Analyzing Sentence Length

Version 2

    sentence-length.jpg

    (45–60 minutes)

    Overview:

    Sentence fluency can be hard to teach. Fluent writing is powerful, rhythmic, and exciting to listen to, but how do we help our students develop this skill? Teaching students to think about varying the length of their sentences can help improve the way their writing sounds out loud.

     

    Objectives:

    In this lesson students will:

    • Use the LiC: Population Statistics Tool to assess sentence length in two writing samples
    • Develop sentence fluency by varying sentence length

     

    Materials/Technology:

    • Two writing samples
    • LiC: Population Statistics
    • Projector (optional)

     

    Instructional Plan:

    1. Give students three minutes to describe the classroom in writing. Ask them to include as many details as possible.
    2. Share two samples with students. You can use samples that you create ahead of time or samples from students with names removed. Just make sure that one sample has a relatively constant sentence length while the other is much more varied. You may want to have students read along with you on their devices or project the samples on a screen.
    3. Poll students as to which sample sounded better when read aloud.
    4. Discuss sentence fluency. What is it? How can it be improved? Tell students that one way to improve sentence fluency is to vary the length of sentences.
    5. Model how to use the LiC: Population Statistics Tool to analyze data.
    6. Have students work in pairs or small groups to use the LiC: Population Statistics Tool to input the length of sentences from each writing sample.
    7. Discuss results. What did students notice? Which sample had greater variability in sentence length? Is there a connection between which sample sounded better to students and which sample had greater variety of sentence length?
    8. Give students another three minutes to describe the classroom. This time, ask them to purposefully vary the length of their sentences.
    9. Have students pair or group up to share samples with each other.
    10. Discuss any observations students make about the effect of intentionally varying the length of their sentences.

     

    Assessment Strategies:

    • Ask students to self-assess by comparing the writing samples from the beginning and end of the lesson.
    • Ask students to use the LiC: Population Statistics Tool to analyze the length of their sentences and submit the results.

     

    Standards:

    This lesson is designed to address the following Common Core State Standards:

     

    Next Steps:

    Varying how sentences begin is another tangible way to improve sentence fluency. Consider analyzing how sentences

    In this lesson students use the LiC: Population Statistics Tool to assess sentence length to help improve the way their writing sounds out loud.