Sentence Combining Activities for High School

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Students will practice sentence combination skills while playing games. The engaging, collaborative and slightly competitive activities offered here will keep your high school students motivated.

Activities Related to Combining Sentences

One outstanding characteristic of writing for small children is the use of short, single subject sentences. These types of sentences are great for young students learning to read, but can be incredibly boring for accomplished readers. Complex sentences add interest to stories and hold the attention of the reader much better than simple sentences do.

Combining multiple simple sentences into single complex sentences is a skill that high school students must learn through practice. However, getting students to practice such a skill can be difficult. That's where activities come in handy. When high school students participate in fun, engaging activities they can be motivated to learn. These activities can get your students excited about combining sentences.

The Lowest Number Wins

Competition can be a great motivator for teenagers.


  • Copies of common passages of iconic work (2-3 paragraphs per passage)


  • Divide your class into pairs (or groups of 3).
  • Conduct a quick review of the proper way to combine sentences.
    • Ask for volunteers to give a few examples (like, create a complex subject or compound sentence using a conjunction).
    • Write the examples on the board as a reminder during the activity.
  • Hand out copies of the same passage to each group.
  • Instruct your students to read the passage and then attempt to rewrite the passage in as few correctly combined sentences as possible. Give a time limit.
  • When the time has expired, survey the groups to determine the group with the fewest number of sentences.
    • Ask that group to read their rewritten passage.
    • Encourage the class to vote on whether they have correctly formatted their sentences.
    • Repeat these steps for any group with a tying number of sentences.
  • Award 1 point to the team (or teams) with the fewest number of correct sentences.
  • Continue to play with different passages in each round.


  • This activity can be completed individually if necessary.
  • Use passages from pieces of literature you may use in your class at another time.

Humor Is in the Sentence

Laughter is good medicine and great for learning.


  • Slips of paper

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