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  1. #1
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    Default sentence writing

    Hi, I am going to introduce a writing programme for my students who are in Primary 4 - 6. Most of them show difficulty in expressing their ideas due to their limited vocabulary and poor grammar knowledge. I would like to start with sentence writing to raise students' awareness of the sentence structure as well as to Students will be asked to make their own sentences using the vocabulary they learnt in the textbook, story book and supplementary exercise book, etc. I believe that this practice can help students know the appropriete use of the selected vocabulary and develop confidence in wriing. Could anyone give me suggestions on interesting and meaningful activities that I can use in class.? Thanks for your ideas in advance.
    Jessica

  2. #2
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    Default Re: sentence writing

    I have the same situation with most of my students. I find the most helpful thing to do is drill pronoun variations with one or two simple sentences for the whole class. This ensures that they remember their pronouns and gives them a limited challenge in which they can be confident of what they are saying.

    example: (psuedo-random order of questions and students; try to get every student to practice everything)

    (Teacher) Who are you?/Who is he?/Who is she?/Who are they?/ Who are we?/ Who am I?/
    (Student) I'm/He's/She's/They're/We're?/You're

    or with colour variations and it/they/this/that/these/those
    or with possesive pronouns and clothing colours
    or with prepositions and simple vocabulary
    or with 'what do you like' around the class, and then make a game out of who can remember the answers given by another student by asking 'what does he like?/What do they like?'

    Another useful thing is to drill the 'W' question words (who what when where why and how (how is the backwards W word!)) that they have learned every day.

    Teacher(around the class): Who are you? What are you? Where are you? How are you? (and with other pronouns as well)

    Do this kind of stuff everyday! As the students learn and become confident with more grammar, the games can become much more complicated and competitive (if you set them up to be competitive, that is).

    My students only come once a week so doing this is very important to reinforce their memories, I feel.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: sentence writing

    Dear JSmiley,
    Thanks for your suggestions. I would like to have further advice from you. The writing programme will last for six months, a writing lesson will be conducted once (30 minutes) a week. At the end I hope my students are able to write sentences which contain the major components of a sentence, for example, the subject, verb, time and place. What activities will you suggest that help them familiarize the sentence structure? For the Primary 6 students, I set the target that they are able to write compound sentences. What should I do to help them achieve the aim? I also find my students are very weak in tenses. I have explained to them the grammar rules (many times already) and given them notes as references. However, their writing always reveals that they cannot use the tenses accurately. For example, they make big mistakes in the simple present third person singular, they fail to memorize the verbs in the past tense form and have problem in the questions and statements of the past tense, etc. How can we conduct writing tasks that consolidate their understanding of the different tenses and that they are interested in doing the tasks? Thank you for your advice in advance.
    Jessica

  4. #4
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    Default Re: sentence writing

    Is there anybody who knows any websites which provide writing activities that help primary students develop wriitng habits as well as interest / confidence in writing. I am now gathering ideas on planning my sentence writing programme for my Primary 4-6 students. Thanks. Jessica

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: sentence writing


  6. #6
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    Default Re: sentence writing

    Quote Originally Posted by jessica ng View Post
    Dear JSmiley,
    Thanks for your suggestions. I would like to have further advice from you. The writing programme will last for six months, a writing lesson will be conducted once (30 minutes) a week. At the end I hope my students are able to write sentences which contain the major components of a sentence, for example, the subject, verb, time and place. What activities will you suggest that help them familiarize the sentence structure? For the Primary 6 students, I set the target that they are able to write compound sentences. What should I do to help them achieve the aim? I also find my students are very weak in tenses. I have explained to them the grammar rules (many times already) and given them notes as references. However, their writing always reveals that they cannot use the tenses accurately. For example, they make big mistakes in the simple present third person singular, they fail to memorize the verbs in the past tense form and have problem in the questions and statements of the past tense, etc. How can we conduct writing tasks that consolidate their understanding of the different tenses and that they are interested in doing the tasks? Thank you for your advice in advance.
    Jessica
    For compound sentences; I believe this is a result that flows naturally from the introduction of the proper conjunction. My method is based closely on speaking and communication ability, so I never tell my students to 'make a compound sentence' but rather I will introduce a new word (in this case a conjuction like 'but') and spend the bulk of the first class drilling it. In your case it seems your students are in a more traditional grammar-analysis-writing style class, but my advice would still be to focus on using specific conjunctions and letting the students get comfortable making compounds before actually telling them that that is what they are doing. After some week or days of study, when the students show a confidence using conjunctions and making compound sentences, you can introduce the grammatical study of compounds and surprise them by letting them know that they already have the ability to form them.

    For the younger students, parts of speech can be written on cards and, singly or in groups, the students can create sentences by choosing cards from the pre-written groups of time, place, subject and verb. Some of their answers could be very funny! You can then query the students with the corresponding who, what, when, and where questions to ensure that they really understand what they have assembled, and of course they can write their sentences down for practice. This method should give them good visual memory of what a proper sentence looks like, and you can begin to increase the difficulty level by removing one catagory of cards (or replacing it with blanks) progressively until they can create the whole sentence themselves. You can also make a quiz game this way by asking a question and giving the student say, three cards from each catagory to answer with, of which only one of each would be correct; score partial answers and the game can be quite competitive with all students paying good attention (we hope!).

    Tenses are tough, and my best suggestion is to drill drill drill the students on all the verbs they have studied. I use card games for this but my classes are generally very small. I leave it up to you. Giving notes sheets with present tenses written and a blank space for past tense seems to work as well, as long as the answers are done as a class group (to force less motivated students to participate). Then in speaking drills you can ask pairs of questions to random students to elicit the proper tense in the response. (i.e. "When do you wake up?" and then "When did you wake up today?" to the next random student, and so on)

    Okay, Ive got a class to do, hope these are adaptable to your classes.

    Jesse

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