Categories and Commonality: Practice with parallel structure

Here’s a fun whole language activity for upper level students.

Step 1 – Place students in small groups of 4 or 5. Give one handout to each group: Parallel Structure_activity handout

Step 2 – Allow approximately 10 minutes for the groups to complete the statements on the handout. Tell them not to address the discussion questions. They must only create statements with parallel structure.

Step 3 – Have the groups exchange papers. Each group will read the statements written by another group. First, they must all agree that parallel structure is used in a given statement. Then they must discuss the corresponding discussion question.

SUGGESTION: In a large class, you may have groups switch papers a few times, to allow students to answer different sets of questions.

VARIATION: You can turn this into a pre-writing activity. After doing one switch of the handouts, have groups look at their original statements. Each member of the group should select one statement and make it the topic sentence of a paragraph. Allow 10-15 minutes for each student to compose his or her paragraph. Then allow time for authors to read their paragraphs aloud to the group. Feedback should be encouraged. Final versions of the paragraph must be submitted to the teacher.

If your students would like more practice, I’ve created an interactive lesson on this topic on EnglishCafe. Click here for Improve Your Writing: Lesson 4 (Parallel Structure).

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