Resource shows that sentence combing is a really effective way to expand and improve syntax or sentence structure for our adolescent students with Specific Language Impairment; however, *finding* free or low-cost and easily accessible activities that target this skill can be a challenge. This is why I am excited to share all the wonderful sentence combining resources I have found through combing the internet, SLP facebook groups, and sources like Newsela, Bamboozle, and Boom Cards. Without further ado, here are my best sentence combining activities:
Newsela is an education platform that allows you to select the reading difficulty/level for various news articles. If you select the lowest reading level, for instance 590L for this article on giving students excused absences to attend protests, the article will break down complex syntax into simple, short sentences. You can task the student with taking 2 or more sentences and combining them into one complex sentence. Here is an example below:
"Once passed, Virginia middle and high school students will be allowed to take a day off school. They can use the time to go to a community or political event. For example, they could join a protest."
Directions: Look at these 3 sentences and think of how you can combine them into just one sentence. (You can offer the student clues as needed such as “use the phrase “in order to” to combine the first 2 sentences. Use “such as” to add information from the third sentence.)
Possible Student Response:
"Once passed, Virginia middle and high school students will be allowed to take a day off school in order to go to a community or political event such as a protest."
Bamboozle is a place where you can make jeopardy style games or quizzes but you can also search for pre-made activities created by other educators and therapists. I really like these games for sentence combining:
Game Code 91346– Asks students to combine 2-4 sentences into one.
Game Code 57835: Ask students to combine 2 sentences into one using relative clauses.
Game Code 239159: Ask students to combine 2 sentences into one.
These self-grading digital activities or “decks” are not actually free but I have found that they are usually worth the small cost. I think these sentence combining activities are particularly well-designed and targeted:
Complex Sentence Combining: Relative Clauses (Set 1): Ask students to combine 2 sentences into one and utilize an embedded relative clause and relative pronouns (who, where, that) in the process.
Complex Sentence Combining: Relative Clauses (Set 2): Ask students to combine 2 sentences into one and utilize an embedded relative clause and relative pronouns (who, where, that) in the process.
Of course, don’t forget one of my favorite resources for sentence combining Quill. A quick search through its activity library for independent practice and complex sentences will yield many good activities, as shown in my screenshot below:
Now you can go forth and work on this critical area of language with your students! Happy Sentence Combining!