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
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
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
Some ideas came from
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.
A few things Teachers could do:
From Kim's Corner Lesson Plans
Share and discuss the
definition of Sentence Fluency
trait descriptor poster for Sentence Fluency. Display it in the classroom