We have been learning all about penguins in first grade. One of my favorite writing activities to do with my class is what I call farmer and the dell sentences. It’s something I learned about what back when I was a new teacher at a training I had went to. It really helps students with sentence structure and understanding nouns, verbs and adjectives.
Before I begin, I make a blank chart on butcher paper. This activity can be used with just about anything. I change out the word penguin and use worms, owls, bats, etc. It’s an activity that can be used over and over again.
As a class, we brainstorm words for each column. I write the words in each column a different color. This will come in handy later in the lesson.
Next, using sticky notes with arrows drawn on them we pick words from the adjective, verb and prepositional phrase columns. Then with my pointer in hand we put those words to song, using the tune Farmer and the Dell. So it would go like this (image my singing voice).
The kids love it! We sing it fast, slow, deep voice, etc. I also let the kids be the teacher. They pick the words and get to use the pointer, exciting stuff! After our singing session, we write down our creations. I make a sentence frame to help them out.
The (adjective) penguin (verb) (prepositional phrase).
I match the colors of the words in each column with the sentence frame boxes. This helps some of my firsties. Here are some of their creations.
“The stinky penguin dances at the super bowl.”
“The fat penguin toboggans at the super bowl.”
“The fat penguin dances in the water.”
This is one of those activities that my students love. They learn to recognize the blank chart and they get so excited for silly sentences.