Teaching Subject and Predicate Efficiently

Teaching Subject and Predicate Efficiently

I don’t know many teachers that get as excited as I do about teaching grammar. In fact, most teachers loathe teaching it for the fact that they find it as boring as their students do. I can’t say I fit into this category. Call me a grammar nerd, but I’m all about finding ways to fit grammar lessons into my day. This is why I started my 10 Minute Grammar Series as well as finding quick and easy ways to fit in necessary skills. In this particular blog post, I’m going to give some fun (I know I use that word loosely) and easy ways to teach subject and predicate.

Where Do I Start with Teaching Subject and Predicate?

At the beginning! No seriously, these skills are literally the foundation of teaching grammar. I ALWAYS refer back to the subject and predicate of a sentence when teaching other skills. I always start by saying, “You need a who and you need a what in order to have a complete sentence.”  Anchor charts are a great way to get this conversation started.

Subject and Predicate Anchor Charts

Subject and Predicate Anchor Charts

Ask Questions

Asking questions is equally as important when having students practice this concept. Once students are aware that the subject of the sentence is the person or thing doing the action, and the predicate is the action, they can then begin with the questioning. For example, a conversation with your classroom may look like this: “Mary drank iced tea with her dinner.”

“Who drank iced tea with dinner?” Mary.

“What did Mary do?” drank iced tea with dinner.

Practicing this skill repetitively with this strategy, eventually becomes second nature for students.

Subject and Predicate questioning techniques

Subject and Predicate Practice

Since this is literally your foundation, practicing these two skills will be important. In my 10 Minute Grammar Series, subject and predicate are not only practiced in those particular lessons but will need to be reviewed in subsequent lessons as well. For example, as you can see below, it is important to have a subject and predicate foundation when teaching sentence fragments.

Subject and Predicate practice with sentence fragments

Subject and Predicate practice with sentence fragments


Keep It Simple

I teach fifth grade. Oftentimes, I notice grammar lessons geared toward upper elementary students are lengthy and difficult to grasp. In my 10 Minute Grammar series, these lessons use visuals and simple concepts so students can grasp the basic understanding. Building upon the basic concepts and extending sentences into lengthier complex sentences, can come later.

Subject and Predicate Practice

Subject and Predicate Practice with visuals

The first half of my grammar series, 10 Minute Grammar includes subject and predicate sets. Each set has a ten-minute lesson for each day of the week. You can find the first ten sets here.

Looking for more ELA-based blog posts? Try these!

Tips for Teaching Inferencing to Upper Elementary Students

Why You Need to Be Teaching The RACE Strategy in Writing

How to Integrate Vocabulary into Your Day

Happy Teaching!

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