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Distance Learning Grammar Activity: Digital Sentence Expansion

Grade Levels
7th - 10th
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Compatible with 
2 PDF Pages, 21 Google Slides
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Compatible with Easel Activities
Create an interactive version of this PDF students can complete on any device. Easel is free to use! Learn more.


To truly understand the power of grammar, students need to see why writers use grammar in writing! Teaching grammar through writing shows students that adding adjectives, phrases, and clauses leads to increased sentence variety and more description. In this distance learning grammar activity, students are guided through seven easy steps, each one requiring them to add interesting words and grammatical concepts to one basic beginning sentence.

Use this activity to encourage students to build, stretch, or color their writing with variety and detail.

Students will see that writing intelligent and interesting sentences is not intimidating, and by encouraging them to select a humorous or interesting topic of their own to write about, it just might persuade them to enjoy both writing and grammar a little more!


This activity can be completed in a one day lesson, or you can space it out over the course of a couple weeks as daily bell ringers. You can also have students complete each part right after teaching that grammar concept...thereby continually returning to the same original sentence over the course of a longer period of time. Also great for literacy centers and learning stations!


  • A 2 page secure PDF with examples of how to add grammatical elements to a basic sentence in order to build variety and detail in writing. Students can work through each step with a topic of their own.
  • A 21 page secure GOOGLE SLIDES activity, which is the same format as the PDF, but it's formatted for Google Drive, and the examples are different. Each grammatical element includes a very brief reminder definition. This Google Drive activity does include two blank slides with matching backgrounds so that you can add your own definitions and examples where necessary.


This activity is a formative assessment that you can use to collect data to drive instruction. Use students' written responses to place them in targeted skill groups. You do not need to grade this assignment, but I recommend giving quick, targeted feedback regarding students' proficiency with the steps. For example, point out one step they are doing well and one they should focus on developing further.

This grammar activity is perfect for distance learning. It's designed for middle and high school students who have been introduced to parts of speech, phrases, and clauses.

In order for students to tackle this assignment without frustration, they will need to be familiar with phrases and clauses. You can find assignments and mini-lessons regarding those grammatical concepts below.

Happy writing!

Rules for Commas & Semicolons

Subjects and Predicates Unit

Parts of Speech Review

Verbals Unit Bundle

Prepositional Phrases Bundle

Types of Sentences Bundle

The Grammar Games! Dice Review

And more here!

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Total Pages
2 PDF Pages, 21 Google Slides
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


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