Step 1. Teach this lesson on parts of speech.
Step 2. Ask students what a simple sentence is. Correct working answer for the purposes of this exercise: A group of words that tells us what someone or something is or a group of words that tells us what someone or something does.
Step 3. Present the following examples of simple sentences.
N-V (noun/action verb)
N—V—N (noun/action verb/noun)
Horton heard a Who.
Mr. Blandings builds his dream house.
Note: In a N–V–N sentence the second noun must receive the action of the verb. Thus, Antonia eats pizza. is a N–V–N sentence, but Tuan walks around the lake. is a N–V sentence. (Around the lake is a prepositional phrase.)
N—LV—N (noun/linking verb/noun)
Jeremiah was a bullfrog.
Time is a thief.
N–LV–ADJ (noun/linking verb/adjective)
The weather outside is frightening.
I feel pretty.
Note: Linking verbs include all the forms of the verb to be: is, are, was, were, be, being, been. The following words can act as linking verb, but only when they describe or rename the subject: feel, smell, taste, look, appear, seem, remain, stay, turn, grow.
In the sentence This soups tastes funny., tastes is acting as a linking verb.
However, in the sentence Guinevere tastes the soup., tastes is acting as an action verb.
Step 4. Group students in threes.
Step 5. Have each group generate a list of two N–V sentences, two N–V–N sentences, two N–LV–N sentences, and two N–LV–ADJ sentences on paper.
Step 6. Groups show sentences to teacher.
Step 7. Students write sentences on the board.
Step 8. Teacher reviews sentences as a whole–class activity.
Coming up: Lessons on complex and compound sentences that will knock your socks off.