Level: minimum beginner readers, no maximum.


This reading and writing game exercises recognizing sentence parts and the common grammatical patterns of English. It also exercises remembering words that often go together. Words that go together are called collocations.

Simple Step by Step for beginners:

  1. Each group works with a different paragraph.
  2. Each group member works with a different sentence.
  3. Each group member makes a problem with three blanks for the class.
  4. For Example: My sentence from my paragraph is "You cannot make a sentence without a subject." My problem for my class is "You ______ make a ______ without a ______."
  5. Everyone closes the book.
  6. A member from a group goes to the chalkboard. This person writes the problem on the chalkboard.
  7. The other group's members call out guesses for the blanks.
  8. When the problem is solved, the next group sends a member to the chalk board.
  9. Everyone gets a turn at the chalkboard.


  1. Select a partner or two.
  2. Your teacher will assign you a paragraph from a story in your reading book. All of your classmates will work with the same story, but with paragraphs different than yours.
  3. Each of you will select a sentence from your paragraph. Your teacher will give you a minimum sentence length.
  4. One team member will copy these sentences onto a piece of paper.
  5. Working together, for each of your copied sentences, draw a line under one sentence part phrase, such as the subject phrase, verb phrase, object phrase, adverb phrase. Your teacher may tell you which sentence part to underline. You will omit this sentence part when you copy the sentence on the board, later.
  6. Your teacher will visit with your group to check your sentences and underlined parts. Your teacher will give the class enough time to study all the paragraphs of the story.
  7. You will close your books when your teacher says so. Then, when your teacher calls you, you will write your sentence problem on the board. Your classmates will try to fill in your blanks.
  8. For more fun, when you are at the board, you may make a hangman's gallows to represent the progress of each team guessing your missing words or sentence parts.

Notes to Teachers:

Plan on gradually increasing the level of difficulty for this activity. You may begin by having students omit single word sentence parts. Over time, as your students become more proficient at recalling entire blocks of text verbatim, you can increase the possible length of sentence parts to omit. From texts that include mostly simple sentences, the most difficult sentence part for students to recall is usually the predicate. To keep this game simple, limit the sentence choices to simple, single clause sentences. You will need to adapt your rules for compound and complex sentences.