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Lower Level Scramble

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I find that it is difficult for beginning and intermediate students to answer questions in complete sentences. I also worry that they are confusing themselves with their own mistakes. I am using the book “The Chicken Smells Good” in class but this will work with any questions and for any book. I use a sentence/answer scramble to help them recognize English sentence structure. I answer the question but scramble the words. If it is a more complex sentence with multiple verbs, I group words together to help them. For example:

Would you like to be a social worker? Explain your answer.

(social worker)(like to)(would not)(be a)(my own)(because)(No, I)
(I have)(problems.)

Do you think that a drunk driver who kills someone should be put in jail?

(another person)(should be)(I believe that)(who kills)(Yes,)(drunk driver)(put in jail.)(a)

If the sentence is easier, I don’t group words. You can make the answers more difficult by using synonyms or grouping less words. Sometimes I add up the total number of words per sentence/answer and include the number so they are careful not to miss any. It is amazing to watch them figure out patterns. It also becomes less confusing for them to recognize those patterns when creating their own sentences.

Deb Gylund-Shover
Fox Valley Technical College
Appleton, Wisconsin

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