to include super-sized sentences in their writing!


  1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your explanation on expanding sentences! I am using this idea tomorrow! Thanks!

    A+ Classroom Creations

  2. Thank you, it's just what I needed to get them to write more challenging sentences.