It’s week 10 in my Kindergarten class and time for Teaching Kindergartners How to Write a Sentence.

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This school year has been my most challenging year, yet I am learning what so many other teachers experience on a yearly basis. I have had to back up and move a lot slower on my pacing this year. My students have needed more time and more intervention with initial concepts and I have not been able to move into writing as quickly as I normally would, but that’s okay, we are all making progress in a forward direction! (Positive Growth Mindset in Action)!

So here we are…we have been making lists of words and practicing the difference between a number, a letter, a word, and a sentence.

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I make this anchor chart WITH the students to show and explain the difference between numbers and letters. I write numbers and letters on post-it notes and then hand them to the students to add to the correct section of the anchor chart. Together as a class, we ask, is it a number or letter?

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Next, we make this anchor chart together. I have found that making anchor charts interactive and ‘building’ the chart together as a class, really makes a difference with the students and gives them ownership over their learning. (Interested in more anchor charts and how to implement them into YOUR classroom, then go here to THIS post to find 50+ Anchor Charts for the Kindergarten Classroom.)

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So now at this point, we have covered the difference between numbers and letters, as well as gone over the difference between letters, words and sentences. Time to introduce how important spaces are between letters in words and words in a sentence. (Sounds basic? YES, but the reality is that most kindergarten students do NOT know this…don’t assume!) I make this anchor chart in front of my students and talk about the difference in spaces.

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The basics of letters and words have been taught now and it is time to introduce building sentences that have structure and make sense. I started off the lesson by reading this book: Rocket Writes a Story. It’s a great book with the loveable dog character, Rocket. In this book, Rocket has learned his letters and is now collecting words, and wonders how to write a story. The little bird helps him understand what a story is and inadvertently, he writes a story with help from those around him. There are many opportunities in this story to focus on the different parts of writing. (I plan on using this book multiple times to review how Rocket writes a story.)

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After using the book to introduce turning words into sentences and then into a story, I began my building-sentences lesson. This year I decided to use a ‘building-construction’ theme to engage them. Together as a class we talked about how some construction workers build roads and houses and how they have to follow laws. They can’t just build a house any way they want. They can’t build the house sideways, because that would not make sense. Same idea with building sentences, there are rules to follow and each sentence must make sense. I tell them the ‘laws of writing’ and write it down on the anchor chart.

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Next, I modeled ‘building’ a sentence on the pocket chart with sight words and environmental print. I chose to do it this way, since they can read the words I used and it makes sense to them, since they can make a connection to the words and pictures.

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Using the gradual release model, it is now time for the students to practice with each other. I have them turn to their shoulder-partner and I gave each pair of students a baggie with sight words and pictures. Together the partners built their own sentences. After 3-4 minutes, we turned back and I let the different pairs of students, share their sentences.

Finally, it was time to see if they could build a sentence independently. I gave each student a sheet of sight words and a variety of environmental print pictures to choose from. Students then cut out the sight words they wanted, along with their choice of environmental-print picture and ‘built’ a sentence (by gluing it) on a sentence strip. Each student had to read me their sentence and review the ‘laws’ of writing, before placing their sentence in the pocket chart. As you can see from the picture, all of the sentences are correct, except for one, which is someone I will be working with one-on-one to work on the laws of writing and creating a sentence that makes sense.

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We are now we are ready to take on writing our own sentences and the next phases of writing! Please make note that all of the steps I described today, did not happen in one day. Use your teacher instinct and discretion to determine when and how to implement these lessons and/or strategies. These ideas worked for me and my students this school year and I happily pass them along to you! (Looking for more writing ideas, check out my post on Guided Drawing to Beginning Writers.) I hope this post, Teaching Kindergartners How to Write a Sentence is helpful, please let me know if it was!

How do you teach writing? I would love to hear your suggestions and tips! Leave them in the comments section and you might be featured on my FB or Instagram page!

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26 Responses

  1. What a great post! I too have been struggling with teaching my Kinders writing this year. I have really had to slow down with this group. I am going to give your building sentences activity a try.

    1. Hi Jill and thank you so much for stopping by to read my blog post and leave a comment! As a fellow kindergarten teachers, I know how important it is to find content that fits all students needs! 🙂

  2. Hello, I love looking at your blog when I am struggling because it always helps me! I definitely want to try this next year to help my students as I tend to forget the basic steps in how to teach them. I was wondering do you have your environmental print in a file you can share? Thanks so much!

  3. Thank you so much for your ideas. I have been struggling with sentence writing with my kids and this helps so much. I am so excited to read “Rocket Writes a Story” to them. The book gives some cute ideas as well. I have also made a sentence pocket chart that they can work with. They enjoy building their sentences using the chart.

    Thanks again,

    Ruth kikkert

    1. Thank you so much for such good lessons I have been struggling teaching children how to make sentences but it was hard for them .From today I will use the methods I have learnt from you.

  4. This is a great and helpful post. I also am excited to use your ideas from your guided drawing post. I stocked up on the books! Thank you.

  5. What a great post! I also have been struggling with my writing group this year. I am starting this tomorrow morning! Thanks so much!

  6. Wow – thank you so much for breaking down the art of sentence writing. I’ve been struggling to simplify it for my sped students. I will definitely be checking back here again,

  7. Thank you for all of your great ideas! I think I will try them this year. The anchor charts are crystal clear and this HAS to be fun for your students! Happy New School Year! We start in 4 weeks…..

  8. thank you for all the helpful and easiest ways of starting my lessons to the young ones. I will definitely use them as one of my resources.

  9. Thank you so much! I struggle with teaching writing every year! This makes so much more sense than the craziness I was trying to do! Thank you for sharing the great things that work in your classroom!

    1. I usually give them a bank of sight words that I have already explicitly taught and then some simple cvc words. 🙂

  10. This is such a great post! Thank you soooo much for sharing. Wish I could go back to September and start over with all these great ideas!!

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