Different Ways to Start Sentences

FREE Teaching Ideas & Activities for Teaching Different Was to Start Sentences from Gay Miller @ Book Units TeacherStudents should use different ways to start sentences. Teaching students to use a variety of sentence structures can greatly improve their writing. Begin by having students write a short passage. This can be on any topic including narratives or nonfiction. Next have students use highlighters to underline the first word in each sentence. Students will be surprised that their sentences often begin with the same words repeated over and over.

Go over some ways to begin sentences other than the typical subject-verb sentence structure. Then have students rewrite their passages making sure that every sentence begins with a different word. Turn the activity into a challenge by seeing how many different sentence beginning methods students can use in their passages.

FREE Teaching Ideas & Activities to Teach Students How to Vary Sentence Beginnings from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

Creative Sentence Structures

Download this printable. The first printable shows eight ways to begin sentences. One powerful way to teach students to create sentences using different beginnings is to start with one basic subject-verb structure. Have students take this simple sentence, and rewrite it using a variety of beginnings. For this example, the basic sentence is…

David ran to catch the bus.

FREE Teaching Ideas & Activities to Teach Students How to Vary Sentence Beginnings from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher Begin with a verb ending with -ing.
Gagging for breath, David ran to catch the bus.Begin with a verb ending with -ed
Frightened he would be late for school, David ran to catch the bus.Begin with a prepositional phrase.
With his backpack flopping on his back, David ran to catch the bus.Begin with an adverb.
Hurriedly David ran to catch the bus.Begin with an adjective.
Anxious about being late for school, David ran to catch the bus.Begin with a phrase that tells when.
At 7:00 AM, David ran to catch the bus.Begin with a phrase that tells where.
Down Main Street, David ran to catch the bus.Begin with an sound word.
Swoosh, David ran to catch the bus.

More Sentence Beginnings

FREE Teaching Ideas & Activities to Teach Students How to Vary Sentence Beginnings from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

A second included printable contains eight additional ways to begin sentences.

You may need to preteach or review  these sentence structures before assigning this page. Students must know the following:

  • interjections
  • clauses [subordinating conjunctions]
  • coordinating conjunctions
  • transitional words and phrases
  • infinite phrases
  • appositives

 

The printable can be found here.

Tips

  • When using advanced sentence structures, commas are often needed.
  • Approximately 30% of sentences should include a transition word or phrase.
  • Try making each word in a paragraph begin with a different word.

Video

 

 

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3 comments

    • Becky on November 11, 2019 at 10:40 am

    This looks awesome for my third graders! I’m sure it’s easy, but I can’t tell how to download.
    Becky

    1. Look next to the image for the text that says, “The printable can be found here.” The word here is linked.

    • kathy on November 12, 2019 at 9:20 am

    You are very talented. Thank you for your magnificent ideas
    Kathy

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