Sentence and Grammar Program

Sentence and Grammar Program: The Talking Train sentence and grammar program is a free resource that provides students with a predictable, learnable and motivating set of materials to master key grammar and sentence skills. 

The program scaffolds grammatical concepts in a supported and logical sequence. The methods used include pictograms and visual metaphors to represent the distinct grammar groups that make up the structure of a simple sentence.

The Talking Train program targets the grammatical building blocks that make up the parts of simple sentences. The Talking Train program works well when used in conjunction with the Sentence Structure program that specifically targets compound and complex sentence construction.

Sentence and Grammar Program - Scaffolded Layers of Support

  • The Sentence and Grammar Program begins with simple noun phrase and verb phrase sentences and progresses through preposition phrases to personal pronouns and adjectives/adverbs.
  • Each section features several layers of scaffolding to ensure that students have multiple opportunities to learn new material, consistent with explicit, direct instruction methods.

The three layers of scaffolding are...

  • Teacher Script: all instructions to be delivered to students are written in blue for ease of teacher oral delivery.
  • Visual metaphor: Visual aides represented by coloured locomotive and carriages to represent the building blocks of sentences, with different coloured suitcases to denote adjectives and adverbs.
  • Pictograms: Pictograms are a terrific way of demonstrating abstract concepts in a simple visual form.

Pre and Post Testing Screener

  • The program features a pre-post testing screener so you can track student progress.

The three layers of scaffolding are nicely represented in the image below, which is an example taken directly from the program.

Click on the image below to download the Sentence and Grammar Program

Sentence and Grammar Program - Pictograms and Locomotive Visual Aides

Using the same example from above, pictograms and the locomotive - carriage visual aides are used to effectively deliver the message that every sentence, no matter how complex, is made up of discrete, predictable parts.

In our example sentence, ‘The young boy is running on the beach.’  the teacher place the orange carriage (NOUN - SUBJECT), the yellow coal carriage (AUXILIARY VERB), the yellow locomotive (VERB), the red carriage (PREPOSITION) and the green carriage (NOUN - OBJECT), in front of the student and describes the relationships between the different grammatical parts of, ‘The boy is running on the beach.’ 

The teacher can also add the visual option of the pictograms if she/he feels the extra scaffolding is needed.

Sentence and Grammar Program - Authors

Yota Passakos-Pappas is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist with over 20 years of experience. She has a passion for working with preschool and school aged children and helping them improve their communication, language, and/or literacy difficulties.

Yota currently operates her own private practice, Chatting Munchkins Speech-Language Pathology in Melbourne, Australia.

David Newman is the main owner/creator of the speechlanguage-resources website and has been working as a speech-language pathologist since 2002.

Updated 15/02/2021