Writing Good Quality Sentences in 2nd Class Room 6

Dear Parent

In a previous post I advised that when the children are writing sentences using the words from the Dolch List, that the sentences should

– make sense

– begin with a capital letter and end in a full stop.

– not be as  simple as  ‘Where am I?’ ‘Here I am’ and ‘I am funny’.

The simplest way to write good quality sentences is to develop the child’s initial attempt at writing a sentence by finding the answers to questions like:

Who are we writing about?

Where are they?

What are they?


Why? or How?


But there are other ways of working on a sentence to make it a better one.For example take the simple sentence: ‘I see a cat‘,
and supposing that ‘cat’ is the word to be learned from the Dolch List:
Step 1 Can you think of a more interesting action word to use instead of ‘see’?
I spy a cat.
Step 2 Can you think of an action word to describe what the cat is doing.
I spy a cat creeping.

Step 3 And a word to describe how he is creeping.

I spy a cat creeping carefully.

I tell the children in class, that two or more words beginning with the same letter in a sentence sounds good.

Step 4 Can you think of a describing word to describe the cat

I spy a clever cat creeping carefully.

Step 5 Tell me a little more about the cat. Why is he creeping carefully?

I spy a clever cat creeping carefully after a mouse.

Step 6 What can you tell me about the mouse?

I spy a clever cat creeping carefully after a sleepy mouse.

This may seem very contrived, but with practice the children will do this naturally and this will result in more natural sentences.

Reading, of course and, being read to will enrich a children language and writing style.

To begin with I use terms like action and describing words but the words ‘verbs’ and ‘adjectives’ may be introduced as the children apppear ready for them.


“Three Rules for Literary Success:

1. Read a lot.

2. Write a lot.

3. Read a lot more, write a lot more.”

Robert Silverberg

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