Sentence stretching is key to helping children improve their verbal and written communication skills. Starting with a simple sentence of just a few words, you can work with students as they revise and expand it into a more comprehensive, interesting statement.
Creative Ideas with the 5 Ws
Teach children to use the 5 Ws – who, what, when, where and why – to add detail to their sentences. Here’s an example:
My friend Max. (Not even a complete sentence yet, but a start … )
My friend Max plays soccer.
My friend Max plays soccer every Saturday.
My friend Max plays soccer every Saturday at the high school.
My friend Max plays soccer every Saturday at the high school because the field there is awesome.
Begin by having students talk about what makes a sentence a sentence – starting with the basic subject/predicate, aka – noun/verb structure. Write a simple sentence on the board and ask for volunteers to help stretch it. When the sentence is complete, have students read it aloud and copy it into their writing journal or on a clean sheet of paper.
Some additional ideas to make sentence stretching more productive and fun include:
Make it into a Game Show.
Call students’ names and tell them they’re the next lucky contestant on “Stretch that SENTENCE!” Have them come to the front of the room to participate. Maybe even offer some inexpensive prizes or play some peppy music.
Play Sentence Go Round.
The instructions and details can be found here.
Pair up students who need a challenge.
They can assist others who may be having a tougher time with the concept of sentence stretching.
Provide support and encouragement.
For children who need more assistance, fill in some of the sentence-completing words for them. Remind students the more they practice, the easier this will become for them.
At Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services, we know what it takes to thrive in a school-based speech practice setting. We can help you get the support and professional development you need to focus on what matters most – your students – and to take your career to the next level. Contact us today so we can tell you more.