Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mentor Sentences

I am in love with mentor sentences.  I just can't rave enough about them.  Within the first 3 weeks of school, my kids are REMEMBERING what subjects and predicates are, pronouns, auxiliary verbs and articles!! WOO HOO!!!  I am thrilled with this innovative way of teaching grammar. 
Here is how it works. ( NO, I didn't invent it-- I stole the idea from a fellow blogger-- "Ideas by Jivey")

I choose a content related text. My mini unit is on the "First Americans."  I read the book
Mammoth's on the Move.

this is our third mentor sentence this year-- I am still keeping it simple with a focus this week on reviewing types of sentences, and adjectives.

The sentence I chose was this:
They had a mammoth appetite. 

Monday- We looked at the sentence and told what we saw that made it a great sentence.
The normal everyday stuff- ** capital at the beginning, end punctuation
over half of my class remembered and identified it as a **declarative sentence. (insert big grin here!!!)
several students remembered from a previous week that the word "a" was an article.  (even bigger smile...!)
What I loved was the  deeper thinking-- the students decided that the subject was they-- and appetite was a noun-- and that mammoth was telling about the appetite. so it must mean BIG-- because mammoths were big!   (insert big squeal here!-- oh--wait-- it gets better-- ) one student asked me if a word could be a noun AND an ADJECTIVE!!!! What a great discussion about multiple meaning words!

Tuesday: We actually labeled the parts of speech.  The students are picking up on some of them slowly but surely, and we had a short discussion about pronouns today. I was proud that they remembered articles, and nouns!

Wednesday-- This is our Invitation to revise.  Right now I am picking and choosing the words that I want them to revise. since this week the focus topic was on adjectives, we talked about how to use a thesaurus and then chose other adjectives instead of big or mammoth.  

Thursday-- we wrote our own sentences using the "formula" of the mentor sentence.
They had ____________ _________________ _____________________.
                article (a, an or          adjective                 noun         

The kids wrote great sentences!

Friday-- a quiz on the mentor sentence.  Here is where I rewrote the sentence with errors, and they had to correct them. I asked questions about subject/predicate, type of sentence, pronouns and adjectives.

If you haven't given mentor sentences a try-- check out the blog Ideas by Jivey-- she has some freebies along with some Tpt stuff. Try the freebie stuff out first-- get an idea of how she does it-- them pull your own sentences from your favorite books!!