Sentence Imitation - for Any Grade!

A few years ago, the district I work in did an inservice for our writing coaches called "Sentence Imitation." Our writing coach at my old school was awesome. She came back and did some PD on it. I took it back and used it in my room. Ever since then, I have been a firm believer in it!

I see Sentence Imitation as a child who is learning to talk. They imitate what you say to learn how to speak, right? So kids learning to write would have the same learning, right?

Here are some examples of what I've been doing the last week or so. 

I write a sentence on the chart paper. Then I ask, "What do you notice about my sentence?"

The first two things are always capital letter for the first word and a punctuation at the end. Good. I want them to say that every time. Hopefully it'll ingrain in those students' head that need it! ha!

Then I start guiding them in the direction that I want them go... In this one, I wanted them to find the proper nouns.  I also wanted to teach them about Compound Sentences. So I underlined  the "and" and then did my little mini lesson on it. 

The next day, I wrote another compound sentence, and they found it on their own!  You will find that they LOVE to find word wall words! Depending on the sentence, I'll label it for them, but sometimes they go a little crazy with them. 

It was this day that I wanted them to also write their OWN compound sentence and I also wanted it to have at least one proper noun.  We had some circle maps about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington on the wall, so I told them they could use those to guide their writing.

You will see that I'm VERY picky about spelling and letter formation.   Yes, this is my first grader writing like this...and it's a boy! I love it. I tell them, if it's not in their best writing and the words are not spelled correctly, then they will rewrite it. Some don't believe me, but after the first time, they finally see that I'm serious.  

This particular student actually has a really hard time taking his time to copy from me correctly on a normal basis, but ever since I've started sentence imitation, he's done so much better!

Today they were excited that one of the words had our phonics skill in it (freedom), so we had to label that one!

Here are some other examples of when I taught 2nd grade, just so you can see the difference...

In the beginning, it takes a little bit more time to get them used to doing it.  But after a few days, they are really quick at it! And it becomes a game to them really.

I do this about 3 times a week and then in our main writing for the week I have put the skills that we've been practicing in their writing.   It really works! I promise. If you can stick with these little mini lessons, they will do such good for your kids' writing!

You don't really need a guide for this. I just use whatever grammar skill we need to work on and somehow make that mix with whatever we've been studying and reading about. I usually make the sentences up as we sit down to do the activity.

You can do this for any grade! You can make the sentences as easy or as difficult as you need them to be! Kinders can do it, all the way up to 3rd or 4th grade!


Lindalouhoo said...

Thank you for such an inspiring post. Your explanation and photos makes it look so easy! I'm going to try this tomorrow! I love the small, incremental tasks.

Unknown said...

I love this idea- how simple, yet effective! I know several of my students who would definitely benefit from this strategy- I'll implement it in my small groups next week! Thanks for the inspiration- I love to see how you teach!

First Grade Bangs

Mrs. Wiley said...

Fantastic idea! I've used sentences as mentors before and it has worked great. I will have to try it again. I love that you are a stickler for neat writing :)

Mrs. Wiley
@ Wiley Teaching

Everyone Deserves to Learn said...

This is great for ELL students! I am definitely going to try it with our morning work sentences. Thanks for a great post!


Unknown said...

A compound sentence has two independent clauses joined by a comma and a coordinating conjunction or a semi colon. Your sentences are not compound.

Unknown said...

Those are not compound sentences, dear! The word "and" in those situations is used as a conjunction, but not a "coordinating" conjunction, which joins two independent clauses (each with their own subject and verb!)

Anonymous said...

Also after some time our power obtains worn down Game Killer 2017 After that touch on change as well as input variety of coins you have to have.

crewsryan said...

Beneficiary IRA, traditional IRA therefore a lot more savings allowing them with alternatives. Etrade Account Separately managed account profile develop around your demands.

isaacball said...

really works for me.

Sandra said...

Great articles about types of sentences. It's nicely explained using images. It will be great if you can add an article about compound sentence examples as well. It will be good to see more examples for types of sentences too.

Business HUB Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mark22 said...

Wow, what a handy guide! I never realized how important it is to have a solid business wikipedia page for your business until I read this article. It's like having your own little corner of the internet where anyone can learn about what you do. Thanks for breaking it down in such an easy-to-understand way!

mark22 said...

Hey there! Loved reading about mobile app development services . It's such a game-changer in today's tech-savvy world, right? As someone always glued to their phone, I'm all for apps that make life easier. Keep up the awesome work, guys! Can't wait to see what's next.

Amara Valencia said...

Wolfgang Zulauf's expertise in Environment Conservation is unmatched. His passion for protecting our planet drives real change. Honored to support such impactful initiatives.

Back to Top