Possible Sentences

Purpose: To activate and evaluate student knowledge of a topic.

Description: Possible Sentences takes what students know of a topic and their familiarity with the English language sentence structure to activate prior knowledge of a topic.  After new information is introduced through the use of cognitive teaching strategies, possible sentences are re-evaluated for accuracy.


1.     Generate a list of 10 words related to your lesson.  These words should represent concepts that are both familiar and unfamiliar to students.

2.     Have students create 5 possible sentences by using two words in each sentence until all words are gone.

3.     Teach your lesson on the topic.

4.     After the main instruction is over, have students go back and evaluate the accuracy of their possible sentences by placing a + (for correct), - (for incorrect), or a ? (for cannot determine) beside each sentence.

5.     For sentences marked incorrect, students should write a corrected sentence.  Sentences whose accuracy cannot be determined can be researched by utilizing outside resources.

Sample Words for a Possible Sentences Activity on the Internet:

network modem  ISP
URL webpage  hyperlink
graphic text web browser

Sample Words for a Possible Sentences Activity on Computer Security:

login virus worm
logout AUP hacker
password firewall  proxy

Moore, D.W., & Moore, S.A. (1986).  Possible sentences.  In Reading in the content areas:  Improving classroom instruction 2nd edition, edited by E.K. Dishner, T.W. Bean, J.E. Readence, and D.W. Moore.  Dubuque, IA:  Kendall/Hunt.


Sample Possible Sentence Activity Sheet


from Instructional Strategies for Engaging Learners
Guilford County Schools TF, 2002

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