Strategies for Teaching the 6 Traits

Strategies for Sentence Fluency

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Roberta Gray

  • Discuss memorable foods.
  • On the board create a list of sensory words that describe the foods.
  • Write five simple sentences about a food not on the list.
  • Have the children read and edit the sentences.
  • Encourage them to vary the structure of the sentences and use sensory words.
  • Read the the paragraph aloud and discuss its fluency.
  • Have the children write a five sentence paragraph about a memorable food.
  • Encourage them to use varied sentence structure and sensory words.
  • Have the children share and discuss their paragraphs with other students.

Deb Rastin

  • Poetry is the easiest way to get the flow and rhythym of writing going. Choral reading, chants, poems, reader's theater and rhyming stories, e.g. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, also catch the children's attention.
  • Directly observe sentence beginnings of different authors. Discuss and determine the variety, and the preferences of the students.
  • Model sentence beginnings, have the children add the ending to make a complete sentence.
  • Model a writing sample containing sentence fragments. Discuss what is wrong and then rewrite the fragments into proper sentences together. Compare the finished sentences to the first sample.

Deb Weissman

Sentence Analysis:

  • Number sentences of a finished draft, first, second, etc.
  • Give students a chart headed Sentence #, First Word or First 4 words, # of words, and several blank columns. The blank columns can focus on a skill on which you're working. For example: Subject, Predicate or a column for verbs.
  • Have students go through their writing pieces sentence by sentence. They write the first word or first 4 words of each sentence, the number of words in each sentence, etc. in the appropriate columns. Suddenly they have a visual reference where repetitive word choice, patterns, lengths, etc. jump out at them. If you're working on run-ons or sentence fragments, they jump out also, as does sentence pattern.

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