Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cut Up Sentences

Doing "Cut Up Sentence" activities are common in kindergarten and first grade instruction. Its a wonderful way to work on directionality of text, building sight word fluency, and learning how to construct a simple sentence. It's helpful for children to apply their sight words in the context of a sentence instead of just in isolation on flash cards.

My motivation for doing this activity is to encourage my reluctant kindergartner to WRITE. I am hoping as he becomes comfortable with this type of sentence writing that his own writing will blossom. He has the sounds he needs to write, but if he knows a word isn't spelled correctly he gets quite upset!

The way I am using Cut Up Sentences with my son:

  1. Let him choose a sentence from a book that we have read.
  2. Write the sentence onto a firm piece of paper such as card stock or the back of a cereal box. (For now I am doing this step but soon this will be his job as well!)
  3. Read the sentence together.
  4. Let him cut the sentence into individual words.
  5. Have him rebuild the sentence, and laugh at all the silly ways the sentence could be arranged.
  6. If it's a tough sentence, I keep the book open so that he can refer back to the original sentence for support.
  7. Once the sentence is reconstructed, I have him read the sentence aloud to check it.
  8. I point out how the beginning of the sentence is always capitalized and the final word has the punctuation. I often ask him to count the number of words in the sentence.
  9. The final step is for him to write the sentence into his journal or onto a sheet of paper. (Of course this is the step he grumbles about!)

Several sites have printable versions of cut up sentences (CUS). I prefer 'harvesting' one sentence from a book we've just read, since it has more meaning for him. But today I printed off a few sheets for him to practice on his own.

The website that I like the most for CUS is --  Click on the "Cut Up Sentences" tab below the title. This site has a bunch of free printables. I think my son will enjoy drawing a picture to go with his sentence since he hasn't done that before!

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