Sentence Stems

Author: Joseph Kanke, Write for Texas Instructional Coach

Sentence stems are a writing scaffold which provide students the opportunity to effectively respond using complete sentences.  When provided this scaffold, the pressure of having to think about how to formulate a response is alleviated.

There are four key steps to making sentence stems work with your content.  First, you must create a list of sentence stems.  Be sure that the stems include academic vocabulary and/or mimic sentence structures that are difficult for students.  Next, model the process for students by showing them some of the sentence stems and where you might use them.  At this point students will need time to practice using the sentence stems by responding to questions or completing a writing assignment.  Finally, ask students to share their complete sentences and add clarification as needed.

Sentence stems can be used at any point, in any lesson, to structure meaningful conversation.  Sentence stems may be provided to help respond to a text, as peer response to a presentation, or to activate prior knowledge, teaching students how to seek clarification or to re-enforce academic vocabulary.  Refer to the chart below for some examples.



the attachments to this post:

Sentence 2

Sentence 1

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