Understanding structure takes practice, but it can actually be fun. Kids love to create silly sentences and use their imaginations. Remind them that the subject is the noun that performs the action in the sentence. It answers this question, "Who or what is the sentence about?" The predicate is the verb or action in the sentence. It answers this question, "What happened or what is happening in the sentence?" Here are some activities to help students practice sentence structure.
Make them something children can relate to. Don’t be afraid to throw some fun and silly ones in there too. Maybe, "The yellow hippopotamus _______________."
Have half the class, group, or partnership create the subject of the sentence, while the other half creates the predicate. Simple subjects and predicates (often one word) can be used, but the activity will be more fun with complete subjects and predicates. When both groups have created 5-10 items, have them put them together to create sentences.
Some possible subjects: the big brown dog, the noisy class, the very tall building, a large box of chocolate, the striped frog. It’s okay to get silly!
Some possible predicates: drove to Florida, rocketed into outer space, couldn’t stop laughing, scored a touchdown, ate all their dinner. The sentences don’t have to make sense once they’re together; it’s the proper structure that’s important.
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