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Build That Sentence!

Just what is a subordinate clause? How do you use a relative pronoun? Can you use a comma correctly?

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This year, students in the Primary school have got their claws into learning the rules of English grammar. Year 5 has spent two weeks exploring the parts that make up a sentence. By looking at comical errors in punctuation and grammar usage, we have begun to understand the value of using grammar correctly. We have found out what a clause is, what it needs, and how to recognise and write independent and subordinate clauses. We have also looked at relative clauses and begun to experiment with ways of embedding these into our writing.

To help us understand this topic, we have been physically creating and constructing sentences along the floor of the classroom and through collaborative work. We have played games to support us, such as using speaking and listening to see how long we can extend the sentence using relative clauses. An example would be:

'My friend Lucy, who lives in the little house, which is just past the park, which is next to the shops, which are in Shanghai, which is in China, which is a country in Asia, which is a continent, likes bananas.'

As a stimulus for sentence writing, we have been using images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, linked both to our 'Existing, Endangered, Extinct...' topic, and to our trip to the Shanghai Natural History Museum this week.