How to Explain Compound & Simple Sentences to Grammar School Kids

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Explaining anything to grammar school students can be a challenge without preparation. Simple and compound sentences are a small part of language arts class, but they can be really tough for students who have trouble reading or do not speak English as their first language. Unlike with older students, you must be prepared with material that will keep younger kids interested. Although it can be challenging, there are ways for you to keep children engaged as you get them to learn.

  • Dry-erase board
  • Blue, black, green and red dry-erase markers

1 Make your students

Make sure your students already know the difference between a subject and a predicate. Tell the students a simple sentence is a complete thought. It has only one subject and one predicate.

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2 Write a simple sentence on the dry-erase board

Write a simple sentence on the dry-erase board. Use a blue marker to write the subject and a green marker for the predicate. All other words and punctuation should be written in black. The color variations will help the students to easily identify the elements of the sentence.

3 Explain what each color indicates

Explain what each color indicates.

4 Feel that the students

Repeat steps one through three a few times, until you feel that the students grasp the concept.

5 Explain that a compound sentence

Explain that a compound sentence puts two simple sentences together by adding one comma and one coordinator. Explain that a coordinator is a word that puts the sentences together so that they make sense. Tell the children that the words "for," "and," "nor," "but," "or," "yet" and "so" are all coordinators.

6 Write a compound sentence

Write a compound sentence on the board using the same color scheme. This time, use the red marker to write the comma and coordinator. Explain to your students what the red color indicates.

7 Write several more example compound sentences

Write several more example compound sentences until your students understand the concept.

  • You can also use colorful magnets on the board.
  • Follow up with worksheets for your students.

Based in Atlanta, Vivian Crosswhite has been writing for over 15 years, with work appearing on various websites. Crosswhite has been a writing coach for high-school students in the Atlanta area. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing.