Grammar Foldable Friday

Friday, August 15, 2014
your folding friend, Suzanne
We wanted to spend the last day of our Foldable Frenzy with a dear friend- the Grammar Foldable!

This is a repost from last fall, but since we have lots of new readers, we felt it deserved a victory lap.

The GF is a review of the nitty gritty that makes up different sentence types.  I like to start my year with it because we go back and reference it many time each semester.  

First we must start by folding the paper.  I don't know about you, but I am a visual learner.  There's no way I can read 12 steps and end up with a masterful design.  *The GF is not, I repeat, not a 12 step process.*  So here is a work of cinematic greatness that shows all the cuts and folds of the Grammar Foldable:

I like to spread this "note-taking" process out over 4 days.  It is a lot of information, and I would rather park it on one sentence type and allow for digestion before moving on.  

Here is the routine for each day:
Label a flap with the specific sentence type for the day.
Add the parts of this sentence type.
Create an example sentence as a class.
An example of the sentence type from their reading (either independent or class reading)
An example from their own writing

Here is the information that is added for each sentence type:
Simple Sentence

  • one independent clause
  • no other clauses
  • end punctuation
Compound Sentence
  • two independent clauses
  • no other clauses
  • ,FANBOYS or ; (winky eyes)
  • end punctuation

Complex Sentence
  • one independent clause 
  • one dependent clause (AAAWWWUUBBIS phrase)

Teachable Moment:  We talk about how an AAAWWWUUBBIS phrase can be worn like a reversible jacket- two ways.  If I start with my AAAWWWUUBBIS word, I need a comma. "AAAWWWUUBBIS, now I need a comma!" It doesn't need a comma is the "bad word" is in the middle.  

Compound/Complex Sentence
  • two independent clauses
  • at least one dependent clause (AAAWWWUUBBIS phrase)
  • end punctuation

We spend A LOT of time differentiating between an independent and dependent clause because this is a major issue in their writing.  My genius friend Jennifer started calling them "Say What?" (dependent) and "I got you!" (independent) which I promptly stole.  This is an easy way to make this practice more fun and interactive.  

To help your students apply their knowledge from the GF, we present to you our new Snazzy Sentences pack.  This flexible routine provides a mentor sentence from our weekly Shared Readings and prompts student talk and inventory of the sentence parts.  Students uncover the sentence pattern and practice creating their own sentences that follow the pattern.  Assessment comes from having students create this sentence structure by revising their own writing.  Check them out here!

We hope our folding brings you good fortune in the new school year!


  1. Hi Girls! I just love this foldable! What a great teacher tool and go to reference for the kids. Thanks!

  2. Oh. My. Goodness. I just found this article and feel like my mind has exploded. What a fantastic and compact way for kids to keep track of some of the most necessary grammar facts. I'll definitely be using this in the fall, and I am excited to explore more of your website. Thank you!