Sentence Variety


Sentence Variety introduces students to the concept of varying sentence patterns to create a more interesting writing style. Students will discover how helpful this tactic can be to engage readers.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to have students compare nonfiction and fiction writing to see if there are any differences in sentence variety.

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What our Sentence Variety lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Sentence Variety teaches students how to vary their sentence structures in writing to create more interest in readers. Students will learn how to use different sentence patterns to create meaning and style. By the end of the lesson, students will understand how applying this concept will help them engage readers. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the green box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. To prepare for this lesson ahead of you time, you can distribute scratch paper or writing paper to use as rough drafts for their work and copy the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. One option is to make extra copies of the activity page to give students as additional practice at home. You could also use other popular stories for additional homework. Another option is to have students compare nonfiction and fiction writing to see if there are any differences in sentence variety. This could also be a good time to review simple, compound, and complex sentences with your class.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


Sentence Variety

The Sentence Variety lesson plan includes two pages of content. In all areas of life, it’s important to have variety to make things more interesting. This applies to your writing as well.

Sentence variety means that you should use various sentence lengths, patterns, and rhythms in your writing and speaking. Doing this will help your writing flow better, sound better, enhance your ideas and make them better understood, and keep the interest of your readers. You can keep it simple by adding or taking away just a few words to make your writing great. Consciously using sentence variety will make you a better writer.

Using Sentence Variety

The lesson then lists a few helpful tips for making sure your sentences have variety. Each tip includes some example sentences. First, make sure you don’t use all simple sentences. If you do this, your sentences might all start with the same word. The sentences will also be too simple and boring.

Second, try combining simple sentences. You can turn four simple sentences into two interesting sentences. This also allows you to use transition words like later. Third, you should use transitions with sentences, which increase variety.

Fourth, you should use adverbs, adjectives, and prepositional phrases. These words and phrases, such as In the evening and across town, add detail. Fifth, you can use -ing and -ed verb forms. You can change The team practiced all day. The team won the game to the more interesting Having practiced all day, the team won the game.

Sixth, try using appositives which rename nouns in sentences. Adding phrases like my favorite coach adds interest to your sentences. Finally, use clauses to combine sentences. This is similar to using appositives and also adds interest.

There are so many ways to add variety to your writing! You can also try to use short, medium, and long sentences throughout your writing to add even more variety. Using these tips will make your writing more interesting to a reader and make you a better speaker and writer.


The Sentence Variety lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


Students can work by themselves for the activity. However, you may have them work in pairs or in groups if you prefer. The activity worksheet has two boxes. Students will write a story using simple sentences in the first box. Then they will rewrite the story using a variety of sentence patterns.


For the practice worksheet, students will have to rewrite six sentences. Each one requires a different instruction. For instance, they will have to rewrite one sentence by combining simple sentences. For another, they will have to use adverbs, adjectives, and prepositional phrases. Another sentence requires they use -ing and -ed verb forms. This worksheet will really help students understand the idea of how to write sentences in many different ways.


The homework assignment requires students to rewrite two short stories. However, instead of varying the sentences, students must simplify the stories using mostly simple sentences. They will undo the variety of sentences in the story to better understand great writing. They can change some of the words if they need to.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet and the homework assignment. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Language Arts

State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.L.4.3.A, LB.ELA-Literacy.L.5.3.A, LB.ELA-Literacy.L.6.3.A

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.