Do you want to help your students out with making sentences? Then you’ll certainly want to keep on reading for the best sentence building activities and games that are ideal for English learners, along with worksheets, lesson plans and more.
Top 15 Sentence Builder Activities and Games
Are you ready to get into the best sentence structure games? Let’s get to it!
#1: Board Games
I LOVE to play board games in real life and so also like to use some in my classroom too! They’re ideal for helping students with making sentences, particularly ones that contain a mix of main and helping verbs.
The way it works is that you can fill the board with either questions or answers. In the case of answers, students have to make the correct question. With questions, they have to answer it in a full sentence. Find out more about how to design board games and use them in your classes here:
#2: Flashcard Sentences
There are a number of ways that you can use in your classroom and it mostly depends on the level of your students. Find out some of the best recommendations here:
#3: Picture Prompt
This is a super versatile activity that makes an excellent review or warmer. The way it works is that you can find an interesting picture of some kind and then elicit some sentences from the students.
For example, you could ask students what they see. They may say, “A man.” You can lead them towards making a complete sentence by asking what he’s doing. “Soccer.” Then, help students make a full sentence, “The man is playing soccer.”
Find out more details here: Picture Prompt ESL Activity.
#4: Climb the Pyramid
Check out this fun ESL sentence building activity on YouTube:
#5: Dialogue Substitution
One simple activity to help our students with making complete sentences is this one. The way it works is that you find a dialogue of some kind (ESL textbooks are often a great place to start) and then remove some of the key words. It could be whatever grammar point or vocabulary set you’re focusing on and how many you remove depends on the level of the students.
To find out more about this simple reading activity, click below:
#6: Disappearing Text Complete Sentences Game
One fun way to review sentence structure is to use disappearing text. The way it works is that you right a full sentence on the board and students have to say it out loud together. Then, erase words gradually and students still have to say the complete sentence. Eventually, there will be nothing on the board but students will be saying the whole thing.
Find out more details here: ESL Disappearing Sentence Activity.
#7: Past Tense Activities
The past tense, particularly the negative and question forms are something that English learners can have a difficult time with. If you want to help your students out with building these kinds of sentences in English, then you’ll want to check out out these recommendations:
#8: Sentence Building Song
Want to help kids with making a sentence? This song will help them out with that in a really fun way!
#9: Role Play Sentence Building Activity
As easy way to help out beginners with sentence building is to use role-plays. The way it works is that students have the start of a conversation and then they have to work together with a partner to finish it. After that, I have students memorize and then present their role play in front of the class.
Try out this ESL activity for beginners today:
#10: WH Question Games and Activities
Making questions can be a little bit tricky for English learners as the word order is changed from just regular statements. This is not the case in all languages, hence the difficulty.
In order to help out your students with this, consider doing some of these ESL activities for W+H questions. Here are the top picks:
#11: The Memory Circle Sentence Building Game
A fun way to help students with making simple sentence and challenging their memory at the same time is to use this memory circle game. The way it works is that the first student have to make a complete sentence related to a certain topic (last night for example). Then, the next student have to say that first sentence and add their own. So on it goes until only one student is left standing.
Learn more about it here:
#12: Vocabulary Auction
Although this activity does require a fair amount of prep time, the results are usually fantastic! And, it does make it even more worthwhile if you can recycle this activity for a number of classes. It’s a little bit complicated to explain so be sure to take a look at the full article.
But, rest assured! It’s ALL about building sentences! More details here:
#13: Running Dictation
This is kind of like the holy grail of ESL activities in that it can be used with most levels except total beginners and it covers a wide range of skills. The best part is that it helps students with reading, remembering, speaking and writing full sentences.
Learn how to play this 4-skills ESL game here: Running Dictation.
#14: ESL Surveys
Like running dictation, surveys are another one of those ultimate ESL activities that every teacher should use regularly. They’re perfect for getting students to make sentences, ask questions and then answer them in full sentences. Awesome, right? They are!
Check it out here: ESL Surveys.
#15: Board Race Sentence Game
A fun sentence builder activity to use with student is this board race one. Divide the class up into teams. The number of teams depends on how much space you have to write on the board. Then, specify a minimum number of words in the sentence.
Say the first word and the first student has to write that on the board and then add another word. They pass the marker to the next student and they add a word and so on until the sentence is complete with the minimum required number of words. When they’re done, the team raises their hands and you can check and see if the sentence is correct.
Sentence Building Lesson Plans
One huge time-saver when it comes to teaching is recycling materials. The more that you can do this, the better and one of the best ways is to use these sentence structure lesson plans that you can just print off and use. Check them out here:
Building a Sentence Worksheets
Another way to save a ton of time is to use these sentence building worksheets that you can easily find online. There are lots of resources out there, but here are our some of our favourites:
Did you like these Sentence Structure Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 87 Pages - 10/24/2019 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so. Then the book you’re going to love is this one over on Amazon: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Grammar Activities. There are dozens to student-centred, engaging ESL activities that are perfect for teaching all sorts of grammatical concepts to English learners.
You can easily find the book in both digital and print formats. Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office to use as a handy reference guide when making lesson plans. Or, take the digital version with your on your tablet, phone or laptop for some serious lesson planning on the go.
Either way, it’s some ESL teaching awesome. Head over to Amazon to find out more details right here:
Sentence Building FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about teaching students how to build better sentences. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
How to build a sentence?
The easiest way to build a sentence is to start with a subject and a predicate. These are the fundamental building blocks of a sentence. Any other words, phrases or clauses can add meaning to this basic structure. Paying close attention to the English parts of speech is key.
What are the four types of sentence structure?
The four types of sentence structures in English include the following:
The differences involve the use of independent and dependant clauses, conjunctions and subordinators.
How do you write better sentences?
To write better sentences, keep it simple and avoid overly complex sentences. Use concrete logic and parallelism. Pay close attention to grammar and punctuation. Use a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures to make sentences more interesting.
How do I teach ESL sentence structure?
The easiest way to teach ESL sentence structure is to use lots of pictures or people/objects and pictures of actions. Have students put a person or object together with an action into a sentence. Then, do a lesson on personal pronouns to complement this and then slowly add in things like conjunctions, adverbs, adverbs and relative clauses.
What is English sentence structure?
In English, sentence structure usually consists of the following: Subject-Verb-Object. When reading a sentence, the first noun is generally the subject, the verb can be found in the middle and then the object is the second noun.
Have your say about these ESL Sentence Building Games
What’s your top pick for an ESL game or activity that helps students make complete sentences? Is it one of the options from this list or do you have another one in mind? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2020-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API