How to Teach Command and Exclamation Sentences

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When students first begin their love-affairs with the written word, sentences are often the first form they tackle. Before learners can progress on to paragraphs or even compound sentences they must develop a comprehensive understanding of the most basic sentence types, two of which are command and exclamation sentences. Though these sentence types may not seem like fodder for an exciting lesson, teaching your pupils about them doesn't have to be boring if you employ a little creativity in your lesson planning.

1 Command Sentences

2 Create a command list with your students

Create a command list with your students. Ask your students to state some things that their parents “command” them to do, such as cleaning up their room. Compile these items into a command list on the board.

3 Complete a question to command exercise

Complete a question to command exercise. Write questions on index cards, giving one or two to each student. Ask the students to convert the questions to commands, writing the commands on the reverse of the index cards. For example, if a student was given the question “Will you get me a soda?” he could transform it into a command by writing “Get me a soda.” on the card's reverse.

4 Produce commands with your students

Produce commands with your students. Give students slips of paper and ask them to jot down commands. Trade these slips of paper among your students and ask the students who receive the commands to read them to the class. Discuss as a class whether each statement constitutes a command.

5 Assess student understanding by composing a command sentence quiz

Assess student understanding by composing a command sentence quiz. List 10 to 20 sentences, writing a mix of command and non-command sentences. Ask students to mark the sentences that are commands to check understanding.

6 Exclamation Sentences

7 List excitement inducing occurrences

List excitement inducing occurrences. Compose this list on the chalkboard with student input. For example, one occurrence could be winning the lottery, and another could be scoring the winning touchdown.

8 Ask students

Ask students to create an exclamatory sentence for each. Write these sentences next to each listed occurrence.

9 Create exclamation sentence skits

Create exclamation sentence skits. Divide students into groups of two or three, assigning each several of the exclamations the class composed and asking them to write skits featuring them. Let the students perform these creations for the class.

10 Evaluate student understanding of exclamations

Evaluate student understanding of exclamations by composing an exclamation quiz. List sentences of various types asking students to mark the ones that are exclamatory, or give students prompts and ask them to write their own exclamatory sentences to evaluate their comprehension.

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.