Complex Sentence Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is a complex sentence and how do we go about writing one? This lesson plan explains important facts about complex sentences through an informative video lesson. An activity gives students a chance to demonstrate understanding.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define the term 'complex sentence'
  • list the characteristics of complex sentences
  • identify the elements of complex sentences
  • blend independent and dependent clauses to craft complex sentences

Length

60 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.7.1

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.7.1.A

Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.7.1.B

Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.7.1.C

Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.

Materials

  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated video lesson.

Instructions

  • Begin by asking students to compose a complex sentence on their own papers.
  • To add a collaborative element, have the students share their examples with partners, teams, or the whole group.
  • Play the video lesson What is a Complex Sentence? - Examples & Concept.
  • Pause at 1:13 and discuss:
    • Using what you've learned from the video lesson about complex sentences, revisit the sentence you wrote earlier. Does it qualify as a complex sentence? Why or why not?
  • Ask students to compose new complex sentences using what they've learned in the text lesson.
  • Have the students share their new sentences with you. Alternatively, allow them to share with partners, teams, or the whole group.
  • Play the video lesson again, pausing this time at 2:56.
    • Did your new sentence(s) include subordinating conjunctions?
    • What other types of sentences can you name?
  • Play the video lesson. Pause it at 5:05.
    • How did you do in naming the different types of sentences?
    • What are some potential problems in writing complex sentences?
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson.
  • Review key points from the video lesson and allow students time to ask questions.
  • Pass out the quiz worksheet and have students work independently to complete it.
  • Review each question and answer from the worksheet before continuing.

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