This is an activity I use with 2nd through 4th grade. Once the initial preparation is done, this will be a GO TO activity for sure! This activity can be used as a writing center and can be used with individuals or small groups. Words can be added or taken away to go with the curriculum. I have included initial lists that I use. Feel free to use these lists or make up your own. I have included a list of Dolch sight words as a reference for students.
What do you need to get started?
1. Colored Popsicle sticks. I use green for nouns, red for verbs and blue for adjectives.
2. Dry erase boards and dry erase markers.
3. Writing paper. I have included several for different times of the year.
4. Point sheet. I have included one.
Preparation: 1. Write words on your sentence sticks. On one end write a word. On the opposite side, on the same end, write a number 1 to 3.
2. Put your sentence sticks all colors together in a cup or pail. The word and number end is in the pail where it cannot be seen. (Note: I got some nice little pails at the Target Dollar Spot. I put labels on each pail for each grade.)
Each student in the group has a dry erase board and a dry erase marker. On the cue of “1 2 3, GO”, the students take one stick of each color out of the pail and put them on the table word side up. They write a sentence on the dry erase board using all of the words. They can add words or change verb tense to make their sentence make sense. When they have completed their sentence, they turn their board over. When all students are done writing their sentence, sentences are read aloud and edited as needed. Unknown words can be discussed and defined. Students then turn their sticks over and add up their points. A point sheet can be kept as an ongoing thing or points can be tallied each time the activity is done. This is up to the teacher. Students don’t mind doing sentence work when the points are used. It becomes a game! About once a month, I would have my students write on the writing paper to keep writing samples for progress reporting.