Writing Sentences – Grammar and Punctuation

For many adult literacy learners, grammar and punctuation are the stumbling blocks in writing texts of any length. But what are some effective strategies for helping a learner write complete sentences? And how can you help an adult learner have fun with punctuation? What resources can you find to practice writing verbs in the right tense?

Introducing Grammar

Some great strategies to use in your tutoring sessions include:

  • Use a model text and a highlighter pen – with your learner, highlight the different sentence in differerent colours. Compare the sentences and look for patterns.
  • Sentence jumbles – cut up sentences into words. Ask your learner to stack the words in piles – create piles for subject, verb, object. When you have your piles, use the words to build new sentences.
  • Use flash cards with verbs written on them. Talk about actions Now, in the Past, and in the Future. Write different forms of the verb on each card. Talk about how the verb changes and tells you when the activity took place.
  • CLOZE activities – create sentences with words missing. Brainstorm the words that fit in the spaces. For example, create a list of adjectives to put in the spaces before nouns in the sentence. This can be a fun activity, creating nonsense or funny scenarios.

With all these activities, help you learner find patterns in the sentence. Talk explicitly about patterns that you see.

Learnhip is a website where you can create Sentence Jumbles online to share with your learner. The site also has other puzzles and games to practice writing, introduce simple grammar, and much more.

Working on Punctuation

Some great techniques to incorporate in your tutoring sessions include:

  • Use a model text and highlighter pens – find all the periods, commas, capital letters or question marks in a text. Highlight them in different colours.
  • Read out text and make deliberate pauses or sounds every time you see a punctuation mark. Clap when you see a period, shrug when you see a question mark – have fun with this.
  • Create a text with punctuation missing. Ask your learner to put in the periods and capital letters. Use coloured pens to make it more visual.

If you are helping an adult learner develop their writing skills, there are many online resources, Apps and workbooks that you can use in your session.

Online Resources and Apps for Writing Sentences and Short Texts

Here are some resources that are featured in the Resource Hub. Click on the links below to find out more about each resource).

Workbooks and Games

Also check in the LU library – there are lots of workbooks and guides that you can use in a tutoring session with an adult learner. Here are just a few:

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