Getting Started with Elementary School Sentence Composing

  • Title:Getting Started with Elementary School Sentence Composing: A Student Worktext
  • Author:Donald Killgallon, Jenny Killgallon
  • Publication Date:2020
  • Grade Level:3-5
  • ISBN:9780325092300
  • Publisher:Heinemann

“Sentence composing provides acrobatic training in sentence dexterity. It uses 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 Elementary School Sentence Composing introduces the powerful Sentence-Composing approach at a perfect time — elementary school — to give students a strong foundation in writing. Using real sentences by authors as models, the approach provides practice with four tools that skilled writers use to build strong sentences:

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


Author Bio

Jenny Killgallon and Don Killgallon are currently co-teaching in the Odyssey Program of Johns Hopkins University. They are the originators of the sentence-composing approach and author of numerous sentence-composing worktexts.

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