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Sentence Dictation


Submitted by: Deirdre

I do sentence dictation. I will send a sample test so you can see how I do it. Mine is based on a 100 points. I take off 4 points for list words, 2 points for words they should know how to spell, and 1 point for grammar marks (punctuation). The underlined words in the sentences are the list words. Hope this helps. Deirdre

Week 1

1. message

2. barrel

3. member

4. electric

5. chest

6. catch

7. astonished

8. handkerchief

9. hammer

10. hoisted

11. hatch

12. treacherous

13. canals

14. bordered


1. The boat dropped its anchor in the canal so it would be close to the shoreline.

2. The students decorated the hall with fancy pictures to celebrate the holiday

Submitted by: Tammi Pittaro


When I taught 4th grade, I would dictate 2 or 3 sentences, as well as the week's list. I made up the sentences myself so they would just contain the words that had been assigned that week AND previous weeks (excluding very simple words that they already should know - the, an, and, had, is, etc.)

Capitalization and punctuation counted. I counted the total number of words in the list and sentences, and the punctuation marks and capital letters that were included in the sentences to determine how many points the students could earn - then I used the E-Z Grader to figure out the student's grade. Ex 41 total # of points, 5 wrong, 88%. I felt like this approach helped the students to review their spelling words regularly, and hopefully master them throughout the school year. You only need to make up the sentences once - if you write them in your spelling manual, you'll have them from year to year.

Submitted by: Paulette Romano


I also do sentence dictation with my spelling tests. Each list has 20 words. On the post test at end of week I give twelve words and 2 sentences. I create the two sentences each with four other spelling words from the list for a total of the other 8 spelling words. I usually try to put homonyms (ate, eight) in the same sentence to also test to see if they know the difference when the word is in context. Some of my more capable students in the past have actually enjoyed taking a list and doing this for me, however, I have the sentences prepared in advance. I also require them to print the first twelve on the test that are not in sentences and write the dictation in cursive. Of course, I modify this rule for those who struggle with cursive and this would hamper their ability to spell correctly.

Submitted by: Deb


I give 3 sentences per week. They don't see the sentences ahead of time. I use sentences with about 2-3 spelling words each. The other words in the sentence are words they should be able to spell at their level.

Punctuation is something they should be able to do also, especially if you use Grammar with a Giggle or Daily Oral Language. My sentence test is a weekly grade, and my grading system isn't really based on 100%, since the sentences change weekly, but it usually enables everyone to make 70 or better. I take off 5 points for a missed spelling word, 3 points for other words, 2 points for each capitalization or punctuation error.