Sentence Types Mobile Project

Sentence Types Mobile Project Rubric and Templates: FREE
Sentence Types Cover Up Game: Paper
Sentence Types Cover Up Game: Digital

I don’t know about you, but I hate teaching sentence types. Declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, imperative…who cares! As long as students can write and correctly punctuate a sentence, I’m happy. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with me and I do have to teach the formal terms for the four types of sentences. Fortunately, no one really seems to care how I teach the information, so long as the students learn it. Today I’d like to share with you one activity and one game that all of my students enjoy when learning this particular vocabulary.

Sentence Types Mobile Project

As you have probably figured out by now, and I explain in my Authentic Open Book Assessments post, I’m not a big fan of traditional assessments. I prefer what I call “cheating-resistant” or “non-Googleable” assessments. I’m also a big fan of assignments that result in classroom displays (see my posts on Appetizing Adjectives, Picture Perfect Prepositions, Pronoun Snowpeople, and Shades of Meaning for more examples). So, rather than assign a worksheet where students fill in the correct end punctuation and label the sentence types, or a similar assessment, I decided to have them create mobiles. Each mobile had several required elements: all four sentence types had to be named, definitions for all sentence types, end punctuation for each sentence type had to be indicated, and three example sentences for each type had to be included. How students put their mobile together and communicated this information was up to their imagination. All I asked was that their final product be creative, neat, and organized. Yes, I do realize that students could still Google the definitions and example sentences. Yes, I do realize that they could still cheat. But it is much less likely for them to be able to do this when they complete the assignment in class. Let’s also be honest here: if a student really wants to cheat, he/she will find a way. I just do the best I can and ask the same of them.

The creativity of students never ceases to amaze me! I provide them with construction paper, glue, yarn, hangers, hole punches, and markers. If they want to use other supplies they are welcome to anything in the classroom, or they can bring them from home. Some students have brought things such as glitter (which I grudgingly allowed and then regretted), but most have been content to work with the supplies we had on hand. One particularly creative student brought in a craft ring and fashioned a three-point hanger out of the yarn. Another student attempted to make punctuation marks out of balloons, trying to twist and bend them as you would a balloon animal, but wasn’t totally successful. Suffice it to say, the end results are always at least interesting, and often inspiring.

To make the use of this particular activity easier, I have a free download for you. The download includes a very brief project requirements description, a simple rubric, and templates you can allow the students to use (if you choose) or you can use to create an example mobile. You can get the download by clicking on the picture above, or either of the links in this paragraph.

Sentence Types Training Game

The game we like to play is another of my cover up games. You can read all about cover up games in the linked blog post, but I’ll give you a brief description now. The goal of cover up is to be the first person to completely cover your game board. Generally I use milk jug lids as covers (because they are free and plentiful at my house), but other popular options with my classes have been counters and mini erasers (some kind of dog themed eraser would be cute with this particular game). On a student’s turn, he or she will roll either two six-sided dice or one twelve-sided die. The student then finds the corresponding square on his/her game board and states what type of sentence it is. If he/she is correct, he/she covers the space. If the corresponding space is already covered, the student does nothing and his/her turn is over. Sometimes my students prefer to play with the additional rule that allows them to remove their opponent’s cover from the indicated space, but we don’t always do this.

This particular game is themed around sentences you might say to your dog. I play up the fact that I often talk to my dog, Karah, and she often gets confused. The students need to help her by correctly categorizing and punctuating the sentences on the board. Even my older students think it’s funny I talk to my dog (and will generally admit to doing the same), and it allows me to be a little silly with them. Each playing board has twelve unique sentences, so when students finish one game they are able to trade boards and play again immediately.

As with many of my games and activities, this particular one needed to be adapted for distance learning. The paper version is great, but it doesn’t work so well while teaching digitally. A digital version is also available, and students enjoy playing it just as much. To create the digital version, I simply adjusted the “Dice” Script that my husband wrote for me so it would allow students to “roll” a number between one and twelve, rather than one and six. The students really like playing the various digital board games, and I really like how these scripts allow them to play without having to move between multiple tabs or programs.

Sadly I haven’t come up with a digital alternative to our mobile project, so we had to forego doing it this year. In the meantime, we enjoyed playing Sentence Types Training Game, and are looking forward to the fall and hopefully being back in the classroom. Happy teaching, everyone!

Cover Up Games

Present Perfect Cover Up: Paper
Participial Adjective Cover Up: Digital
Past Continuous Cover Up: Paper
Sentence Types Cover Up: Digital
Cause & Effect Cover Up: Paper
One of the favorite games in my classroom is Cover Up. We have two different ways of playing it and this post features one game for each version of play.

The first way we play is two players share a game board with the goal is of covering four squares with your color of marker. The squares can be in a straight line, diagonal line, four corners, or four squares that form a grid. In order to get the right to cover a square students must first correctly complete a sentence.

In the participle adjective paper version of the game, students draw a card, read the sentence, and decide if the word in parenthesis needs an -ed or an -ing ending to correctly complete the sentence. If the student is correct about the ending, he/she then places a cover (I use milk jug lids as my covers) over a square on the board with the corresponding ending.

The digital version of Participle Adjective Cover Up is slightly different. For this version I inserted a custom script in order to create an additional menu item called “Ending.” Students click “Ending,” and then  “Generate Ending,” and a box pops up that says “You rolled -ed,” or “You rolled -ing.” Students then search the board for a sentence that requires the specified ending to complete it. The student reads the sentence aloud, correctly filling in the blank, and then is able to drag one of his/her X’s over the spot to claim it. Here’s a short video showing the game in action:

In the second version of play for Cover Up, each student receives his/her own board. The goal can be adjusted, but in general I tell the students that the first person to completely cover the board in the winner.

The paper version requires a 12-sided die of some kind (or two 6-sided dice and students can choose how many to roll each turn). The first student rolls the die and checks his/her board to see if the indicated number is covered. If it is not, he/she forms a sentence using the present perfect tense and the situation described in the square. If the sentence is grammatically correct, the square receives a cover (again, I use milk jug lids). If the sentence is not grammatically correct, the square remains uncovered. If the number rolled has already been covered, the turn is forfeited. 

The digital version is played in a similar fashion, but it has a specially coded “Dice” menu added to it. The first student clicks on “Dice” and “Roll Dice,” and a window pops up showing a number between 1 and 12. Play then proceeds as described above, with the student checking his/her board to see if the square is available or not and forming a sentence when it is. Covers are the grey X’s in the center of the board, which can be dragged and dropped where needed. 

Both digital games have been designed and uploaded so the only things that can be moved or edited on the slides are the covers. The words and pictures are all part of the background and cannot be accidentally (or accidentally-on-purpose) deleted or changed. Here’s a short video showing the digital version of Present Perfect Cover Up in action:

Cover up really is one of the most popular games in my classroom. The use of milk jug lids for covers makes it cheap to make and helps it stand out from other games. The students especially enjoy the element of chance added by the fact they can’t control the dice roll and so the first person to take a turn isn’t automatically the winner. 

All of the versions of the games (paper and digital for distance learning) are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, just click the photos and buttons above. Also available are bundles of the paper and digital games at a 25% discount, and a script you can add to Google Slides or Docs to create your own game using a D6 number cube.