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Subject/Predicate Ninjas? Yes Please!


Let's face it, grammar is usually NOT students' favorite subject, however, it is so important that students learn how to write properly.  For this reason, teaching students to identify a subject and predicate of a sentence is crucial. Students must be able to identify whether or not they are writing a complete thought in a sentence. 

After teaching this concept to fifth grade students for years, I decided this year to spice it up a bit, and the response was AH-mazing! 

Students, and parents, had such positive things to say after this unit was over.


"Thank you for all you do for us. I really appreciate it." -student

"That was so much fun!" -student

"Thank you for the ninja lesson you did with my son. He told me all about it during dinner. These types of lessons are exactly what my son needs to stay motivated." -parent 

After these responses, I KNEW I had to share this lesson with my co-teachers. 

The Lesson:

  1. Students started off by working on a flap book where they defined and gave examples of a complete subject, complete predicate, simple subject, and simple predicate.



      2.  After discussing the examples, students received sample sentences. Students got into their 
           ninja stances, ready to "chop" their sentences between the complete subject and complete 
           predicate. 


    3.  Once the sentence was read, students asked, "Who is the sentence about?" and chopped the
         sentence.  This helped them identify what the subject of the sentence was. Students labeled the
         "WHO" of the sentence as the complete subject.



     4.  They then asked, "What about the subject?" Once they answered the question, they labeled it  
          "Complete Predicate."

     5.   They then identified the specific noun in the complete subject and labeled it "Simple Subject,"
           and the verb in the complete predicate and labeled it "Simple Predicate."

    6.  Students then work independently on task cards, identifying the underlined part of the 
          sentence in order to review the skill on their own.


The short video below is an example of the training.


After a couple of days of training, ninjas were given their final assessment.  Ninjas were allowed to sit wherever they wanted to take their assessment, but needed to be spread out around the room. Some ninjas even enjoyed taking their test on the floor on comfy pillows.



7.  We ended the lesson with everyone's favorite part, the belt ceremony. Students' tests were
     graded on the spot, and those who received an A, received their black belt while ninja music
     played in the background.


Students were excited to wear their black belts around school.  It felt GREAT to hear them share their understanding of the lesson with others as they were asked about their black belt.


(The "black belts," were grosgrain ribbon I purchased at Hobby Lobby. A "thrifty" prop that did the job.)  

If you are interested in the resource I used with my students during this classroom transformation, you can find it HERE, or by clicking on the picture below.  











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