Living Sentences‏‎

British Royal Guard lined up.Living Sentences is a fun exercise for younger children to give them practice in the way sentences are put together.

Preparation

On A4 sheets of paper write single words which will go to make up sentences which are an appropriate level for your class.

  • THE - DOG - CHASED - THE - CAT.
  • I - WENT - TO - THE - CINEMA - ON - SUNDAY.

And so on. It's best to paperclip the words of each sentence together so you don't mix them up.

Running the Activity

In class, go over the way in which sentences are constructed. Here you can concentrate on the kind of sentence your class is studying, for example making questions or negations or simple declarative sentences, etc.

As an example, get 5 students to the front of the class and give them each one word from the first sentence and have them stand in a group, holding the word they have above their head. Get the class to call out and tell those students where to stand in a line so that the sentence is formed properly.

THE DOG CHASED THE CAT

or maybe

THE CAT CHASED THE DOG

With the younger students this is great fun and leads to a lot of enthusiastic noise!

Variations on a Theme

Once the class is familiar with this you can:

  • turn the activity into a team game
  • use grammatical labels instead of words, e.g. ARTICLE - NOUN - VERB - ARTICLE - NOUN
  • use semantic fields and grammatical labels, e.g. ARTICLE - ANIMAL - VERB - ARTICLE - ANIMAL

Useful Links

Sentences‏‎ in English Grammar - formation, classification, examples.

Semantic Fields in TEFL - all about lexical fields and how to use them in your TEFL class.

Parts of Speech‏‎ in English Grammar - a look at the main class of words or PoS.

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