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How do you get students to write more complex sentences? How do they learn to write more sophisticatedly? I say, break the skill down, and then practice, practice, practice!
Here are fifteen different groups of four related ideas in the form of simple sentences. Students read the groupings and attempt to fashion them into one coherent and well-phrased sentence. Students review their responses, held up to other possible answers, and try to better their own writing. This is a skill, like any other, than can be honed with time, effort, and practice.
I have found this useful for students from Grade 7 to 12. In the earlier grades, of course, more scaffolding is required. I usually turn it into a paired or small group assignment. In the later years, it is good for students senior students to review and come up with their own, then compare with classmates to develop even better responses.
Try one a day for three weeks, or one a week (Writing Wednesday) for fifteen, or as one-time review package. Either way, this will help your students write more sophisticated sentences.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This product has 38 pages: 14 PDF pages (including Worksheets and Exemplar, Answer Keys, Rubric, and Marking Guidelines), as well, if you prefer, at 24-slide PowerPoint. That said, I think if would be more fair to say that this product has 13 full-content pages.