One of the best ways to work on sentence formulation with your students is with graphic organizers. When you have a sentence structure graphic organizer that is easy to adapt across a lot of different activities, it makes language therapy planning easier! Today, I will share a free graphic organizer for sentence structure that you can use with any activity.
Why Use Graphic Organizers for Sentence Structure
For many of our students with language impairments, learning syntax and parts of speech can be overwhelming. Frequently our students are visual learners, and when they see words organized, it helps reduce their cognitive load so they can take in new information.
The free sentence structure graphic organizer has color-coding for the parts of speech which helps your students understand and remember how to build a sentence.
A parts-of-speech graphic organizer can visually break down how to build a sentence and provides a hands-on approach to learning sentence formulation.
How to Use the Sentence Structure Graphic Organizer
If you have syntax or morphology goals on your caseload, this free sentence-frame graphic organizer can help you cover many speech therapy goals.
In a group or individual session, you can use ANY photos related to your theme, wordless short videos, pictures, or images from your story books.
To start with the graphic organizer, you can show the student the video or image. Explain any unknown vocabulary or discuss concepts that will help build their knowledge of the item.
Then, you can brainstorm vocabulary words that describe the video, photo, or picture by the part of speech.
I will often write the words and allow the students to focus on verbally sharing their vocabulary words. Many of our students need help with spelling, and this graphic organizer is for you to work on creating sentences rather than how well you can spell a word.
After you brainstorm all the parts of speech on the graphic organizer, students can create sentences using the frames. Having the list in front of them helps your students to develop a novel sentence with less scaffolding from you!
And you can incorporate discussing morphology for verb tenses while using this graphic organizer.
Tips for Using in Mixed Groups
We all have had mixed groups where every student in the group has different goals. That can be so stressful for planning therapy, right?
You can use this graphic organizer for sentence structure activities and other speech and language goals.
For example, if you have a student working on R, give them some R challenge words when describing the photo that has R. Or, you can have the student circle all the generated words that have their /r/ sound.
Furthermore, you can have students working on speech fluency create sentences using their fluency strategies.
And, when you need to work with another student to explain some concepts or get 2-5 minutes of quick artic, you can have your language student use the pre-filled graphic organizer at an independent station to create sentences.
Sentence Structure Resources to Use with the Graphic Organizer
If you are doing a theme with your caseload, pull up real photos related to your theme from Google Photos. You can also find videos on YouTube of items from your themed unit. For example, I pulled up some funny squirrel videos and used them with the sentence graphic organizer. Check out this blog post for the squirrel videos.
Pull up any wordless short video and use it to describe what happened in the video. My favorite wordless shorts are from Simon’s Cat videos. You can use these cheat sheets to work on a LOT of goals.
Find scenes or pictures you can use to describe with the organizer. You can use the images from my seasonal verb and vocabulary activities.
One of your best therapy resources is the pictures from the books you are already using in therapy! Grab any book and describe what is happening in the picture. You can see how to do this with the book, “The Mitten.” Here is a blog post with more info about this book.
Need more grammar tips for your speech therapy sessions?
If you have a lot of students with syntax and morphology goals, check out these grammar blog posts:
How to Conversational Recast with Grammar Therapy
How to Implement Grammar Intervention
What activities or strategies have you used to help your students learn how to create grammatically correct sentences? Share your expertise or therapy material find in the comments!