Discipline: Professional Resources

Copyright: 2019

Grade(s): 6 - 8

Imprint: Heinemann

Author(s): Jenny Killgallon, Donald Killgallon

“Sentence composing provides acrobatic training in sentence dexterity… using literature as a writing school with a faculty of professional writers who virtually teach students to build better sentences.” - Don and Jenny Killgallon

Getting Started with Middle School Sentence Composing introduces the powerful Sentence-Composing approach at a perfect time — middle school — to deepen students’ skill in writing strong sentences. Using real sentences by authors as models, it provides practice with four tools that skilled writers use to add variety to their work:

  • Openers to vary sentence beginnings
  • Splits to vary sentence middles
  • Closers to vary sentence endings
  • Mixes to add details in two or three places.

Along the way, Don and Jenny Killgallon provide support for students, including:

  • Basic sentence structures – activities to understand subjects, predicates, and their roles in sentence building
  • Broken sentences – exercises to identify, avoid, and repair fragments
  • Vocabulary scaffolds – “quickshots” to include an immediate, clear definition in context for challenging words

The free, online teacher’s booklet is packed with information about Sentence-Composing and its relationship to grammar, an instructional framework, and connections to state and national standards.