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Answering in Complete Sentences

Getting students to answer questions in complete sentences is no easy task, is it?

Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.

Here are some hints on making it easier on the kids! 
Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Let's say the question is "What is your favorite food?" 
Teach them how to use the words from the question to start off their answer. 
"My favorite food is..."

Another question could be, "How can you show kindness?" 
"I can show kindness by..."

Or perhaps you could ask, "How could you help someone who forgot his lunch?"
"I could help someone who forgot his lunch by..."

Here's one more example: "What animal would NOT make a good pet?"
"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is..."

It's important they get plenty of opportunities to hear this process before they go to the next step.
Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Now they need to get more involved! Instead of just hearing it, they need to practice orally.

I find this works well as a whole group, as in Morning Meeting. Ask one question to the group, and have each student tell their answer in complete sentences, using words from the question to start their answers. 

It's a good idea to review how they'll be starting their answers:
"My favorite food is..."
"I can show kindness by..."
"I could help someone who forgot his lunch by..."
"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is..."

As they are practicing, make sure the questions are interesting and fun, so they will be more interested in sharing their answers! (Plus, it's fun for the rest of us to hear their answers!)

Be sure to compliment those who elaborate on their answers, rather than simply one or two words. This is our end goal!

"My favorite food is spaghetti."
or
"My favorite food is spaghetti, with meatballs and lots of cheese on top."

"I can show kindness by helping."
or
"I can show kindness by helping someone who doesn't understand their math, or gets hurt on the playground."

"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is an elephant."
or
"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is an elephant because it would cost too much to feed it, and it wouldn't fit in my room!"

See what I mean?
Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Here's where you add the paper! 

Here's my little trick: have them meet with a friend and tell what they're going to write, word for word! Seriously, if they are going to write the language, they need to be able to speak it first! In fact, when they're first starting this skill, I might have them meet with a few partners before they sit down with the paper. (This is a trick I use with many aspects of writing... tell it first!)

I usually make a point to meet with a few children that I anticipate might struggle with this. 

Once I get those "strugglers" going, I'll check in with others to keep them on track.

Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Once they're ready, it's time for them to practice this skill without the guidance. It's a great way to start the day: post a question for the day, and have them answer it in complete sentences while you take attendance and lunch count.

It's still a good idea to have them practice orally with a friend before writing. 

Then, after they've written, sharing is encouraged!

Going back to revise after sharing is also encouraged!

Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
I find the best way to encourage children to answer questions fully is to share the best ones. I'll go through the papers, find some that are well done, and share those to the whole class. I make sure I choose several different examples that show a variety of ways to answer.

Are you ready to start asking questions? 
I happen to have plenty of questions, based on fun daily holidays:
Each month is also available separately:





Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.


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