Simple & Compound Predicate Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

When students can tell the difference between a simple and a compound predicate, they are able to be better readers and writers. This lesson offers some activities that help students understand different kinds of predicates.

Simple and Compound Predicates

Are you trying to help your students understand different kinds of sentences and sentence structures? You probably know that when they have a better understanding of grammatical variation, their reading comprehension is stronger and their own writing is more sophisticated and complex. One idea you might want to teach your students about is simple and compound predicates. A predicate is the part of a sentence that the subject acts on; it usually contains a verb and sometimes a direct or indirect object. A simple predicate contains only one verb, while a compound predicate has two or more that are joined by a conjunction. This lesson teaches you some fun and meaningful activities you can use to teach your students about different kinds of predicates.

Visual Activities

The activities in this section are a good match for learners who like to work with images and graphic organizers to make sense of ideas.

Visual Sort

To do this activity, students can work in partnerships or small groups. Each group should start with two large, empty shapes on pieces of paper or poster board. They should designate one shape as the simple predicate shape, and the other shape should be the compound predicate shape. Give your students a set of ten to twenty sentences. They should cut the sentences apart from one another and sort them into the shape where they belong. By the time they are finished sorting, they will have created a graphic representation of the difference between sentences with simple and compound predicates.

Draw Two Sentences

This activity works best when students work independently. Each student will need paper and colored pencils. Give each student a pair of similar sentences to work with, but one sentence should have a simple predicate, while the other has a compound predicate. For instance, one sentence might say, 'Jeanie threw the ball to Brian.' The other sentence might say, 'Jeanie threw the ball to Brian but tripped over a stick.' Instruct your student to fold their paper in half. On one side, they should draw a sketch to match up with the first sentence, and on the other side, they should illustrate the second sentence. At the end of the period have students share what they drew.

Verbal Activities

Some students work and think in terms of language, and when they learn grammar, they do their best work with words themselves. These activities are oriented to such verbal thinkers and learners.

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