Making Simple Sentences with Beginners

sentence building activity

One of the most important skills for primary students to develop is learning how to read and write sentences.  After teaching a few sight words and some basic punctuation, you may be ready to teach your students how to make simple sentences.

Sentence Structure

Here are a few things students should know about sentences:

A sentence has a subject (thing/person the sentence is about) and a predicate (tells something about the subject).

A sentence starts with a capital (uppercase) letter.

A sentence ends with a period (or question mark or exclamation mark).

For example: The dog is brown.

When beginning to compose sentences, it is best to use familiar words like sight words or short 2-3 letter words.  A picture is also a good clue to help decode any unfamiliar words.  Here are some examples of easy sentences with picture clues for beginners.


winter sentence building activity

If you break sentences down into individual words, you can show students that the word with the capital letter will likely come first.  This won't always be the case because some sentences will have names of people, places or things that also require a capital letter.  For beginning learners though, we don't need to use sentences with more than one word with a capital letter.

fall sentence building activity

In the example above, the words "I" and "eat" should be recognizable.  Students should also be familiar with the period.  The only unfamiliar words might be "pumpkin" and "pie".  A picture card allows students to either copy the sentence word for word or serve as a self checking tool at the end of the task.

spring sentence building activity

When students are done arranging the words into a complete sentence, they can copy it into their notebooks.  This way they are developing both reading and writing skills!  They can also read their sentence aloud to the class to develop confidence in their reading skills.

Some of the sentences you see in the photos are from my Making Sentences Literacy Centers Bundle. These literacy centers are great for kindergarten and first grade students who are just beginning to read and write.  The bundle comes with centers for Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, Calming Strategies, and the Original Literacy Center.  That's 6 centers in one big bundle!  You can check it out here:

sentence building activity bundle


More Sentence Centers You May Like

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Teaching Punctuation?

If you are also teaching punctuation, you might want to check out this fun Punctuation Practice Activity.  It can help you teach students how identify, complete, and write sentences (statements, questions, and exclamations) using correct the punctuation marks!

punctuation practice activity

Are your students more advanced?  Looking for something a littler harder?  You might like reading this Sentence Editing Blog Post!