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Sentence Frames

Sentence Frames!

At this point in the year, most ELL students are gaining competency in learning vocabulary, and are able to answer simple questions with one word. We want to continue building their vocabulary, but also help them to develop longer phrases and utterances. One great way to do that is through Sentence Framing!

What is sentence framing? 

Sentence framing involves taking a specific sentence or phrase that can be used in multiple situations along with vocabulary words. For example, I like ____ is a sentence frame. Students can learn names of colors or foods, and use the sentence frame with the new vocabulary words. Using sentence frames allows you to build your instruction to build directly off of learning strategies most ELL use.

ELL learning strategy: Listen for patterns in language and try to use them 
ELL teaching strategy: Explicitly model patterns to help students use longer utterances and build grammar 

How can you use sentence framing? 

As you interact with ELLs, especially during Tier 2 plans and Small Groups, use the sentence frames! You can write them down to provide a visual support. Model the phrase with the
 vocabulary word, and ask them to repeat it. It may take a couple of tries until they can repeat more than one more in a phrase. Then, continue using the phrase with different vocabulary items. 

Ex. This is a ball. Can you say, This is a ball. Yes, this is a ball. What is this? (a bird). You’re right, a bird! This is a bird. Can you say this is a bird? … 

Remember to use the phrase often, but still mix up your language- it’s important to model more challenging language for students, along with very simple phrases that they can learn. They don’t always have to repeat the phrases, especially if you are interacting with them in a more information way. You would want to ask them to repeat the phrase during a Tier 2 or Small Group, but if you’re just discussing what’s around you during lunch time or centers, you might just model the language instead of asking them to repeat it. 

Choose 1-2 sentence frames every couple of weeks! Make them a classroom focus, and hopefully, your ELL students will begin to use them!

Examples of sentence frames: 

I see ___.                                    I can ___. 

This is a ___.                             I like ___. 

I have a ___.                              I
t is ___. 

She/he has a ___.                     You have a ___.