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Cardinal Road Nursery & Infant School

‘Creating Opportunities’


What is a sentence?

  • Read to the children. Using an agreed mime (e.g.  stomp or clap), mark the end of each sentence.
  • When shared writing, write each sentence in a different colour to highlight the beginning and the end.
  • Mr Copycat – sentence repetition game. Progress from two word sentences to compound sentences. Who can repeat?
  • Spot the sentence. Provide a list of sentences, some of which don’t make sense. Can the children spot which is a real sentence? Why? Change them together.
  • Leave out the verbs. Show the children how the verb is a driving force in a sentence. Provide examples with verbs missing. Asks for ideas of how to complete.
  • Write a sentence a day (could be in phonics/handwriting) Pull a word from a hat and ask the children to write a sentence. If correct, and well punctuated, they write two sentences next. Extend by pulling two or three words from the hat, including verbs, nouns and adjectives.
  • Write silly sentences – alliterative sentences about animals. Who can make the longest and correct sentence?
  • Make a sentence rule poster (Cap, full stops, makes sense, has a verb, can have an exclamation mark/question mark) to be displayed.
  • 5 sentence stories:

Once upon a time…

Once sunny day…




Simple sentence doctor, as shown on the

Joining clauses using 'and'
  • Model writing a simple sentence, once the children have practised and know what a sentences is. Children work in groups of 3. Each writes a simple sentences e.g. The cat ate my sock. The dog sneezed. One of the children pulls the conjunction and from a hat. The make a human sentence e.g. The cat ate my sock and the dog sneezed. The class reads the sentence and suggests tweaks to punctuation. The three children swap and make another sentence.
  • Give the children two simple, silly sentences. Can they join them in to a compound sentence? Read with expression to the class. Now change the order of the simple sentences. Does it still work? Which version was better/more funny?
  • Each child has a simple sentence. At the teachers sign, they get in to pairs. They join their two sentences. Who has a funny sentence now? Whose sentence makes sense?
  • Give children a main clause, starting with a capital letter, the conjunction ‘and’ and another clause without the capital letter but with a full stop at the end. Can they put the sentence together correctly? Can they explain how?

Sequencing texts to form short narratives.

  • 5 sentences stories as a part of every story time at the end/beginning of the day. Model together, using children’s ideas, make a story map and then write up as a shared writing. Can extend by children being writers/illustrators and then using as a class story.
  • Cut up a story map of a well knows tale. Children to re-order and read. Write it up.
  • Give the children the connectives starting each part of a story. In pairs they create sentences to tell the story. Then choose different children to tell their part. It will create a nonsense/funny class story. Can the children find connections in between to try to make the story make sense?

Punctuation: Finger spaces.

  • Write up a sentence without the finger spaces and read it to the children. Does it make sense? Why not? Can they say where the words should be separated?
  • Children put their teacher hat on. Give them a sentence without finger spaces. Train how to read until it makes sense as a word and draw a line to separate words. Re-write correctly. Read with expression. Extension: add punctuation at the end and read accordingly.

Punctuation: capital letters for names and the beginning of the sentence.

  • As a class, agree on the mime to signify the capital letter. We agreed on the gesture of putting a cap on (cap=capital letter). Every time it is needed, make the mime. In time, you won’t even need to tell the children to use their capital letter – just do the mime!
  • Play “Dead Common or Nice and Proper” Present the children with a list of nouns including common nouns (egg, dog, chair), names of places (Thames, London), names of days of the week and months etc. Ask the children to sort the nouns into groups. Do not give them the criterion. Can they spot the difference? Then, sort into categories. Discuss and make the rules explicit.
  • The proper noun alphabet race. Hold an alphabet race in pairs, giving a proper noun for each letter and, if able, use alliteration:

A is for Archie, an amiable ant.

B is for Boris, a beautiful bear.

Punctuation: full stops, question marks, exclamation marks.

  • “I want a banana” game. Give the children the sentence (I want a banana) to read and a pile of cards with punctuation marks to choose from. Each child pulls a card and has to read the sentence “I want a banana” including the punctuation.
  • Agree a mime for full stop, e.g. a stomp. Read to the children and every time a full stop happens in the sentence, stomp. Extension: draw a line in the air above the stomp to indicate the exclamation mark. Encourage the children to join in.
  • Teach the children how ones voice changes to indicate that what they say is a question/statement/exclamation. Tell the children a story, and each time they think you asked a question, they need to show the agreed mime for it/make an inquisitive facial expression/lift a question mark card. Do the same with exclamation marks and full stops.

Punctuation for Kids: Period, Exclamation Mark, Question Mark| English Grammar | Kids Academy

Exclamation Mark song from Grammaropolis - "Exclaim!"

Word: suffixes –s and –es and their influence on the meaning of the word.

Teach what nouns are by;

  • Playing I spy game. All the objects we see are nouns – names of things and people. Imagine we are at the sea side/in space/in a forest – play imaginary I spy.
  • Playing Mime It game. A person has to mime a noun and everyone else has to ask. You can help by giving the children categories e.g. something you can find in the kitchen, an animal etc.
  • Alphabet races: challenge the children to find animals/names/names of places that start with consecutive letters of the alphabet.

Teach singular and plural by:

  • Playing the “Does it fit?” game. Provide the children with these two sentences: The x is great. The x are great. Fill in with nouns in singular and plural and check if the children can spot/correct words that don’t fit.
  • Provide pictures with one or more of the same objects e.g. dog/dogs. Model how you add an s to a noun to make it more than one. Children to repeat with other objects and change the nouns to show there are more than one.
  • Try adding –s to a noun with a buzzing end sound (sh, z, ch, s). Try to read and exaggerate the difficulties you are having. Can the children provide a solution? Model adding –es to nouns. Read beautifully.

Singular & Plural Nouns by Adding S | English Grammar For Kids with Elvis | Grade 1 | #8

SINGULAR & PLURAL for KIDS Learn English

Word: suffixes that can be added to a verb where there is no change of the root word, e.g. –ing, -ed, -er.

  • Brainstorm words that have -ing at the end. Which of them are verbs (doing words)? How do we know? What is the same about them all? (they all have -ing at the end) What would happen if we took –ing away? Give the children a set of words and ask them to add –ing. Put both words in to sentences e.g. I like to read. I am reading now.
  • Tell the children a well-known fairy tale but replace all verbs from past tense in to the present tense. E.g. Once upon a time there are three little pigs. One day their mother asks them to leave the house. Can the children notice that the story does not sound quite right? Show them one of the sentences and change the verb by adding –ed. Explain that verbs that tell us about something that has already happened, often end in –ed. Give the children verbs to change in to past tense. Can we write a sentence with one of the verbs in past tense?
  • Discuss a well-known character e.g. the troll from Three Billy Goats Gruff. What does he like to do? List: jump, read, sleep, talk. Describe him using a pattern you give to the children: He is a high jumper, a fluent reader, a deep sleeper, a smooth talker. Extend by writing an advert for the troll to be employed.
  • Kennings: each child chooses from a list of verbs (that do not need root word change when –er is added). Verbs describe what they like to do e.g. play, build, sing, race, jump. Read a few kennings to them to introduce the form. Each child adds –er to the verbs and creates a poem about themselves. Put together in to a class kenning and display.

E.g. Liam

A team player

A minecraft builder

A fast racer

A terrible singer


Nessy Reading Strategy | Adding '-ed' | Past Tense Verbs | Learn to Read

The past tense refers to things that have already happened. When talking about the past, regular verbs have 'ed' on the end of them. Learn why 'ed' sends ver...

Word: How the prefix un- changes the meaning of the verbs and adjectives e.g. unkind, untie.

Teach what a verb is by:

  • Providing the children with sentences that have no verb e.g. Mum her head. Think of the things mum could do – moved/shook/nodded. The sentence needs a verb to work – an engine of the sentence.
  • Play a bossy verb game, where the children say an action (a verb) and the rest of the children make the move.
  • Explain the verb is a doing word that shows someone is, does or has something. Provide the sentences and ask the children to help you find the verbs.

Teach un- prefix by:

  • Mime it! Ask the children to mime the word that shows on the screen, e.g. tie, wrap. Then model adding un- in front and ask the children to undo their action. Then, they play in pairs but cannot talk. They need to write the verb, the partner reads it and does the action. After that, the first person inserts un- at the front of their verb, and the partner and the partner performs the opposite action.
  • Do the same for adjectives. Children to draw/mime/act a kind person. Insert the prefix un- and ask them to show the opposite. Take photos of acting and display, labelled with both adjectives.
  • Having done either of the activities, make it explicit that the prefix un- makes the word mean the opposite.


Prefixes | Primary English - Wonderful Words

Suitable for teaching 7-11s. A fun, animated guide explaining how prefixes can often be added to the beginning of words. Subscribe for more English clips fro...