Cross-curricular English Starters

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
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
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
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
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.
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.