Category Archives: ESOL Strategies

Sentence Frame Freebies


I first made these sentence frames (AKA sentence starters) in my classroom last year after hearing about their benefits with ESOL students during a TESOL grad class.  I began posting and referring to simple frames around my room during Shurley English lessons.  At this part of the day, students analyze and identify parts of speech and patterns in sentences.  The students were giving me one word answers, and I knew my fourth graders could do more.  I modeled how to use the sentence frames and required the students use a full sentence (like the example in the frame) EVERY time they gave me an answer.

3 examples from student responses:

  1. “I know ‘shiny’ is an adjective because it describes the plane in the sentence.”
  2. “I know ‘on his face’ is a prepositional phrase because it tells the position of fly.  Also, ‘on’ is a preposition, so it signaled that a prepositional phrase was coming!”
  3. “I know this sentence is an imperative sentence because someone is telling someone else what to do.  We talked about how ‘imperative’ sounds like ‘parent’, and parents tell us what to do!”

Their level of their articulation soared!  And by “their” I mean the whole class’ thinking, not just the ESOL students!  They were forced to provide reasoning for their answer, but also given scaffolding to formulate their response.  After a few weeks, most of the students didn’t need to look at the sentence frames for assistance, the sentence flow became second nature.  Try them out, and let me know how it goes!  (Access the Google Document link by clicking on any of the pictures, or use the PDF version: Sentence Frames Freebie)