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K—6 Outcomes

WS1.10: Uses most common punctuation marks for example spaces between words, capital letters and full stops
RS1.6: Uses knowledge of grammatical structure of language to understand texts

Item & Stimulus

Writing task criterion 8


Language Conventions
Year 3 Q: 28, 31, 42

Item Descriptor

The production of grammatically correct, structurally sound and meaningful sentences

Statement of
Learning for English

Students have the opportunity to draw on their knowledge of texts and language use to write sentences in appropriate grammatical order.

Skill Focus:
Produces grammatically correct sentences


Explicit teaching involves:

  • Explaining the purpose of every task or lesson and its value to the students' learning.
  • Explaining to students what is required in fulfilling the purpose of the lesson or activity.
  • Modelling and demonstrating the skills, knowledge and understanding required to complete a lesson or activity.
  • Making aspects at all levels of a task explicit.
  • Giving students opportunities to practise skills and enhance understanding.

Deconstructing sentences

Explicitly teach students:

  • that a simple sentence names something and tells more (see page 98 English K—6 Syllabus for additional definition information).
  • that a written sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.

Activities to support the strategy


The teacher says: Today we are going to learn about sentences.

A sentence gives us a complete idea and it makes sense.

A sentence names something and tells us more.

A sentence has a doing or thinking word in it.

The teacher writes one simple sentence on the board at a time so the students focus on just one sentence. For example: Tim went to the park.

The teacher points to the sentence and says This is a sentence. It has a word that the sentence is about. It has a capital letter to tell me the sentence has begun and a full stop to tell me the sentence is finished.

The teacher reads the sentence, pointing to each word as she reads it : Tim went to the park.

The teacher asks the students to read the sentence aloud as she points to each word and reads it with them.

The teacher then says: This sentence names Tim.

What does it name? (pause for a group response)

Allow students to respond (Tim).

I'm going to circle the word Tim.

Repeat this with other simple sentences, one sentence at a time.


Write a new simple sentence on the board. Use simple, clear words to talk about it. For example, Listen while I read this sentence. The dog is sad. (Point to the words while reading).

What does it name?

Allow students to respond. (dog)

Praise the students for a correct answer and ask one child to circle the words 'the dog'.

Give specific feedback Yes, this sentence names the dog.

Next, write some additional sentences and repeat the format above.

Closely monitor the children who are having difficulty:

  • reading the words
  • identifying the components of the sentence
  • responding to the instructions.

Exploring deep knowledge (QTF)

Discuss with students what they know about dogs, guiding them towards categories that include behaviour, environment, purposes of dogs in different environments and physical appearance. Discuss experiences from students who have dogs as pets in terms of names, how they look after them and how they behave.

Share a picture book with the students, for example, Black Dog by Pamela Allen.

As the students retell the events from the narrative, the teacher records them in simple sentences on the white board such as:

Black dog played with Christina.
They played every day.
The wind blew.
They waited.
A bird came.

Students circle the naming words (the subject not the object of each sentence) in a guided activity.


The teacher writes one simple sentence on the board. The teacher says the words as she writes them.

For example: The girl is going to school.

Let's read the sentence together.

Read the sentence with the class.

What does it name?

The students respond. (the girl)

The teacher continues by explaining aloud what she is doing.

I'm going to circle those words. (The teacher circles 'the girl'.)

This sentence tells us more about the girl. It says that she is going to school. I'm going to underline the words that tell more. (The teacher underlines the rest of the sentence.

Repeat this with other simple sentences, one sentence at time.

Next, write some additional sentences and repeat the format above. Closely monitor the children who are having difficulty by watching their mouths. Give extra guided practice to relevant students in a small group.

Provide enough support so that the student succeeds in his or her attempts.

Next start some sentences and individual children complete them.

The dog ...

Praise and positive reinforcement as the children attempt and succeed in the guided activity is important.


Use the sample worksheet as a guide to develop relevant contextual sentences for students to deconstruct.

Model the first few sentences and then the students can complete the worksheet independently.

The teacher will need to carefully monitor the students to ensure they are answering the questions correctly.

The worksheet can be marked together as a way of feedback and cumulative student assessment.

Please refer to the following worksheet.

Create worksheets using simple sentences related to the students in the class in terms of:

  • the topic they are working on in any KLA
  • their guided reading book
  • a recent real world experience the class has participated in such as an excursion, special event or ceremony

This keeps the sentences contextual and meaningful to the students.

Give extra guided practice to students who are challenged by this skill in a small group.

Exploring deep understanding (QTF)

Play the 'tell me more game'. Students who cannot read can still play the game if a peer or teacher reads the beginning of the sentence in the box that they land on.


Exploring deep knowledge (QTF)


Choose a new page in a book that only has sentences with simple punctuation. That is, that starts with a capital letter and ends in a full stop and does not contain questions, direct speech commas or more complex punctuation.

Ask students to read a sentence.

Ask How can we tell if these words make a sentence?


Say Today we are going to learn more about a sentence. We already know that a sentence ... (give a clue then pause for a group response) names something and tells more.

Praise the students for saying 'names something and tells more'. When someone writes a simple sentence, it starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.

Point to a sentence and say This sentence starts with a capital letter (point to the capital letter) and ends with a full stop (point to the full stop). Let's read the sentence. Repeat with 3 or more sentences.


Ask individual students to find one sentence. Point out the capital letter and the full stop.

Encourage students to say 'A simple sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop' while pointing.

Give specific feedback, for example, Yes the sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.

Remember to prompt and praise. If a child points to something that is not a full stop, say point to the full stop (while pointing to the full stop on the page).


Young students may like to use a magnifying glass to find sentences, carefully looking for the capital letters and full stops.

Students can place an overhead transparency over a page in their guided reading book and circle the capital letter and full stop for each sentence.