Complete Sentence vs. Fragment Sentence (8th Grade)

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by BumbleB, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 25, 2013

    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?
     
  2.  
  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,557
    Likes Received:
    1,668

    Oct 25, 2013

    A major lesson on subject and predicate might be needed to scaffold the learning. Make students circle the subject and predicate in each sentence. If they cannot find them, they need to cross out the whole sentence and rewrite it so it is one.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Oct 25, 2013

    A clause constitutes a full sentence if

    - it has an expressed subject: the subject of was too long can be anything from The discussion on my best friend's Facebook page about making little mice from chocolate-dipped cherries and Hershey's kisses, which I thought were adorable but too much work to be worth it down to It.

    - it has a predicate with a tensed verb or auxiliary: so goes, ran, is fishing, and were cooked all work, but to be finished and having eaten don't)

    - it does NOT begin with a subordinating conjunction, and that's why that "Because he likes cars" above doesn't work: a subordinator like because is a dead giveaway of incomplete-sentencehood, and so are weird untensed verb forms (infinitives like "be worth it" and participles as in "making little mice")

    I'm with cat: reteach the lesson with examples - lots of examples, and preferably goofy ones.
     
  5. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 25, 2013

    We started with subject and predicate, and with that I wasn't getting full mastery. But I moved on around 65%-70% mastery. Then I did independent/subordinate clauses. Maybe I need to revisit subject and predicate?

    Thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming!
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,935
    Likes Received:
    1,922

    Oct 25, 2013

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 258 (members: 2, guests: 224, robots: 32)
test