Subjects and predicates can be a complex concept for students to understand, especially when you throw in the terms complete subject, complete predicate, simple subjects and simple predicates. However, it's important that students understand that each sentence much have each of these parts to be considered a complete sentence. Using engaging subject and predicate activities can not only make the lessons fun, but they will help the students master these terms in no time.
Introducing these parts of a sentence through a video or catchy tune can be the perfect way to set up the lesson.
To watch some of the videos listed below, you may need a membership, but many times these sites have a free trial membership you can sign up for.
- Brainpop has a quick two minute video that explains exactly what complete subject, complete predicate, simple subject, and simple predicate are. It's an easy way to introduce these parts of a sentence to your students.
- Flocabulary provides a three minute video. This video works better for students who have a bit of prior knowledge as it includes examples of complex sentences.
- Schoolhouse Rock is definitely a classic and is a great and catchy introduction. Their video titled The Tale of Mr. Morton reviews how to find the simple predicate using a catchy tune.
Providing students with a visual and examples helps them understand the grammar skill you are introducing. This can be done by using a variety of resources such as posters, anchor charts, or interactive notebook activities.
Displaying posters in the classroom or introducing anchor charts on the whiteboard provide a great visual for students. They can copy them into their notebooks using refer back to when needed.
(You can grab this free anchor chart by clicking on the image below.)
Provide Practice Activities
Practice opportunities offer students the opportunity to master the skill and can be provided as a whole group or individually.
Whole Group Practice
1. One of the first subject and predicate activities I like to use to engage my students in is a ninja activity. We read the sentences together, ask who the sentence is about, answer the question, and "ninja chop" the sentence. This separates the complete subject and the complete predicate in the simple sentence and helps scaffold their finding of the simple subject and simple predicate.
2. Another whole group practice activity my students enjoy involves the whiteboard (or computer) and individual homemade response cards (like the one pictured below). I project slides of sentences with a word or words underlined on the board. I then count to three and have students hold up the card that shows the proper response.
1. Giving students time to practice independently is also important. Using digital task cards is a great way to give students individual practice that provides immediate feedback.
2. Print and fold interactive booklets also provide students with engaging opportunities for practice while giving the students a great reference tool for future use.
Assessing Students' Understanding
Many of the activities above can also be used as assessments to evaluate whether students are mastering the concept or not.
If you're looking for more another option, you could dictate 5 simple sentences to students, write them on the board, or type them up and provide a copy to each student. Ask them "chop" (divide) the sentences between the complete subject and complete predicate. Then ask them to identify and underline the simple subject and simple predicate.
To make it even more engaging, I like to use black grosgrain ribbon and give students who have mastered "chopping" sentences a black belt. It definitely adds some interactive fun to the end of the lesson and motivates students to do their best.
I hope this post on subject and predicate activities which is part of our grammar series helps you add more engaging grammar lessons to your curriculum.