Improving Sentence Structure

This activity will improve your students’ writing and get them extending sentences. There are 40 A4 dyslexia-friendly complex sentence construction trail worksheets, which includes differentiation and worked examples to help add detail and interest to descriptive / narrative writing. While stretching their sentences, your students will be uplevelling their vocabulary and using a wider variety of ambitious sentence structures. Suitable for a range of ages and abilities, this resource scaffolds the imaginative writing of reluctant or struggling writers, while also challenging more able writers. Each card starts with a simple, boring sentence and, step-by-step, learners extend and improve it, adding elements of VCOP and other sentence improvement techniques to construct a fuller description. The worked examples could be shared on the board and perhaps printed and laminated to support less confident creative writers. Works well as a regular SPaG warm-up / starter for writing or as an early finisher task. Ideal for Key Stage 2 (KS2), especially Year 5 and Year 6, or Key Stage 3 (KS3). All files in PDF format within the Zip file.


  • 30 trails for middle and higher ability / older students

  • 10 worked examples for these

  • 10 trails for lower ability / younger students, featuring built in examples and fewer instructions

All resources are included with and without a cream background. Printing with this background could support dyslexic learners and those with other barriers to learning. Alternatively you could print the no background versions on pastel coloured paper to reduce glare. Fonts used are also dyslexia-friendly.

The trails can be used as worksheets or could be laminated for regular use, with pupils recording sentences elsewhere. If blown up to A3 and laminated they work well for paired or group use, with pupils using a whiteboard pen.

In building better, stronger sentences, pupils are encouraged to try more powerful verbs, interesting nouns, similes, start with adverbs or -ing and -ed words, add adjectives, drop further information into sentences using subclauses and bracket commas, use connectives to add further information etc.

Check out the bundles of linked resources in which this resource is included.

A linked resource is this activity card set: Super Sentences (Complex Sentence Writing)

Also popular: set of 20 prompt cards to inspire creative writing (also dyslexia-friendly): Imaginative Story Writing Prompts

For time-saving, engaging printables and presentations to plan Primary Literacy, Maths and French lessons, visit FullShelf Resources

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About this resource


Created: Jun 19, 2017

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

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