Identifying Sentences and Phrases

Identifying Sentences and Phrases

To practice distinguishing between sentences and phrases.   

Two prepared headings that read: These are sentences. These are phrases. (Use a period at the end of each).

Five prepared sentence labels without a capital letter at the beginning of the first word and without a period at the end.

Five prepared phrase labels.

Periods from the printed alphabet.

Uppercase letters from the printed alphabet.

Language Arts journals and pencils.


Most Montessori teachers introduce this tic in Year 1 and review it as necessary in subsequent years.

Invite a small group of students to gather around a mat.

Announce to the students that today they will learn more about sentences and phrases.

Pass one student the heading that reads: These are sentences. Ask them to read the words aloud and place the label at the top of the mat.

Pass to another student the heading that reads: These are phrases. Ask them to read the words aloud and place the label at the top of the mat, beside the first label.

Review the terms: sentence, phrase, capital letter, and period.

Distribute the ten sentence and phrases labels among the students.

Invite a student to read aloud the words on their label. Ask the student to decide whether the words form a sentence or a phrase, and invite them to place the label beneath the correct title.

Ask the students if something is missing. (If the words form a sentence, the students will notice that the sentence needs a capital letter at the beginning of the first word and a period at the end.)

Invite a student to add a capital letter and period, where appropriate.

Repeat until all sentences and phrases have ben placed beneath the correct title, along with the correct punctuation where necessary.

Ask the students to write in their journals three to five sentences and three to five phrases.


Play a memory game using phrases that can combine to make sentences. Examples: The dog + chased the cat.; The pilot + flew the airplane. Place al the cards face down on the mat. Take turns flipping two cards right aide up, in n attempt tp create a full sentence. If you do not make a sentence, turn the cards facedown again, and allow the next person to take a turn. If you do form a sentence, keep your cards and take another turn.

Working together with a partner or in a small group, each wrote two or three phrases on separate slips of paper. Place the slips of paper in a container. Take turns drawing slips of paper. Add to the phrase to make a complete sentence.

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