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What is Sentence Structure?
Sentence structure is the basic thing that must be understood when writing a sentence. Without understanding the sentence structure, it will be difficult for children to make a sentence. It will also affect children's ability to write and communicate.
Sentence structure itself is actually a standard for writing a sentence. So, writing sentences should not be done carelessly because it will affect the meaning or message of the sentence. So, the role of sentence structure is to clarify the meaning of the sentence conveyed by one person to another.
For this reason, sentence structure has an important function in everyday life. Without understanding the sentence structure, children are unable to communicate well with other people or in social groups. Therefore, you need to teach children, especially kindergarteners, about sentence structure.
Why? That's because if they don't have a good understanding of sentence structure, they won't be able to communicate well with others.
What are the Types of Sentence Structures?
If you want to teach children about sentence structure, you have to teach children about the types of sentence structure first. In general, there are four types of sentence structures.
Simple Sentence Structure
Simple sentence structure is the most basic type of sentence structure that must be understood by children. This sentence structure is also known as an independent clause. So, there is only one subject and one verb in this sentence structure.
Compound Sentence Structure
A compound sentence structure is a combination of two independent clauses. The structure is independent clause + coordinating conjunction + independent clause. So, the function of the conjunction is to connect the first independent clause with the second independent clause. Some types of conjunctions are "but, and, for, yet, or, so, nor."
Complex Sentence Structure
The third type of sentence structure is a complex sentence structure which is a combination of independent clauses, subordinating conjunctions, and dependent clauses.
What are dependent clauses? So, it is a sentence that begins with a subordinating conjunction consisting of a subject and a verb that has no clear meaning. An example is this.
- I missed our train because I was late.
The word "because" in this sentence is a subordinating conjunction. Not only "because", but there are other subordinating conjunctions such as after, as, while, whether, when, until, where, though, while, till, that, since, if, then, how, although, and that.
Compound-Complex Sentence Structure
This one-sentence structure has two (or more) independent clauses and one (or more) dependent clauses. The structure is as follows.
- Independent clause + subordinating conjunction + dependent clause + coordinating conjunction + independent clause
How to Help Kindergarteners to Learn Sentence Structure?
To help children make good and correct sentence structures, you need to teach them to be consistent in practicing making sentences. You have to provide some of the best steps related to how to teach sentence structure to kindergarteners.
- You can make a simple chart to explain the four types of sentence structure as we explained above. Just use a sentence structure template and hang it on the class or bedroom wall. In this way, it will be easier for children to remember and understand the use of the sentence structure.
- Teach children to practice making sentences according to this structure every day. This will make children good at making sentence structures.
- After that, give praise to the children when they succeed in making the correct sentence structure. So, children will be more excited and confident to learn sentence structure.
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What are Sentence Structure Activities for Kindergarteners?
Not only the methods above, but you can also teach sentence structure to children through these activities. With all of the activities below, kindergarteners will be able to learn about sentence structure in a fun way.
- First, you can teach sentence structure to kindergarteners through group assignments. So, the children must make sentences according to the types of sentence structures above in one team. However, we recommend that you teach children about simple sentence structures first.
- Second, use sentence structure templates that contain various sentences with different types of structures. Then, ask the children to read each of those sentences. After they read it, teach them to analyze the sentence structure together.
- Third, teach children to understand the number of words that make up a sentence to know the structure of the sentence. An example is a sentence consisting of 4 words.
- Fourth, you can use a handwriting alphabet or sentence worksheet that presents several random words. The children have to arrange the words into the correct sentence. So, look for special sentence worksheets for kindergarteners that provide questions on simple sentence structure.
- Fifth, you can use a sentence worksheet that contains correct and not correct sentences. Then, ask the children to determine whether the sentence has the correct sentence structure or not.
- Sixth, give a picture to the children. Then, ask them to make one sentence that tells about the picture. An example is the image of a rabbit. The children can write one sentence describing the rabbit based on the correct sentence structure.
As additional tips, you need to teach children about these things before asking them to do the various activities above.
- Teach children about various vocabulary first, especially verb vocabulary. The reason is, vocabulary is the basis for making correct sentences. However, teach them about the basic vocabulary that is often used in everyday communication.
- You can also use sentence worksheets or templates that suit your child's interests. By using a theme that children like, they will be more excited to do the various activities above.
- If children make mistakes while doing those activities, give them easy tips for completing all of those sentence activities.
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