I am really excited about these sentence challenges I have created and I can’t wait to share more about them with you!
The initial idea for these sentences came when I saw that my kids were having trouble reviewing their own writing for mistakes. So I thought I’d give them some sentences to correct.
But then I have been learning more about the benefits of copywork for kids.
So I created these sentence challenges for my kids that blends a number of skill-building activities into one simple and self-correcting exercise they can do independently.
I have been using these sentence challenges with both of my kids in our homeschool. The activity has been well received, and so far my kids are having a lot of success with it.
I hope you will see ways these sentence challenges can be of use in your teaching as well!
Note: For more reading and writing activities, see my Literacy Activities for Kids page.
Let’s start by listing out some of the skills kids will practice while engaging in these sentence challenges:
- Finding and correcting errors in printed text
- Detailed attention and precision in re-writing text
- Correct use of capitalization
- Correct use of punctuation
- Exposure to correct grammar
- Note taking skills
- The mechanics of handwriting
See what a long list of benefits this activity affords?! And it doesn’t require a lot of prep work. Let me show you how to prepare sentence challenges for your child.
First, print the pages you wish to use. Each page includes two challenges, and each challenge includes three blocks: the model sentence block, the error sentence block, and the writing block.
The image below shows the page as it comes out of the printer.
Use a paper cutter (my preferred method) or a pair of scissors to make three horizontal cuts. The first cut separates the model sentence block for the first challenge from the error sentence and writing blocks for the first challenge.
The second cut separates the first challenge from the second challenge.
And the third cut separates the model sentence block for the third challenge from the error sentence and writing blocks for the third challenge.
See the image below.
Next, place the model sentence blocks on top of the error sentence blocks and staple them together as shown below.
Assembly is easy peasy, right?!
Now are you ready to present the sentence challenges to your kids!
First, your child will read the model sentence.
Then your child will turn the model sentence block over to reveal the error sentence below below. Your child should carefully read the sentence, then use a pencil to correct any errors they can find.
The errors may include punctuation errors, capitalization errors, spacing errors, or spelling errors.
Once your child has corrected the error sentence, they should copy the corrected sentence onto the writing block.
Finally, your child can flip the model sentence back into its original position to check their work. That will look something like the image below.
What is included in the printable
This printable includes 12 challenges at each level (pink, blue, green) for a total of 36 challenges.
The pink, blue, and green levels correspond to the Montessori pink, blue, and green reading levels.
If you are not familiar with the Montessori reading levels, pink is the most basic level of a Montessori language program, focusing primarily on two- and three-letter phonetic words. Most of the three letter words are CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words.
Examples of pink level words: box, hen, to, cat, mug, the
Blue is the second level in a Montessori language program where children encounter longer phonetic words (four or more letters) as well as consonant blends.
Examples of blue level words: nest, ring, stick, catch, dress
Green is the third level in a Montessori language program where children encounter common digraphs and graphemes.
Examples of green level words: tree, thick, grapes, touch, boat, clown
How to introduce this printable to your children
The first time we did sentence challenges I selected one and I modeled how to do it. I showed my children how I read the model sentence carefully, then flipped it over to reveal the error sentence below.
I showed them how I use a pencil to correct errors in the printed text. And then I copied my corrected text onto the bottom box.
And I modeled checking my written sentence against the model sentence.
Only after I modeled how to do all this did I ask them to do the work by themselves. And the first time they did the work, I observed closely to ensure they knew the process.
Now that they know the process and have done it many times, they can do this work independently.
How many sentence challenges should your child do?
The full version of the Sentence Challenges printable includes 12 challenges at each level (pink, blue, green) for a total of 36 challenges.
I personally only give my children one or two sentence challenges on any given day, and we only do a few a week.
Of course, you know your child best and I recommend you observe what your child is capable of and interested in when determining the right number of sentence challenges to have them do during any particular day or week.
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