Monday, April 25, 2011

SOBA sentences video

You have students who come to you writing rambling sentences. You have students who write really choppy sentences. You have students who don't know what a sentence is!

If you had the time to sit down and tutor each student, life would be so much easier.

If you're like me, you have:
  • large classes
  • students who are not enthusiastic about editing and revising
  • less time than you need

When I started teaching writing, I knew that I needed to address grammar. Maybe it's not interesting, but it's necessary. I just didn't know how to do so without boring my students (and me) to tears. How can you help students write complex sentences with ease?

Have you tried worksheets? You have probably figured out what researchers have learned. Worksheets do almost nothing to increase writing skills. Worksheets and Daily Oral Language actually increase errors!

  • So, how do you teach writing?
  • By showing students examples of mistakes, or models of writing that works?

You should show students models of what works. You don't teach your students to read by showing them the letter A and then saying, that is not "B." Make sure you don't say "b" when you see this letter!

  • If this doesn't work, what does work? 

  • How do you really model good writing?

One of the first things I teach my students in writing is how to make SOBA sentences. Here is a video lesson that I made for my students on compound sentences that combine with the words So, Or, But or And.

Here is a link to my document that is used in the video. Feel free to modify it and use it!

HOL online classes I offer:

FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL: From Stress to Success
SAVE TIME: Time Management for Your Teaching & Your Life   


  1. Dear Sasha,
    What a brilliant blogger you are. I just read your comment on my article at Teacher Magazine and wanted to check out your blog. You are fantastic at explaining writing....I struggle with this because I'm mostly a science teacher. I love science and know writing is important for them, but I really love the writing.

    I hope you will visit my professional blog at and put me your blogroll. I'm adding your blog to mine and know that I will be learning thanks in advance. I'd love to trade ideas and collaborate. Who knows what kind of wonderful things we could's clear we are each passionate about our areas of expertise.

    Maybe our students could even collaborate on a project!!!


  2. Hi Sasha,
    Good i like the way you express and explain.
    Here i wish to share my views about the video :

    In training 3V's - Verbal, Voice/vocal and visuals/vision are very important. At the same time 4Ps- Project,Pitch,Pause and Pace are equally usefull.With proper syncronisationa and practise it can boost your confidence level and can make your training more effective.

    Marsha - i like the way you have expressed. I have visited your blog and found interesting.Keep smiling.Bye.

    Sushant Mysorekar-International Memory Trainer

  3. Fantastic! I've shown my students how to combine sentences, but I've never heard them called SOBA sentences. I love this idea and will use it this year. Thanks so much!