K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • learn to identify the appositive phrase in a complex sentence.
  • learn to combine sentences by turning one of the sentences into an appositive phrase.
  • learn to correctly punctuate appositive phrases.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 hour

Materials/resources

Appositive Action transparency pdf | rtf

Technology resources

Overhead projector or some other projection device

Activities

Modeling/Mini-lesson

  1. Share with students that some writers use short, choppy sentences in their writing, but if they knew about a fix-up strategy for choppy sentences, their writing would be much smoother. This fix-up strategy is called “Appositive Action.”
  2. Show the students the sample sentences on the “Appositive Action” transparency, making certain to uncover only the first sentence. Read the sample sentence that contains an appositive, “John, my three year-old brother, broke my favorite toy.”
  3. Point out that the words “my three year-old brother” are called an appositive. Circle the words “my three year-old brother.” Explain that an appositive describes the word that comes right before it and is set off or separated from the rest of the sentence with commas.
  4. Uncover sentence 2. Show the second example of an appositive. “I sat beside Mrs. Jones, my favorite teacher.” Point out that the words “my favorite teacher” come right after “Mrs. Jones” and describe her.

Guided Practice/Shared Writing/Interactive Writing

  1. Have the students read the next two choppy sentences and combine them into one sentence using an appositive phrase like those in the two sentences on the transparency. Pause for students to work, and then share responses. For example, “Freddy, my shaggy dog, chewed up my mother’s gloves.”

Independent Practice/Peer Conferencing

  1. Have students find a piece of their own writing, and look for a place to combine choppy sentences by using “appositive action.” They can work with a partner and find one place to use an appositive in pieces of their own writing. Allow 4-5 minutes for students to work, and then share out examples.

Closure

Remind students that using appositives to combine short, choppy sentences helps writing become smoother.

Assessment

Can students:

  • identify the appositive phrase in a complex sentence?
  • combine sentences by turning one of the sentences into an appositive phrase?
  • correctly punctuate appositive phrases?

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Language

        • Grade 3
          • 3.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. 3.L.1.1 Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences. 3.L.1.2 Form...
        • Writing

          • 3.W.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
        • Grade 4
          • 4.W.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
        • Grade 5
          • 5.W.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 3

  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.08: Focus reflection and revision (with assistance) on target elements by:
      • clarifying ideas.
      • adding descriptive words and phrases.
      • sequencing events and ideas.
      • combining short, related sentences.
      • strengthening word choice.
  • Goal 5: The learner will apply grammar and language conventions to communicate effectively.
    • Objective 5.03: Demonstrate understanding by using a variety of complete sentences (declarative, imperative, interrogative, and exclamatory) in writing and speaking.

Grade 4

  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.08: Focus revision on a specific element such as:
      • word choice.
      • sequence of events and ideas.
      • transitional words.
      • sentence patterns.
  • Goal 5: The learner will apply grammar and language conventions to communicate effectively.
    • Objective 5.03: Elaborate information and ideas in writing and speaking by using:
      • simple and compound sentences.
      • regular and irregular verbs.
      • adverbs.
      • prepositions.
      • coordinating conjunctions.

Grade 5

  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.08: Focus revision on target elements by:
      • improving word choice.
      • rearranging text for clarity.
      • creating simple and/or complex sentences for clarity or impact.
      • developing a lead, characters, or mood.