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Sentence Expansion

Writing sentences is something most people do on a daily basis. We write notes, letters, journal entries, essays, stories, books, and a vast amount of other things that are all composed of sentences. Sentences are as fundamental to writing as your brain is for thinking.

Fortunately, writing a sentence is very simple. It has only two components: A subject (which in its simplest form is a single noun) and a predicate (which in its simplest form is a single verb). For example, the simplest sentence one can write is, "I am." The word "I" is the subject and the word "am" is the predicate. While "I am." is indeed a sentence, it is a very boring sentence that conveys very little information.

The goal of sentence expansion is to create sentences that are informative and interesting, and writing an awesome sentence is something that everyone can do. In sentence expansion, you take a simple sentence(one noun and a verb) and gradually expand it until you have a beautiful sentence.

To start this activity, students need to be able to answer the following questions: Who? What? How? Where? When? and Why? Take a look at the example below.

Who:
What/What Kind:
How:
Where:
When:
Why:
The alligator eats.
The
green alligator eats.
The green alligator eats
quickly.
The green alligator eats quickly
in the pool.
The green alligator eats quickly in the pool
at 9:00 A.M.
The green alligator eats quickly in the pool at 9:00 A.M.
because he is hungry.

By taking a simple sentence and expanding it step by step, students are able to create sentences that are entertaining and informative.

To view some examples of our classroom's sentence expansions, click here.


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