Break Down Sentences with Brace Maps

For those of you that use Thinking Maps you know how wonderful they can be in helping students organize their thoughts and/or make meaning of a text. They are my secret weapon for both reading and writing.

This freebie asks students to take a sentence and break it apart using a brace map. I made this for my first grade classroom, and to be honest, it had to be done guided several times whole class before students were able to really grasp the concept on their own. Once they did they loved making up their own sentences and having their shoulder partner break it apart. This activity is also appropriate for students in second and third grade.

I introduced the task to my firsties by writing a sentence on a sentence strip in front of them. Next, I quickly drew the brace map on the board -- clearly, it was nothing fancy. The students and I talked about the different parts of the sentence and as we reread each part of the sentence I would let a student come up and literally cut the sentence up and stick it to the appropriate section. My students LOVED this! We did it twice on this first day and then we moved to the first example in the freebie. Each student had their own copy of the map. The following day we did another whole class sentence strip example followed by another paper example. Finally, on the third day students got to work with a partner and break apart a sentence strip example that I had written for them. On the last day students created their own examples on sentence strips and I gave a quick paper-pencil assessment using the freebie.
The freebie includes five pre-made sentences and two blank templates for either you or the student to write a sentence. Another option for this activity is to give students the part section of the brace map and have them work backwards and come up with the whole section (the sentence) of the brace map.

If you are interested in this freebie click here to snatch it up from my store!

Enjoy and feel free to stop by my blog for more activities like this!

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