“Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!”  Teaching sentence structure to my students was like climbing a mountain in high heels.  After countless hours, days, and weeks of direct instruction, modeling, guiding, independent practice, and formative assessments, I was 100% sure my students understood sentence structure.  Until one day, we were reviewing compound sentences and complex sentences, and it was like this happened…


As a result, I decided to come up with a visual representation for sentence structure that the students would remember during the state test.  I was sitting at my desk one afternoon when I opened my desk drawer to see old links from our school’s pep rally.   That’s when the light bulb came on! What if I use sentence links?  I was already using a color coding system for my students, so I just transferred it to the links.

Maria loves ice cream, but Jack likes cake.

The pink paper is for the independent clauses, the comma is orange, and the conjunction is lime green even though it looks yellow.

My model has more than one word on a link, but I had my students place single words on each link. First, they wrote the sentence on a piece of paper. Then I checked it for accuracy. Afterwards, the students worked with their group members to link their sentences together.  Last, we hung the links in the hallway with color coded headings for anyone to understand what each color represented.

This activity is great for all ages! I have a FREE sentence structure link template in my store so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of drawing lines like I did.  Also, if you don’t want the students to create their own sentences with the links, you can create your own using the editable template located here.




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