Sentence Fluency Lessons

There are many possible ways to write a sentence correctly. Usually some sound better than others. A writer who can choose these versions, that sound great, have a strong sense of sentence fluency. This doesn't mean they know how to create longer sentences, but it means they know when to use longer sentences and when it is appropriate to use shorter sentences These writers have a sense of rhythm within the sentence and know how to make the sentence flow so that it is enjoyable for the reader. Good sentence fluency rings a bell when it is read orally. Listeners sit up and pay attention, it touches some part of their spirit.

Cloud Callout: Sentence Fluency

Like a river that meanders through brush and trees, flowing gently or thundering over a waterfall, sentences glide through a piece of writing. It is up to you to decide how your Sentence Fluency develops. What is your purpose in the piece you are writing?

How to develop Sentence fluency in your writing.

Cloud Callout: Change up your beginnings





  • begin with a question
  • begin with conversation
  • begin with action
  • a command
  • character
  • setting
  • strong opinion
  • something that leaves the reader wondering

Cloud Callout: Include Sounds






Cloud Callout: Use a Variety of Connectors





Cloud Callout: Vary your sentences





  • use a variety of sentences
  • complex, simple, compound
  • use declarative and interrogative
  • exclamatory and imperative
  • short and long
  • one word, two word or three.
Cloud Callout: Pay attention to Sentence Coherence

Some Activities for Practicing Sentence Fluency

Begin by giving students a list of sentences. Ask them to identify those that are full sentences [FS] those that are fragments [FR], those that have a rhythm [R] those that are awkward [A] etc. Then discuss these orally, noting what makes a sentence have rhythm, flow, smooth phrasing, cadence, hooks a reader etc.

Give students a paragraph with subject-verb disagreement. Have them rewrite the paragraph with fluency. Have them work in pairs.

Another good beginning point is Mrs. Hawkins Site

Provide students with some former writing from previous students and get them to correct the writing errors so that the paragraphs flow better. Try giving students a paragraph that has been cut into sentences and broken apart. Their job is to put it back together in a fluent manner. It should be an example of good writing.
Have students compare and contrast two paragraphs about the same topic. One is very well written and one is poorly written. (you rewrite with mistakes) For Homework ask students to find a piece of writing that appeals to their senses. It can be from a newspaper, magazine etc. Have them compare it to a list of good qualities of writing that you have prepared and handed to them. They and a peer will examine the two pieces and write down parts of the writing that have the above qualities.
Get students to rewrite their paragraphs and use a tape recorder to read them orally. Do they now sound less choppy. If not rewrite again, see if they can improve. If you have access to a computer lab: Have students view some good and poor samples here.
Activity: Music to Our Ears.
Use the music of classic works such as Bugs Bunny overtures to develop sentence fluency skills. Play a piece of music for your students to enjoy. Then play it a second time and ask them to pick a section and write a description of what they think is happening. Challenge them to capture the fluidity of the music in their writing.


Some ideas came from LINK

VARIED SENTENCE BEGINNINGS: Have the students write a paragraph, story, whatever of ten sentences. For each sentence, give them a rule to follow for beginning the sentence.

Sentence 1 -- Begin with a singular common noun.
Sentence 2 -- Begin with an adjective.
Sentence 3 -- Begin with a subordinate phrase that tells when.
Sentence 4 -- Begin with a verb ending in -ing.

The grammar skills listed below are the ones I consider necessary to teach students good sentence fluency.    You will find these skills in most grammar textbooks. 

Mini Lessons for each:



A few things Teachers could do:

From Kim's Corner Lesson Plans

Share and discuss the definition of Sentence Fluency

Share and discuss the descriptors of Sentence Fluency.


Create a trait descriptor poster for Sentence Fluency. Display it in the classroom

Create the "Teaching Sentence Structures as Family Units" lesson.

Create the "Sentence Beginnings" activity.

Make two copies of the Sentence Fluency peer response sheets for every student.