Identifying a Complete Sentence

Contributor: Marlene Vogel. Lesson ID: 10222

Did you know? Did I know what? You would know what if that were a complete sentence! Using video, charades, online games, flash cards, and your own brain, learn about complete sentences and fragments!



learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


How would you feel if your best friend was about to tell you what he bought you for your birthday, but stopped what he was saying right in the middle of a sentence?

  • Wouldn't you want him to finish his sentence?

Of course you would! That way, you would know what he got you for your birthday.

In writing, it is important for the author to. . . (See what happens with an incomplete sentence?).

Before you can move on to the fun activities in this lesson, you need to make sure your know the difference between a complete sentence and a fragment.

Today, you are going to learn to tell one from the other!

Start your lesson by watching the Sentence Song (US Version) from Hopscotch (below). This video will give you some information about the necessary parts of a sentence. If a group of words does not have these parts, then they do not form a sentence:


Your first activity is called "Sentence or Not a Sentence?"

  1. You will need two index cards and a pencil.

  1. On one index card, write the word "Sentence."

  1. On the other index card, write the words "Not a Sentence."

  1. Your teacher will read from the Complete Sentences or Sentence Fragments document found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

  1. Listen to your teacher as he or she reads. Did he or she read a complete sentence? If so, then hold up the index card that says, "Sentence." If not, then hold up the other index card.

  1. Remember, a complete sentence gives a complete thought. It tells you who or what (the subject) is performing an action (the predicate).

It is now a great time for you to get up and get active!

The next activity is called What Is Happening? Your parent or teacher can access the What Is Happening? Charades packet found under Downloadable Resources. You can help cut out the action cards from the packet and put them in a pile. (You can adapt this lesson by developing your own cards with actions that are more common to you.) You can invite other students to enjoy this game with you. It does not matter if they are older or younger than you.

  1. If you have never played charades before, it is very easy to learn. Each player takes a turn acting out some information. For this game, players will act out actions from the pile of cards.

  1. When someone guesses the action that is being acted out, he or she then makes a complete sentence with the action in it.

  1. For example, pretend that one of the cards says "mowing the lawn" and has the following picture on it:

boy mowing the lawn

  1. Whoever chose this card will then act out the action of mowing the lawn, without speaking. Other players get to shout out what they think the person is acting out. When someone guesses correctly, that person then needs to make a complete sentence that includes "mowing the lawn" in it. One example could be, "My Dad is outside mowing the lawn."

Once someone has correctly guessed the action and put it into a complete sentence, he or she is given the card to hold on to. The person with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner!

Once you've rested from all this activity, continue on to the Got It? section to identify sentences and fragments.

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