Sentence Creator for Early Literacy

Sentence Creator for Early Literacy is a modified form of the Sentence Builder programThe principles are the same. The program is structured around a motivating game. There are a specific and limited number of words (26) for the student/s to learnThe game continues to use coloured boxes to assist young children to learn to recognize the essential difference between nouns, verbs and prepositions.

There is still a pre-test post-test section and a means of charting student progress. There are worksheets for each word featured in the program. Like its namesake, the Sentence Creator for Early Literacy program is free for all.

Modifications to the Sentence Creator for

Early Literacy program

A number of important and subtle differences have been added to the program to better engage younger students.

  • The coloured tiles are larger. The new tiles are in larger print and are therefore easier to read and to pick up.
  • Some of the key words have been deleted while others have been added. For instance, pronouns he, she and the plural they have been added to the noun phrase mix.
  • The adverb phrases have been deleted. I've found that for very young students the adverbs were tricky to learn so they have been removed from this particular program.
  • The number of verbs have been reduced.
  • The word learning sheets have been written in a larger font. This is especially beneficial for younger students with minimal writing skills who now have space and room to write their responses.

Example Session of using the Sentence Creator for

Early Literacy program

Many of the younger students I work with have poor phonemic awareness and have little understanding of the sound/letter link. In this session, James who is six and in his second year of school, could identify only the words in, on and he from the 26 word pre-test.

Session Goal: James will learn to identify 2 words from the 26 word set. The words targeted will be the article the and the verb is.

Session Tools: 2 laminated sentence chart playing boards, the grammar selection chart, all 21 colour phrase tiles which have been cut onto coloured paper and then laminated. 2 dice, a small whiteboard and markers, worksheets for words the and is, and progress rating sheet.

Session Sequence: I generally begin a session by working with the student/s on the target worksheets, on this occasion the target words are the and is. I've chosen the and is because they are such high frequency words and James was unable to identify them in the pre-test. 

  1. James works through the worksheet with scaffolding provided. The target word is written in large print with marker onto the whiteboard. This provides a visual reference when needed. We work through the activities to the end of the page. James in a short space of time has now had frequent exposure and had opportunities to write the target, the. The process is repeated for the other target word, is.
  2. We begin the game. The game mechanics are explained and the 21 card tiles organized into neat piles. I use two dice and the student gets to choose from the two numbers rolled. On the first roll, James produces a 4 and 1. James chooses a noun phrase (green tile) (roll of 1-2). I intervene at this point and ask James to select a noun phrase which will feature the article the. On this occasion James selects 'the girl.' The word 'girl' is not one of James' two target words but that is ok for now.
  3. I point to the target word the and say, 'Here is our word, the word is 'the.' The other word is a noun. That word is girl. So the phrase is 'the girl,' etc.
  4. We both play the game until all the playing board pieces are filled. Partly, due to my intervention, and also due to James' selections, James completes two sets of sentences: 'the girl is on the beach' and 'a boy sat in the car.' (bold words are the target words for the session) The focus for the session has been on the target words the and is but James has also been learning some sentence structure and grammar rules including noun-verb agreement and also phonemic awareness skills.
  5. The session concludes with James selecting one of the sentences (the girl is on the beachand writing it in full. James may not be able to recognize most of the words he writes at this stage, but with enough practice writing the 26 words in the program, he will in time.
  6. I always ask students to draw a picture of the selected sentence and then discuss the sentence. Themes such as why is the girl on the beach?, where is the beach?, what's on the beach?, what is the weather like?, why is the water blue?, etc. This is a very useful oral language activity. I will always emphasize the target words while doing this activity. 'So she is on the beach. Why is she on the beach?' etc. Before the session ends,  I also have students write the target words onto the whiteboard and see how accurate the child's attempt at writing the target words are. 
  7. James is able to recognize the target words independently at the end of the session but has trouble writing the (tehaccurately. James' progress is noted on the rating chart.

Conclusion - The Sentence Creator for Early Literacy

The Sentence Creator for Early Literacy program is an easy to use resource that does require some initial work in setting up but has great benefits for the students who work through and complete the program. The program is linear and predictable and structured, which students with language literacy difficulties need when learning new concepts. 

David Newman

Speech-Language Pathologist

Click on the image below to download your free copy of the Sentence Creator for Early Literacy program

Content Modified 06/04

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