First, I used my new favorite therapy tool, my McDonald's french fries containers. I wrote several "subjects" and "predicates" on Popsicle sticks. I introduced that all complete sentences must have a subject and a predicate. My students got to select a "french fry" and place it in the correct container.
Then I took out all the pieces, and the students worked together to make matches to make sentences. Then I prompted my students, were these sentences exciting?! They agreed that they weren't! I then introduced the sentence expanding visual. I showed them how by adding adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases make the sentences more exciting and tells the reader more information. They got to practice expanding their sentences with my sample subject/predicate only sentences.
Last, I told them it was their turn to write their own expanded sentences. For some students that I knew they could be more independent I had them just write several using "my method". For others, I made them work through it. For a motivational piece, I used "Angry Birds!" As a group, we made a chart on the dry erase board of sample "verbs/predicates" "adjectives" "adverbs" and "prepositional phrases/where". Then they got to write about the Angry Bird they selected. They had so much fun!