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Compound sentence roulette


Submitted by: Tina Wyatt  

1.  Give each student an envelope.  Have each student put eight small slips of paper in their envelope.  Students should put their names on their envelopes.

2.  Each student takes one slip of paper from his/her envelope and writes a noun on it.  Put the slip of paper back in the envelope.   Rotate envelopes.  From the envelope received,  take out a slip of paper and write a verb on it.  Put the slip of paper back in the envelope.  Rotate again.

This rotation continues until all students have two nouns, two verbs, one coordinating conjunction, one adjective, one adverb, and one article.  Of course you tell students what part of speech they are supposed to write on each slip of paper.  This is also a good review, and you might add more words if you choose to.  (VERBS WORK BEST IN PAST TENSE.)  I sometimes add another slip on which the students put a big comma.

3.  When all the slips are filled, have students return the envelope to the person from whom it originated.  Students pull out the slips and read them.

Generally there is some laughter and confusion.

4.  Now, give the students this formula.  Noun verb COMMA noun verb.  They shuffle the slips of paper around and fulfill this requirement.  They may add their article, adjective, and adverb wherever they want to.  When they have created some meaning, they write the sentence. 

Some sentences are nonsensical; some are poetry.

Examples:  The yellow cat leaped happily, but Monty cried.

                McDonalds shrieked, and purple lion smiled yesterday.


5.  If you would like to extend this, have students draw the results and post them on a bulletin board.


Of course, this could be modified to teach other sentence structures, and you might add more adjectives or adverbs.

The first time I tried this, one student announced with some surprise, "This is fun!"  Try it.