While going over our new sentence pattern this last week, I had the boys get out their whiteboard slates and a marker. I told them that they were going to be coming up with their own sentences that fit the S-Vt-DO pattern with the following condition: I would choose the topic and the sentence had to have something to do with that topic. We started out with Minecraft, since that’s one of their favorite games, and their sentences were impressively inventive:

The ender dragon destroyed Quinn!
Liam conquered the nether!

However, things quickly devolved on the next round when they were given the topic “brothers”:

Quinn farted loudly outside!
(Note to self: Next time we play this game, include a list of banned words/topics before we start.)

I told Liam that it didn’t fit the pattern and challenged him to figure out a way to make it work. {Much to the dismay of my children, I had to break it to them that farting doesn’t really work that well as a transitive verb. I figured it was worth a shot to see how creative he could be, though, so I let him keep it.} He wasn’t able to come up with anything, so I took the whiteboard, wrote out this sentence, and had him diagram it:

Quinn farted his ABCs loudly outside!

Everyone got a good laugh out of that and we continued playing with a couple more topics before they tired of the game and wanted to go on to something different.

Roll a Sentence | a free download from Antiquated NotionsAs we were playing, I started thinking that another fun way to play would be to roll a die to determine the sentence pattern with another die that would tell you the topic. I already had a die template so I switched the words, added some fun colors, and voila: instant sentence pattern review game. I’m including a die that incorporates new grammar subjects from Foundations because that would be a great way to pull in those subjects, too, as well as a blank one that you can print and write your own topics on if you want to come up with fun ones that might be more engaging (action heros, princesses, outer space, creepy crawlies…you get the idea). You’ll see that the sentence pattern die has a “Teacher’s Choice” option that will allow you to choose the pattern that you think they need to work most on. Obviously, your child will need to have some familiarity with each of the sentence patterns to really play so it’s probably not the best game for first year students–at least at this point in the school year. But I think it has the potential to be a fun way to review these building blocks of sentences.

A few other ideas for play:

  • Dice are rolled and teacher and student race to see who can come up with a sentence first. Award extra points for vocabulary or spelling words that are incorporated, or if the sentence conforms to that week’s structure or purpose.
  • Multiple students roll pattern die separately, write their sentences secretly, then reveal them to one another to see who can identify the other students’ patterns first.
  • Come up with a sentence first, then roll the pattern die. If it doesn’t conform to that pattern, see if you can change it so that it does.

As you can see, there are endless ways you can adjust this to fit your child’s ability and interests!

Download the file here.

P.S. Tip: I always cover my homemade dice with clear packing tape to protect them from spills and give them some extra durability.