Cross-curricular English Starters Sentence Doctor Take a simple sentence e.g. Martin Luther King was a man. How could you improve this sentence? Add adjectives. Show me on your white boards. Martin Luther King was an amazing man. How else could you improve this sentence? Add a connecting word and a clause. Show me on your white boards. Martin Luther King was an amazing man because he fought so that people could have equal rights. Challenge of the day! Put a sentence on the board with mistakes in it. The pupils then correct them. These could be spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or missing punctuation. king henry plays many introment Correct on the Interactive Whiteboard and discuss. Punctuation starters Resources (Wo-Wo Boards) Quick fire questions about punctuation marks. Show me a comma? Show me on your board which punctuation mark you use to separate items in a list. , Show me on your board which punctuation mark you would use to put at the end of a question. ? Show sentences with a punctuation mark missing. They have to show you the missing punctuation marks on their whiteboards. Explain that the more punctuation marks you use the higher your mark. Punctuation practice You could get them to practice using one type of punctuation mark as a starter. Question Marks – What questions would you like to ask Martin Luther King if he was alive today? Put up answers. Give me a sensible and a silly question that would give you this answer. Commas – Can you write down a list of the equipment that we need for this experiment? Can you write this as a sentence using commas to separate the items on this list? Comma Sandwich You can do this in a variety of ways. One way is you give some pupils word cards and they have to physically arrange themselves into a simple sentence. The River Nile is 6,670 km long. What is the subject of the sentence? The River Nile. We are going to add in extra information about the River Nile. Give other pupils word cards and they have to put this clause in the correct place. The River Nile which runs through Egypt is 6,670 km long. There is a problem with this sentence. You need to separate the extra information from the rest of the sentence. Give two pupils a comma each. They put this around the extra information. The River Nile, which runs through Egypt, is 6,670 km long. The commas are the bread and the information is like the jam in your sandwich. There you have a complex sentence. Switch it up! Give students a sentence. The rainforest is being destroyed as a result of logging. What is the connecting word in the sentence? Put the connective at the beginning of the sentence and switch the clauses around. As a result of logging, the rainforest is being destroyed. In this way you have a complex sentence, you use a comma and you have a great sentence opener. Repeat with other sentences. Association Game This really helps with higher level comprehension questions. Our pupils have difficulty explaining why a writer chooses a particular word. You can explain that they often choose words because of their associations. Give them a word e.g. shark and they have to tell you all the words they associate with it. You could do this as a mind map activity. Anagrams Give them muddled up words (connectives) and they have to figure out what the word is. lifanly = finally farte = after Explain that examiners count up how many connectives you use. The more connectives that you use the better your mark will be.