Literacy 4-6

Sentence Frames

Overview

Sentence frames or stems provide language support for students' writing and participation in academic discussions. As a scaffold for students to start and structure an explanation, sentence frames help all students develop more fluent Foundational Writing Skills and, in particular, allow students with varying English proficiency to use more complex Syntax and academic Vocabulary.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this teacher uses sentence frames to allow all students to participate in a discussion. By having these scaffolds, students can share their thinking and ask questions while feeling supported by their peers and teacher.

  • Teachers can incorporate and model sentence frames both orally and in writing. Students can use sentence frames like "According to the text..." or "I can infer that..." to organize and convey their argument with evidence. In addition to graphic organizers like paragraph frames, these supports can also prompt students to think more deeply and elaborate in their written answers or discussions.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • Products can provide sentence frames for different genres of writing (e.g., compare and contrast: "__ is similar to _ because...") as options for students to use when they are brainstorming, explaining their answers, or stuck.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy