Simple and Compound Sentences


Our Simple and Compound Sentences lesson plan teaches students the differences between simple and compound sentences. Students practice using both simple and compound sentences in their writing and identifying which sentences are simple and which are compound.

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 display text messages that are sentence fragments and have students use them to create simple or compound sentences.

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What our Simple and Compound Sentences lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Simple and Compound Sentences introduces students to the difference between simple and compound sentences. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to identify the differences between a simple and compound sentence. They will also be able to produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences. This lesson is for students in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd 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. The supplies you will need for this lesson are scissors and the handouts. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can pair students for the activity, gather the supplies, 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 of the suggested additions is to create more sentence parts for students to use during the activity. You could also have students find sentence parts from something they’re currently reading and use those parts to create new simple or compound sentences. Finally, you could display text messages that are sentence fragments and have students use them to create simple or compound sentences.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. It notes that students may be used to writing primarily in incomplete sentences. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


Simple Sentences

The Simple and Compound Sentences lesson plan includes three content pages. The lesson begins by defining the most basic type of sentence, the simple sentence. Simple sentences have two parts, a subject and a predicate or verb. We call the person, place, or thing that the sentence is about the subject and the action taking place the verb or predicate. The lesson provides a few examples of simple sentences, the first of which is the sentence “The dog ran”. In this simple sentence, dog is the subject. Next, the lesson shows how you can combine multiple simple sentences to create a simple sentence with a compound subject or predicate. The sentence “The dog and boy ran,” for example, has a compound subject, as it has two subjects: the dog and the boy. Simple sentences can also include additional information without becoming compound sentences, and the lesson provides some examples of that. This section also notes that sentences with compound subjects or compound predicates are different from compound sentences.

Compound Sentences

Next, students will learn about compound sentences. Compound sentences have two complete simple sentences (also known as independent clauses) put together. The lesson gives an example using the two simple sentences “The dog ran after the car” and “The boy walked home from school.” When you combine these, they create the compound sentence “The dog ran after the car, and the boy walked home from school.” This compound sentence has both two subjects and two predicates or verbs. They merge the two simple sentences with the word “and.” Some other words that can be used to join multiple simple sentences include: for, nor, but, or, yet, and so. The lesson then provides several examples of compound sentences for students to review.

Students will learn that you can also split a compound sentence into two simple sentences. They will also learn that you should not join two unrelated simple sentences to create a compound sentence, because the compound sentence will not make sense. All sentences, whether simple or compound, have to begin with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark. Compound sentences have to include a comma separating the two simple sentences and a conjunction (or joining word). Students should try to identify the simple and compound sentences as they read to help strengthen their understanding of these two sentence types. They should also try to use a mixture of both types in their own writing, which will make it more interesting for other people to read and easier to understand.


The Simple and Compound Sentences 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 will work with a partner to complete the activity worksheet. They will begin by cutting out sentence parts and joining words. Next, they will use these to create as many sentences as possible. They will write down all of the sentences they come up with and then identify whether each sentence is a simple or compound sentence.

Students can either work alone or in larger groups for this activity if you’d prefer.


The practice worksheet asks students to complete two exercises. For the first exercise, they will determine whether or not each given piece of text is a simple sentence or not. If it is not, they must rewrite it correctly as a simple sentence. For the second exercise, they will decide whether each sentence is a simple sentence or a compound sentence.


For the homework assignment, students will use pairs of sentences to create either a new simple sentence or a compound sentence. They will use what they’ve learned during the lesson to complete this homework assignment.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet and the homework assignment. No answer key is provided for the activity worksheet as students’ answers will vary. 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


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade


Language Arts, Video

State Educational Standards


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.

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Jaci S.

Simple and Compound Sentences

I really liked the lesson, and it was effective for my students. They enjoyed the sentence strip activity as well.

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