Identifying types of sentences is a skill that is either introduced or reviewed at the beginning of the year in most elementary classrooms. When students are younger, they are introduced to the terms command, question, exclamation, and statement. As they get older, the terms change to include imperative, interrogative, exclamatory, and declarative, but these sure can be tricky to remember. Don't you agree?
Over the years, I have taught my students a few tricks to help them remember these new fancy terms and to help them identify these sentence types.
1. Interrogative Sentences
These types of sentences end in a question mark. I help students associate the term by showing them a picture of a detective interrogating a suspect. We then discuss how a detective asks questions about where the person was, who they were with, etc. Once students associate interrogative sentences with the action of interrogating, they pretty much master the term.
Example of an interrogative sentence: Where did you put the mail?
2. Exclamatory Sentences
Exclamatory sentences are pretty self explanatory and are usually quick for students to grasp since the ending punctuation mark is an exclamation mark. We practice exclaiming some words, and students enjoy being able to be so expressive in class.
Example of an exclamatory sentence: That was an awesome pitch!
3. Declarative Sentences
To declare means to state something. According to Southern Living, "Well, I Declare" is one of the 24 phrases only southerners use. Therefore, I try my best to use an old fashioned Southern accent and state different facts and opinions starting with "I Declare" and then give them a turn to do the same.
Example of a declarative sentence: The temperature outside is pleasant today.
4. Imperative Sentences
Imperative sentences can be a little trickier since most of the time they end with a period but can sometimes end with an exclamation point. I try to help students remember that an imperative sentence is a command by connecting it to telling someone to do something that is important.
Examples of imperative sentences: Finish folding your laundry. Stop that!
To help solidify these terms, I display a Types of Sentences anchor chart on our projection board and have the students replicate it in their notebook. This allows them to go back and reference it quickly when needed. (You can grab the anchor chart by clicking on the image above.)
As a whole group review, I project slides on the board and have students write what type of question they believe the sentence is on a response board. Once everyone has shown me their answer, I display the correct answer on the board.
For additional practice, students work with Types of Sentences Digital Task Cards. These digital tasks cards are great because they are self-checking and involve no prep.
Hopefully these tricks and ideas will help your upper elementary students master identifying types of sentences and help them become proficient with these new sophisticated terms.