Writing Mini Lesson #3- Fragments

This mini lesson will focus on how to teach students to correct FRAGMENTS. Often times students will write an incomplete sentence and it will cause confusion to the reader and disrupt the flow of the paragraph. Mini lesson #3 will give you ideas to help students avoid writing in fragments. If you missed the last writing lesson on subjects and predicates, click COMPLETE SENTENCES!


1.  TEACH:  I like to show an image for my visual learners so I use a broken heart for fragments! Make the heart complete with a complete sentence.  As a whole group, we review yesterday’s COMPLETE SENTENCES lesson and then discuss the meaning of fragments using the following anchor chart.  A FRAGMENT is a group of words missing a subject or predicate.  It is an incomplete sentence.

Is the incomplete sentence missing a subject?  Shopping for a car.  Make it complete:  My dad was shopping for a car.

Is the incomplete sentence missing a predicate?  A lawn service.  Make it complete:  A lawn service came to trim our bushes.


2.  TAKE NOTES:  To help students understand the meaning of a fragment, take notes in a writing notebook. This will be a great reference to remind students of the skill in the future. Students should take notes and write examples. I like to have students take notes using INTERACTIVE WRITING NOTEBOOKS.  Research supports the use of interactive writing notebooks through studies on multiple intelligence, note-taking, and the brain! Here are a few videos about SETTING UP INTERACTIVE WRITING NOTEBOOKS.

3.  GROUP OR PARTNER WORK:  Have students practice correcting fragments by creating 5 fragments and exchanging it with a shoulder partner. Their shoulder partner then makes them complete sentences! When students complete this task, they should share their samples with a small group or the whole group.


4.  SHARE:  Share some of the student-made fragments and corrections with the class.


5.  INDEPENDENT PRACTICE:  Provide some sort of independent practice to see if each student understands fragments and complete sentences. Either provide fragments for students to put into complete sentences or provide fragments and complete sentences and have students identify them. Task cards are a good way for practicing in centers. You are welcome to use the fragment samples found below when creating practice for your class.

Fragment task card and fragment worksheets

6.  APPLY:  Students should now apply their knowledge by writing in complete sentences. Give them a topic or prompt to write about in their writing notebooks. Tell them to underline the subject and circle the predicate in each sentence like the previous lesson to assure they do not have fragments in their paragraph!


7.  INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT:  Once you think your students had enough practice, give them an independent assessment and track their progress. This useful information can be used with forming small instructional groups or end of year review.


I hope this helps you in your classroom!

Next lessson:  Writing Mini Lesson #4-  Run-ons!


Do you need a complete NO PREP Sentence Structure AND Paragraph Unit?  There are anchor charts, interactive notebooks pages, practice worksheets, task cards, assessents and more for each of the following:  Complete Sentences, Fragments, Run-Ons, Topic Sentences, Rockin Beginnings, Indents, Relevant Details, Transition Words, Closing Sentences, and Clinchers!  As a Bonus- hamburger graphic organizer, and cumulative assessment!
topic sentence, relevant details, closing sentence, run-ons, fragments, complete sentences
or just Sentence Structure?
how to write complete sentences, run-ons, fragments, subjects and predicates


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