Sentence Starters and Frames for ELLs

Sentence Starters and Frames for ELLs

Using sentence starters and sentence frames are one strategy to support students in speaking, reading, and writing. A sentence starter is when you give students the beginning part of a sentence and they fill in the rest. A sentence frame is when there are blanks inside a sentence that students fill in. Here are some ways to use sentence stems and frames as a scaffold to support your ELLs.

Support Newcomers & Emergent Readers

Simple sentence starters allow students to read or say a basic sentence and then fill in their own information. You can use them as a way for students to practice new vocabulary. They use the same sentence starter and fill in new information each time they read the sentence.

I like _______. Go to the ______.

Teach Grammatical Structure

You can set up sentence starters to model the correct grammatical structure that you want students to practice. The verb is an important part of the sentence starter.

(past) Yesterday I went ________.

(present) Now I am ___________.

(future) Tomorrow I will _________.

Teach Academic Language

Sentence starters or sentence frames can support more advanced students as well. You can include academic language terms that you want students to practice in a sentence stem as a way for students to practice using the new term.

The main idea is ______.

A dog is the same as _______. 

A dog is different than _______. 

I can compare a dog with a _____. They are both the same because _______.


This is a list of sentence starters and frames to use to help students talk about what they have read.

I can help picture cards

Sentence Starter and Picture Cards Bundle– Each set comes with themed picture cards and sentence starters.

sentence starters

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