Sentence Building
Tara Grove

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
junior high school second year- third year grammar review any a whole period various props

1) The ALT makes up three paragraphs of six sentences using the grammar the students have recently studied.

2) The ALT divides the sentences into words or phrases and writes the words or phrases on separate cards of construction paper.

3) The classes will do one paragraph at a time. Each paragraph should be more difficult than the one preceding it. One way to make the second and third paragraphs more difficult is to make the sentences longer and/ or more broken apart.

4) The ALT should draw a picture that corresponds to each sentence (so a total of 18). This does not require great artistic skill -- trust me, if I can do it, it requires no skill. Stick people are fine; just make it good enough to convey the meaning of the sentence. (The trick is to write about things that you can draw.)

5) It helps to make prize cards to give to the teams once they make the sentences. I made 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th place cards. The first team to finish got 10 points, 2nd got 8, 3rd got 4, 5th got 2 and 6th place got 1 point.

Class Procedure:

Before class, put the six pictures corresponding to Paragraph 1 on the board vertically.

1) Divide the class into six teams.

2) Hand out the cards of words and phrases face-down -- one sentence per team.

3) When all the cards are handed out, the students may turn them over and try to make the sentences, with help from the ALT and JTE.

4) When a team thinks they have the right answer, the ALT will check it. If the sentence is grammatically correct, then the ALT will ask the students which picture it corresponds to on the blackboard (this checks their understanding of the meaning of the sentence). If they can answer, they get the card corresponding to first place or second place, etc.

5) Have the students attach their sentence to the board with magnets, next to the corresponding picture.

6) When all the sentences are on the board, the ALT will read the paragraph. Then the ALT and JTE will explainthe meaning of any difficult parts.

7) After going through the game three times (doing all three paragraphs), add up the points collected by each team. The team with the most points is the winner (of course).

8) I then had joke prizes -- six of them, one for each team. The winner got to choose first, the second place team chose second, and so on.

Examples of prizes:

1) 15 boxes of Corn Flakes
2) a new sports car
3) just applause
4) 10 books in English
5) a big carrot cake
6) free trip to Miss Tara's house

You'd be surprised what sometimes gets picked first!

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