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Home » Blog » Writing & Language » Writing Instruction » How to Fix a Run-On Sentence

How to Fix a Run-On Sentence

Literacy, Writing & Language, Writing Instruction

Written by: Mary Kate Bolinder

You’ve assigned your students a writing prompt, but when you check on their writing process, you see the following: missing punctuation, no capitalization, and a jumble of words in need of organization! It’s time to stop run-on sentences in their tracks! How can you help students fix a run-on sentence?

how to teach young writers how to fix a run on sentence

2nd graders are brimming with creative ideas to use in their writing. Maybe your students are so excited to write, they just can’t wait to get their ideas on the page. Or maybe they detest writing and are trying to get the writing assignment done as quickly as possible so they can move on to another task. Or maybe they just need a little extra help with editing and revising their work. Whatever the reason, we’ve got a list of tips and activities for how to fix a run-on sentence.

What is a Run-on Sentence?

write examples of run on sentences on a white board to model how to fix them

A run-on sentence is two or more clauses (groups of words that express a thought) put together.

Run-on sentence example: I went to the beach with my family it was so much fun.

How Do I Fix a Run-on Sentence?

fixing run on sentences strategies  anchor chart for 2nd grade

There are three easy ways to teach 2nd graders how to fix a run-on sentence:

1. Add punctuation between the clauses to make separate sentences.

Example: I went to the beach with my family. It was so much fun.

2. Add a conjunction to the sentence. Some common conjunctions that 2nd graders should already be able to use are: and, if, but, or, for, because, if, when

Example: We swam in the ocean but it was so cold!

3. Use a comma to separate clauses.

Example: I like to run, swim, and play at the beach.

anchor chart demonstrating conjunctions that can be used to fix run on sentences

Five Mini-Lessons to Fix Run-On Sentences

Our Grammar Day By Day is an amazing resource for all things grammar! Here you will find a full week’s worth of worksheets on run-on sentences. These grammar sheets can be used as part of a mini-lesson, whole group instruction, independent practice, homework, grammar centers, and more!

Grammar Day By Day

Grammar Day By Day

Check out some activities from Grammar Day by Day for practice with finding and fixing run-on sentences:

1. Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Read the list of sentences to your students. Students will give a thumbs up for a complete sentence, or a thumbs down for a run-on sentence. Record their answers on the recording sheet for extra practice.

run on sentence practice sheet

2. Color Coding Sentences

Students will read each sentence in a reading passage. Underline complete sentences in one color, and run on sentences in another color. For extra practice, have students rewrite or dictate how they would change the run-on sentences to make it a complete sentence.

identifying run on sentences in context

3. Complete sentence picture cards

Give each student a picture card. Have them write a complete sentence about what they see in the picture. This would make a great morning warm-up activity.

use pictures as sentence prompts for practicing writing sentences and fixing run on sentences

4. Sentence Rewrite

Give each student a run-on sentence. Have them rewrite the sentence to make it a complete sentence. Use the anchor chart as a guide.

sentence building activity to practice writing complete sentences in 2nd grade

5. Punctuation Practice

Give each student an un-punctuated paragraph. Students will add the proper punctuation to make complete sentences. Check out this blog post for more ideas on how to teach editing and revising to second graders.

daily grammar practice to help with writing complete sentences instead of run on sentences

Use Spiral Review to Fix Run-on Sentences

spiral ela review sheets for daily practice with 2nd grade grammar concepts

Review key skills with ELA spiral review. With quick and easy activities for students to complete each day, grammar review is a breeze. In this worksheet set, students will circle the correct conjunction to fix the run-on sentence. This activity is great on its own as independent practice, or can be done whole group, or in small group intervention.

You can check out our whole list of spiral ELA skills by scrolling to the bottom of this post, or click below to learn more about Spiral ELA for first and second grade.


1st Grade Spiral ELA

2nd Grade Spiral ELA

Play Red Light, Green Light Grammar Center

red light green light grammar center for practicing fixing run on sentences

Beep beep! Expert editors, coming through! Students will have fun practicing their editing skills with the Red Light, Green Light Game from the 2nd Grade Grammar Centers. Choose a card, read the sentence and decide if it gets a “green light” (use a conjunction to improve the sentence) or a “red light” (use punctuation to create two sentences). For extra practice or assessment, students can rewrite the sentence on the recording sheet.


toothy task kits

1st Grade Grammar Centers

toothy task kits

2nd Grade Grammar Centers

Use Sentence Scrambles

sentence scrambles give kids a tactile experience with building complete sentences

Students love to use sentence scramble centers! Sentence Scrambles is an easy activity to prep and implement. Students will use the sentence word cards to create a new sentence. The tactile cards are great for all learners, as students learn to manipulate the words to create a complete sentence.


Seasonal Sentence Scrambles

Ask Your Colleagues!

Our insightful and inspiring Facebook community of 2nd grade teachers has done it again! Check out our post with a round up of the best tips for teaching sentence writing.

Need more creative ideas to teach 2nd grade grammar skills?

1st grade review
Common & proper nouns
Types of sentences
Complete sentences
ABC order
Verb tenses
Possessive Nouns
Comparative endings
Antonyms & Synonyms
Linking verbs
Irregular plurals
Irregular verbs
Subject-verb agreement
Collective nouns
Demonstrative pronouns
Multiple-meaning words
Prepositional phrases
Shades of meaning – verbs & adjectives
Similes & metaphors

how to help kids fix a run on sentence


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Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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