Writing Interesting Sentences (All years. all levels)
Name of Teacher: Jon Hughes
Class/Grade/Language Level: Senior High School
Textbook and specific lesson: None
Goal: Improve students’ ability to include more information in written sentences
Preparation: 10-15 minutes (to photocopy handouts and think of some good example sentences) Handout: Writing Interesting Sentences
Class time: 50 min or more, depending on English level
This lesson will allow your students to practice using adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases when writing English sentences.
Begin by writing a simple sentence on the board (or even better, projecting an open Word document onto a screen). I like to start with “The cat sat on the mat.” Explain to the students that this is a rather boring sentence and that you need their help to spice it up.
Prompt the students to give you more information about the sentence with questions like: What kind of cat is it? (Tabby, Calico, etc.) What does the cat look like? (small, fat, etc.) What kind of personality does the cat have? (lazy, nervous, etc.) How did the cat sit? (slowly, gingerly, etc.) What does the mat look like? (green, fluffy, etc.) Why did the cat sit on the mat? (it was tired, it was injured, it was full from eating too much, etc.)
Changing the sentence with each new piece of information, you will end up with a sentence that looks more like: “The big, scary cat sat angrily on the green mat because he had a thorn stuck in his paw.”
If necessary, use more sentences to allow the students to practice the activity as a class. E.g. “The boy ran.”
Pass out the worksheets and have the students use the sentences provided to make longer sentences containing more information. If the English level of the class is low, have the students work in pairs.
If you want to make a game out of it, you can award points to the student who comes up with the longest sentence, the funniest sentence, etc.