Yes, I realize this is a skill that should have been mastered way before 8th grade. Unfortunately, it was not with my students and I am forced to teach it. We have been working on this particular skill for maybe 3 weeks and they still haven't mastered it yet. The big problem I'm seeing is that they get confused about what makes a sentence "complete". If I show them this sentence: "The girl ran." They will say that's incomplete because they don't know who the girl is, where she ran to, etc. I would use the whole "does it have a subject and predicate" line, but a sentence can have a subject and predicate without being a complete sentence, right? Something like, "Because he likes cars." Has a subject and a predicate, but is not complete. Bottom line...they still don't get that a sentence can be short and non-descriptive and still be complete. Anyone have any suggestions/strategies for teaching this skill?