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Year 3 Language and Literature

language and literature owl

This is an activity adapted from the Language and Literature section of the What Your Year 3 Child Needs to Know resource book. To learn more about using Core Knowledge UK resource books, please visit the dedicated pages for teachers, parents, grandparents and home educators. To purchase What Your Year 3 Child Needs to Know, visit our shop. Also, sign up for the free Core Knowledge UK newsletter to receive updates about new resources and activities.

Learning About Language: Sentences, Subjects and Predicates

alien spaceship


When you read this, you are reading a sentence. Now you are reading another sentence. What is a sentence? It's a group of words that expresses a complete thought. Here are three groups of words. Are they all sentences?

1) Jennifer walks to the beach.

2) She takes her dog with her.

3) In the water.

Both (1) and (2) are sentences, but not (3) - it does not express a complete thought. It leaves you wondering, 'Who is in the water? Doing what?' But let's change (3) 'In the water' by adding some words.

Jennifer and her dog swim in the water.

Now, is that a sentence? Yes it is. It expresses a complete thought.

Subjects and Predicates

Every sentence has a subject and a predicate. Here are some examples.

subject (bold) / predicate

Jennifer walks to the beach.

She takes her dog with her.

Jennifer and her dog swim in the water.

Can you tell me which words make up the subject and which words make up the predicate in these sentences?

Our teacher baked cupcakes for a class party.

The alien spaceship landed in our garden.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Two Rules for Writing Sentences

Rule 1.

Every sentence must begin with a capital letter. Look at the sentences on this page. Notice that every sentence begins with a capital letter.

Rule 2.

You must end a sentence with a punctuation mark. You use a different mark for different kinds of sentences. Most often you use the little dot called a full stop. You use a full stop to end sentences that tell you something. The sentence you are reading here ends with a full stop. Some sentences ask a question. If you write a sentence that asks a question, you end it with a question mark. Is it raining today? To show excitement, you use an exclamation mark. We won! What an amazing shot!

This activity is adapted from pages 83 - 84 of What Your Year 3 Child Needs to Know, which can be purchased here.