Penguin Silly Sentences

We have been learning all about penguins in first grade.  One of my favorite writing activities to do with my class is what I call the farmer and the dell sentences.  It’s something I learned about what back when I was a new teacher at a training I had gone to.  It really helps students with sentence structure and understanding nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

penguin-silly-sentences

Penguin Silly Sentences

Before I begin, I make a blank chart on butcher paper.  This activity can be used with just about anything.  I  change out the word penguin and use worms, owls, bats, etc.  It’s an activity that can be used over and over again.

silly-sentence-chart-blank

As a class, we brainstorm words for each column.  I write the words in each column in a different color.  This will come in handy later in the lesson.

the-blank-penguin

Next, using sticky notes with arrows drawn on them we pick words from the adjective, verb, and prepositional phrase columns.  Then with my pointer in hand, we put those words into song, using the tune Farmer and the Dell.  So it would go like this (imagine my singing voice).

 
The small, happy penguin
The small, happy penguin
The small, happy, fat penguin eats at the Super Bowl
 
 

The kids love it!  We sing it fast, slow, deep voice, etc.  I also let the kids be the teacher.  They pick the words and get to use the pointer, exciting stuff!  After our singing session, we write down our creations.  I make a sentence frame to help them out.

The  (adjective)  penguin  (verb)  (prepositional phrase).

silly-sentence-frame

I match the colors of the words in each column with the sentence frame boxes.  This helps some of my firsties.  Here are some of their creations.

silly-sentences
“The stinky penguin dances at the super bowl.”
silly-sentences
“The fat penguin toboggans at the super bowl.”
silly-sentences
“The fat penguin dances in the water.”

This is one of those activities that my students love.  Once my class has learned the format, we can do this throughout the year with other nouns. My students learn to recognize the blank chart and they get so excited about silly sentences.

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