Making sense of sentences, at any age -- and with nary a book in sight.

by Babs Hadjusiewicz June 09, 2009

No, today, on TALKing Tuesday, I want to invite you and your child to play a game. It's the Sentence Sense Game™. You can play this game wherever you are. You need no tools. Just the two of you! Yes! Your child will be learning to make sentence sense while also learning to use nouns and verbs. And you two will be having good conversation as you play this game. WOW! That's what makes TALKing games so much fun. Sentence Sense Game is  a trademark of Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz.Reminder: This TALKing game, like all talking games you gather from this blog, helps to prepare your young child to be the best reader possible.Learning to be that super writer!..and the best writer possible! Hey! Another fun aspect? This is a game where nobody loses. Yes! Everybody wins! And even your 2 yr old can play. WOW! Okay, to play the Sentence Sentence Game, you're going to speak in complete sentences. As your child gets really good at this game, you can add challenge to include sense sentences, like "People talk." and "Pencils write." and nonsense sentences, like "People fly." or "Cups walk." [caption id="attachment_613" align="alignleft" width="226" caption="Little Books of Nouns by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. Good Year Books, 2001."]Little Books of Nouns by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz[/caption] But guess what? Every sentence in this game will have a noun and a verb. Because that's the game's make Sentence Sense. So, sensical or non-sensical, you two will be making a whole lot of Sentence Sense. WOW!People fly? Ready? Set? TALK! You begin by modeling for your child. You say a sentence, such as "Cats climb." Then say, "Hey, that's a sentence and it makes sense!" For your child aged 5 or older, you may choose to add, "Cats is a noun that names something. Climb is a verb that shows action." For your younger child, though, just leave out all that noun and verb stuff at this point. Your child's skill with Sentence Sense will tell you when it's time to add any kind of extra challenge. Continue to use the same format as you model another simple two-word sentence that make sense, such as: Kids play. With young children, it's helpful to emphasize the fact that each sentence you are saying is just two words. You can make that emphasis by tapping a surface twice as you say each of the two words. [caption id="attachment_622" align="alignright" width="210" caption="Little Books of Verbs by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. Good Year Books, 2001."]Little Books of Verbs by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz[/caption] Or point to one finger and then a second finger. Using the same format, model more two-word sentences that make sense. Be sure, though, to model just one example at a time. Wait a bit, before you model another. Here are some two-word sentences you might choose to use: Mom eats. Door shuts. Rain falls. Phone rings. Dinner cooks. And remember, there are no losers in this game. So, if your child doesn't catch on today, that's okay. Try it again tomorrow. And the next day. Then, if not today, then one day very soon, your child will be playing this game with you! Yes! Following your model to say two-word sentences. And every sentence will have a noun and a verb! WOW! Hello?If your child is 5 or older, challenge one another to speed up. Keeping your sentences limited to one noun and one verb helps your child truly focus on what a noun is. And what a verb is. Bet your child will offer up some new and unique two-word sentences. WOW! Oh, and for your infomation, your younger child is likely to repeat a sentence you've already said. And that's just fine. Following your good modeling is never a bad thing! WOW! Play this simple two-word Sentence Sense Game several times a week. The benefits to your child...and you...will, well, make nothing but good sense! Have fun! And tune in tomorrow on Wacky Wednesday to have more fun...with the sound of /gr/ as in growing grey (seriously?). Gosh, I wonder if we'll meet grinning Gracie or groaning Gracie! (WOW! That shout-out's intended to say "Hi Gracie!" to two little ladies I know named dear mother for one...and Gracie, a Lilac Lizard kindergartener I met in CA recently...and a third Grace who's Lilac teacher Jeri's late grandmother. Hey, if you know more little ladies named Grace, won't you click on the words "No comments" below here and tell me about your special Gracie lady. And send a picture if you like to Don't forget to include a note of permission for me to post the pix here. Imagine it...lots of grinning--or groaning--Gracie ladies!) Sentence Sense Game™ Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz.

Babs Hadjusiewicz
Babs Hadjusiewicz


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