Homeschooling: Fun with Writing Sentences

Can’t help it, I’m going to rave about Peggy Kaye’s book again: Games for Writing. I’ve gushed about it at Writer…Interrupted and here at Home-steeped Hope in the past, and yes, here I go again…

What fun we had around the kitchen table this morning, with both girls giggling and saying they absolutely loved this creative writing activity! If you have Peggy’s book, we did the activity on page 107: Mixed Up and Missing, and also the activity on page 113: Strange Sentences.

Mixed Up and Missing

Give everyone their own pencil, paper and scissors. Yes, even you mom/dad. Tell them to compose a silly sentence such as this one:

“My dad bakes cherry popovers in a purple apron.”

(I wrote even longer more complicated ones for my 9 year old…she’s always up for a challenge, and gave me back as good as she got…)

Tell them their sentence is a BIG secret from the other players!

Then each writer cuts out their sentence and snips between each word, creating a “sentence puzzle” for the others to put together. FUN! Especially as so many of the adjectives can be switched, resulting in really hilarious sentences…

Strange Sentences

This game teaches the four W’s of writing a sentence: Who, What, When and Where.

Make five columns on a sheet of paper and label them as follows:

WHO or What/DID WHAT/WHERE/WHEN/PUNCTUATION

Then you and the kids brainstorm six sentences, marking them as 1-6. For example:

  1. My grandpa read a book on the couch yesterday.
  2. A dinosaur lived in a cave thousands of years ago.
  3. My sister hid in a closet today.
  4. A dog chased a cat in the pool last night.
  5. My mom sang a song at church last Sunday.
  6. The soldier snacked on cheetos in the tank at midnight.

Player number 1 rolls the die and it lands on 2. So your subject is the WHO or What of the second sentence: “A dinosaur”.

Player number 2 rolls the die and it lands on 1. So your DID WHAT is: “read a book”.

Player number 3 rolls the die and it lands on 4, so your WHERE is: “in the pool”.

Player number 4 rolls the die, getting a 6: “at midnight” for WHEN.

“A dinosaur read a book in the pool at midnight.”

And so on. Good for many giggles, believe me. My toddler even had fun rolling the die and hearing the silly sentences.

Best of all, it really gets the kids’ thinking creatively and makes writing…fun!

I’m all for that!

9 thoughts on “Homeschooling: Fun with Writing Sentences”

  1. We had a similar game we played at parties and it was fun. Each person had a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. The leader asked them each to keep secret what they had written. First of all, each person folded his paper into strips. The leader then asked each person to write an adjective on the first space, then to fold what he wrote out of sight and pass it to the next person. No one could look at what the other person had written. Then the leader asked each person to write a noun on the next space, fold it out of sight and hand to the next person. And so on, using parts of speech, prepositional phrases, etc., until all had completed his or her mystery story. The last person to write (and the others too) then opened the folded sheets and read the ‘story’. A good exercise when learning parts of speech. And fun too.

  2. Mom, that sounds really fun too, we should do it with the girls next time we have a “normal” Bible study get together…thanks for telling how it’s played!

  3. Thanks, Colleen. I’m so thankful for the freedoms that allow me to homeschool. It’s not always a walk in the park, so games like the above are very welcome!

  4. That does sound like a lot of fun. And what a wonderful way to teach the kids, reading and writing, not to mention, using their imagination.

  5. Ok…so I am not a homeschooler (I teach 5th. grade in a public school) but I am going to “steal” your “Strange Sentences” and use it with my students later this week. I can already tell they will get a kick out of this game! Thanks

  6. Leticia, after homeschooling for 5 years, my imagination needs all the help it can get. That’s why I’m getting such a kick out of this book and others!

    You’re welcome, Eric, I’m sure I’d love to “steal” a lot of your teacher ideas too!

    I was excited to see that Peggy Kaye has also written a book called “Games for Math”! I checked it out at the library…so I’ll probably share more later…

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