Sentence Structure Wheel

I found this in a box of supplies I put together many years ago when I was volunteering as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher for adults. The same idea could be used for children learning sentence structure.

My best guess is that the idea for it came from a computer game called “The Treehouse” that we used to have. The sentences follow a basic format but allow you to mix and match subjects, verbs, objects and so on to make a number of sensible and not-so-sensible sentences. My sons still laugh about the sentence, “Mr. Bones grows hair during an eclipse in the middle of nowhere.” which was one of the options in the aforementioned “Treehouse” game.

When you’re putting your wheel together, make sure to use a lot of humor, but also make sure that any combination you can create on your wheel actually makes a sentence and has the subject and verb agreeing. On my wheel, the sentence, “Grandmother sends the children a book,” makes a lot more sense, but “An elephant will loan me eight squawking chicken,” was always a lot more fun. For younger children, you may want to substitute pictures for some of the words.

You can use more or fewer layers to make this easier or harder. For example, You can eliminate the indirect objects (third layer from the center) or add additional layers to include phrases telling where or when an event took place.

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