Sentence Strategies Foundation Lesson

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1 English Sentence Strategies Foundation Lesson About this Lesson When students first begin to express their thoughts in writing, composition can be a fairly random process without much rhyme or reason to it. As student writers mature, they can begin to think about consciously using a pattern or structure to organize their writing and to work toward the accomplishment of a rhetorical purpose. One thing students need to consider is the purpose for which they are writing and the different functions of sentences within a paragraph. This activity is designed to help students become more aware of sentence function and purpose and to encourage them to use a variety of sentence types when developing a paragraph or essay. This lesson is included in Module 3: Integrating Grammar, Exploring Syntax. Objectives Students will demonstrate understanding of different types of sentences. construct paragraphs that address a prompt and use a variety of sentence types. Level Grades Six through Ten Connection to Common Core Standards for English Language Arts LTF Foundation Lessons are designed to be used across grade levels and therefore are aligned to the CCSS Anchor Standards. Teachers should consult their own grade-level-specific Standards. The activities in this lesson allow teachers to address the following Common Core Standards: Explicitly addressed in this lesson Code Standard Level of Thinking L.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how Understand language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening. L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general Understand academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression. Depth of Knowledge II II i

2 Teacher Overview Sentence Strategies W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. Create Evaluate Apply Implicitly addressed in this lesson Code Standard Level of Thinking L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Understand standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Understand standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of Create substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and Create convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined Create experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. Depth of Knowledge I I IV IV ii

3 Teacher Overview Sentence Strategies LTF Skill Focus The foundation for LTF English lessons is the Skill Progression Chart that identifies key skills for each domain, beginning with grade 6 and adding more complex skills at each subsequent grade level while reinforcing skills introduced at previous grade levels. The Skill Focus for each individual lesson identifies the skills actually addressed in that lesson. Levels of Thinking Remember Understand Apply Analyze Evaluate Create Close Reading written, spoken, and visual texts Grammar purposeful use of language for effect Reading Strategies Generalization Inference Summary Figures of Speech (Figurative Language) Metaphor extended/controlling Simile Sentences Purpose Composition written, spoken, and visual products Types (modes) Expository analytical Narrative Persuasive (argumentation) cause/effect claim comparison/contrast definition process The Process of Composition Prewriting determination of purpose Drafting extended time timed Structural Elements Body Organization Patterns (spatial, order of importance, chronological, etc.) Connections to AP* All good writing follows logical patterns, and students must demonstrate a command of organization in essays written for the AP English Literature and Language exams. Practicing with different sentence types and their logical progressions will enable students to successfully accomplish this task. *Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board. The College Board was not involved in the production of this material. Materials and Resources copies of Student Activity sentence strategies chart writing prompts iii

4 Assessments The following kinds of formative assessments are embedded in this lesson: short writing assignments identification exercises (see teaching suggestions) Teacher Overview Sentence Strategies Teaching Suggestions Teachers should begin by explaining and modeling the different types of sentences outlined in the chart. Then students should work individually or in small groups to write each type of sentence, based on a reading activity or a teacher-selected topic. The most benefit can be achieved with this lesson if it is tied to a writing prompt and students have the opportunity to put their learning into practice in an essay shortly after finishing the lesson. Teachers can also project short sample essays and have the class identify the types of sentences and patterns used in the paragraph. Teachers may give students a prompt and have them practice writing paragraphs using various patterns. One option is to let students work in groups to create a paragraph following a selfselected pattern, and then have groups trade papers and try to identify the pattern that the other group has chosen. iv

5 English Sentence Strategies Foundation Lesson Use the chart to choose different types of sentences when writing paragraphs. The first column of the chart lists and defines the types of sentences. The middle column lists the function of the sentence in a paragraph. The third column provides an example of what this type of sentence might look like. Type of sentence Purposes Example A. Generalization: a broad, sweeping statement that Provides a thematic statement Sometimes a little information is more applies to many examples Makes a claim destructive than no (people, ideas, etc.) information or the full truth. B. Summary: a statement of the big ideas of a text (or portion of a text) in a concise manner C. Compare/Contrast: an explanation or exploration of how two or more things are similar and different D. Cause/Effect: an explanation of what caused a particular result; explains why something happens. E. Definition: an explanation of what something means or a list of the essential qualities F. Procedure: directions outlining the steps in a process; a listing of the order of how something happens G. Opinion: a statement that reveals what the writer/speaker thinks offers a debatable idea (goes outside the text) Provides context (background) Provides an example or evidence Offers a rebuttal Provides motivation Explains plot Provides an example or evidence Provides commentary Provides clarification of an idea, an event, or a character Clarifies meaning Gives instructions Makes a claim In Snow, Yolanda tells of her experiences as an immigrant in a Catholic school in the early 1960s. Yolanda didn t speak English like the other children in her class, so she had to be taught separately. So it is not surprising that, when Yolanda sees the snow for the first time, she mistakes it for fallout from a nuclear bomb. An immigrant is a person who leaves the country of his or her birth and comes to live in another country. During the bomb drills, the children would file into the hall, fall to the floor, and cover their heads. Teachers should not provide information that will scare children. 1

6 Type of sentence Purposes Example H. Problem/Solution: a sentence that identifies a problem and then offers a solution Provides an explanation of how a character solves a problem Makes a call to action I. Simile: comparison of two unlike things using like or as to create understanding of the unknown J. Metaphor: comparison of two unlike things to create understanding of the unknown K. List or examples: a sentence that gives specific details L. Inference: a conclusion or the writer s opinion based on the evidence provided in the text Demonstrates understanding Creates voice Makes an assertion Demonstrates understanding Creates voice Makes an assertion Supports generalizations Provides evidence Makes an assertion Provides an explanation/ commentary Student Activity Sentence Strategies Yolanda didn t speak English, so Sister Zoe tutored her individually. Each snow flake was like a person, irreplaceable and beautiful. Yolanda was a fish out of water. They learned words like nuclear bomb, radioactive fallout, and bomb shelter. Those who lived with this threat must have felt apprehension and fear, never knowing when those missiles might be launched. Try using these sentence strategies to construct paragraphs containing various logical patterns. Use the following patterns to practice, then try planning a paragraph with your own strategic mix of sentences. Analytical paper: Example prompt: Read the following passage. Think about how the author creates a mood in the passage. Write an essay in which you analyze how Alvarez uses the situation of the passage to create a particular mood. Example Paragraph: G K L K K D A G.) Julia Alvarez, the author, portrays the 1960s as a time of apprehension and fear. K.) The children in the school are taught about missiles being trained supposedly on New York City. L.) Those who lived with this threat must have felt apprehension and fear, never knowing when those missiles might be launched. K.) The children had bomb drills in which they would file into the hall, fall to the floor, and cover their heads. K.) They learned words like nuclear bomb, radioactive fallout, and bomb shelter. D.) So it is not surprising that, when Yolanda sees the snow for the first time, she mistakes it for fallout from a nuclear bomb. A.) Sometimes a little information is more destructive than no information or the full truth. 2

7 Student Activity Sentence Strategies Personal narrative: Sometimes we learn things that scare us. Write a personal narrative about a time when you found out something that frightened you. Be sure to write in detail about what frightened you and what happened as a result of what you learned. Sample pattern: A K I L Position paper: Read the following quotation: Fear always springs from ignorance. Ralph Waldo Emerson Think carefully about the following statement: Sometimes learning about dangerous things can be frightening. Write an essay explaining whether it is better to have knowledge and be afraid or to be uninformed and feel safe. Sample pattern: G K C L H 3

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