Sentence construction is a skill that needs to be developed. Teachers can help develop that skill by undertaking exercises on how to expand a sentence and thus the writing can be refined.
The ‘expand sentences’ activity will add a new dimension to your child’s writing process. I make sure to practice this activity once a week. It enables creativity while improving writing skills.
To the left of the above anchor chart are a few simple steps teachers can take to incorporate sentence expansion into their writing instruction.
They are merely questions which the child has to answer and incorporate in his/her sentence.
Sentence – Mom is in the kitchen.
It is a rather vague sentence because it does not actually explain anything. The first step in adding life to a sentence could be inserting an adjective. Adjectives are describing words and one of the most effective ways to describe a sentence.
Mom is in the tiny kitchen.
Just one word, ‘tiny’ describes the sentence in a way that we can actually picture it.
The next step is adding ‘when?’
Since early morning, mom is in the tiny kitchen.
Now, we can picture the scene even better.
After ‘when?’ we move to ‘where?’
We try to give more insight into where the events were taking place.
Since early morning, mom is in the tiny kitchen of our apartment.
The next step is answering the question, ‘How?’ or ‘doing what?’
Since early morning, mom is busy cooking in the tiny kitchen of our apartment.
This sentence gives a complete picture of what was going on at that time.
You may or may not incorporate the last step which is ‘why?’
Since early morning, mom is busy cooking in the tiny kitchen of our apartment for dad, who will be home in time for breakfast.
Now, compare this sentence to where we started. ‘Mom is in the kitchen.’
These steps have completely transformed the sentence.
We play hide and seek in the huge park of our complex every evening.
For Class 1 and Class 2 children, I usually do not follow the last step ‘why?’ when expanding sentences though I make sure to discuss it with them. Writing the last step can be confusing for our little ones and they can lose interest so it’s okay if you want to avoid it.
My dad wears his running shoes and goes to Central Park for a five-kilometer jog every morning to stay fit.
I usually start writing the last step with children who are eight years and older since the children are well versed with the ‘parts of speech’ by then.
Do practice this activity with your children and enhance their creative skills.