Sentence Structure Strategies

Sentence Structure Teaching Principles
Children learn through repeated modeling and interaction. We can model many sentence structures while we talk and interact with them. This can be done in a very natural way and will assist the student to gain competence in their own sentence comprehension and production.

1. Recasting
Recasting is one form of modeling. This involves you repeating a sentence that corrects an error made by the student. While this changes the structure of the sentence, the meaning of the sentence is maintained. Examples are as follows:

Student: He goed to the shop
Recast (Adult): He went to the shop

Student: They is playing on the swing
Recast (Adult): They are playing on the swing

Student: Him playing the game
Recast (Adult): He is playing the game

It is important that the recast occurs immediately following the student’s utterance and that the meaning of the sentence is maintained.

2. Expansion
Expansion is another version of modeling where we expand on the student’s utterance adding meaning to the sentence. It involves adding another element of information and sentence structure. Examples are as follows:

Student: He’s got a ball
Expansion (Adult): He’s got a big red ball

Student: The girl play the game
Expansion (Adult): The girl is going to play the game

Student: The ball is on the roof
Expansion (Adult): The ball is on the shed roof

You can use either or both of these general strategies to target particular language structures that the student has difficulty with or is not using. For example, you may decide to target irregular verbs in sentences (eg. went/fell/threw) for two weeks and then target adding adjectives (eg. the big red car/the small green car) for the next two weeks. When you have identified specific language structures to target, consider selecting books that contain frequent use of the language structure to support your use of expansion and recasting.

Sentence Structure Strategies
Sentence Structure Activity 1 >PDF (Barrier Games)
Sentence Structure Activity 2 >PDF (Teaching Prepositions)
Sentence Structure Activity 3 >PDF (Matching Single Sentences)
Sentence Structure Activity 4 >PDF (Pronoun Bingo)
Sentence Structure Activity 5 >PDF (Verb Tense Matching)
Sentence Structure Activity 6 >PDF (Changing Statements to Questions)
Sentence Structure Activity 7 >PDF (Matching Two Event Sentences (because))
Sentence Structure Activity 8 >PDF (Understanding Two Event Sentences)
Sentence Structure Activity 9 >PDF (“Wh” Questions)
Sentence Structure Activity 10 >PDF (Comparatives)
Sentence Structure Activity 11 >PDF (Concepts Activity (all-except, but))
Sentence Structure Activity 12 >PDF (Conjunctions Activity)
Sentence Structure Activity 13 >PDF (Irregular Plural)
Sentence Structure Activity 14 >PDF (Jumbled Sentences Activity)
Sentence Structure Activity 15 >PDF (Plural School Exploration)
Sentence Structure Activity 16 >PDF (Preposition Activity 1)
Sentence Structure Activity 17 >PDF (Preposition Activity 2)
Sentence Structure Activity 18 >PDF (Preposition Activity 3)
Sentence Structure Activity 19 >PDF (Pronoun Activity (he, she, him, her))
Sentence Structure Activity 20 >PDF (Pronoun Activity (he, she, it))
Sentence Structure Activity 21 >PDF (Regular Plural Bingo)
Sentence Structure Activity 22 >PDF (Verb Charades)
Sentence Structure Activity 23 >PDF (Verb Tense Future)