They do help kids understand what makes a complete sentence, but I have found that not a lot of kids code sentences for fun ;)
I went on the hunt earlier this year when these lessons came around and, to my surprise, I found some very fun videos and songs on YouTube to help me out:
I also drew upon one of my most favorite movies ever to make a small subject & predicate unit. It's titled "Now the Sentences are Complete" and makes coding a bit more fun, even if it is with make-believe light sabers :)
I first printed out the definition posters full-size and side-by-side on one page for easy reference later in centers.
We then went over them as a class and I handed each child a black & white copy of the definitions and had them fold it in half and color (color copies are available in the packet, but for disposables, I typically always use black and white).
In the meeting area, we gathered as a class with these cards and I would read either a subject or predicate. They had to hold up the side (facing me) of the part of the sentence I read. It was a great visual for me to see who was grasping this concept and who still needed more help.
I later mixed this up in small groups with some of my strugglers to have them hold up the part that was missing from my sentence. This helped scaffold them for a later activity in the packet called "What's Missing?"
The most fun part of this came with the center and individual work. I had them choose a blue pen and a highlighter and those became their "light sabers".... tee hee hee.
They could then complete three different activities:
1. Subject & Predicate Build a Sentence: These cards can be used several different ways and there is even a blank EDITABLE PDF page for you to make your own, if you'd like. For the easiest way, you could have kids match the characters, then write the complete sentence in the bubble next to the character and then code the sentence by underlining the subject and highlighting the predicate. For more challenge (and fun!) have the kids mix up the subjects and predicates to make silly (but still complete!) sentences, then practice coding.
2. What's Missing? This worksheet gives the student a subject or a predicate and asks them to circle what's missing. They then fill in the complete sentence below. This was a good follow-up to our small group lesson with the cards I mentioned above.
3. Coding with the Force: This was used more as extra practice for coding and an independent activity. I have since added R2D2 and C3PO graphics to the bottom of this sheet, to make it more pleasing to the eye :)
Granted, I don't think anything short of having Darth Vader show up in class would make subjects and predicates the most exciting things in the world, but with these Youtube videos and songs, as well as this mini-unit, I think you will have a bit more enjoyable time teaching it and it will give the kids something more interesting to sing and think about as they practice complete sentences :)
Do you have any fun recommendations for how to spice up boring grammar lessons in your class?