Your students have mastered basic sentence writing skills. That’s great! Help your young writers take their composition skills to the next level with these tips for stretching and expanding sentences.
What is an expanded sentence?
An expanded sentence is when additional details or clauses are added to the main clause of a simple sentence.
Simple Sentence: He ran.
That sentence is fine, but it’s a little boring, isn’t it? Help students spice up their writing with expanded sentences!
Expanded Sentence Example: Joe ran to the ice cream truck after lunch because he was still hungry.
5 W’s Sentence Stretching Strategy
One of the best ways to teach expanded sentence writing is to remind students of the 5 Ws: Who, What, When, Where, Why.
Let’s break down our expanded sentence example:
Doing What: ran
Where: the ice cream truck
When: after lunch
Why: because he was still hungry.
Once students have figured out how to add the 5 Ws in their expanded sentences, encourage them to include a HOW by using adverbs.
Example: Joe quickly ran to the ice cream truck after lunch because he was still hungry.
Videos to teach expanded sentences
Check out this great video to help students review how to write expanded sentences!
Writing Centers for Expanding Sentences
Sentence Writing – Build It
Students will pick 3 cards: a who, a where, and a how.
Students will arrange these cards in the stretch a sentence graphic organizer, and write the new sentence they have created. The sillier the better with these sentences!
Find this center and more sentence writing tools in the First Grade Writing Centers pack.
Download Adding Details HERE
Stretching Sentences Center
Students will have fun stretching their sentences with this center! The yoga stretches are a great reminder for visual learners when writing expanded sentences.
First, students will pick a card with a simple sentence.
Then, students will roll a die and write the matching “W” description on the recording sheet.
Once they have filled the whole sheet, the students will write the complete expanded sentence.
Allow students complete this center on a yoga mat for extra fun!
Bonus: Lead your class through the yoga poses and stretches during a morning activity or as a brain break during the literacy block.
Find this activity and more fun sentence-building activities in the 2nd Grade Writing Centers Pack.
Download Stretching Sentences HERE
When your students are ready, try this fun idea for writing more descriptive paragraphs.
Ask Your Colleagues!
More creative ideas for 2nd grade grammar skills
Antonyms & Synonyms
Irregular plural nouns & verbs
Shades of meaning – verbs & adjectives
Similes & metaphors
Expanding Sentences (You are here)