Sentence Fragments & Run-ons


Students are most likely able to write simple sentences, but as students desire to write longer and more complex sentences, they often use run-ons and fragments.  The lesson helps students identify fragments and run-ons as they write essays and other text.  They are instructed in methods for writing more effective sentences, avoiding run-ons and fragments.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with the 3 Types of Sentences, simple, compound, and complex.

Sentence Fragments & Run-ons Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Sentence Fragments & Run-ons
  • Hands-on homework activities helping students to identify and practice Sentence Fragments & Run-ons
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 3-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson is designed to help your students expand their writing skills and practice writing complex sentences.  When students first learn this skill, they often fall into the trap of writing fragments or run-on sentences. The lesson helps students identify fragments and run-ons as they write essays and other text.  They are instructed in methods for writing more effective sentences to help them avoid run-ons and fragments. Ample opportunity is provided for students to practice this difficult skill with practice and activity sheets. The lesson can be used in conjunction with the 3 Types of Sentences Lesson Plan, simple, compound, and complex.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:  

  1. Display two or three sentence fragments and two run-on sentences. Ask students:  What is the difference between the two sets of sentences?  What is alike between the sentences?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. (Responses may include, made up of words, subjects, verbs, etc.  One is just part of a sentence, other is too long, needs a period or comma, etc.)
  3. Ask students how they can make the sentences better.
  4. Allow for responses. Introduce Fragments and Run-ons.
  5. Distribute Sentence Fragments & Run-ons content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final directive for lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Allow students sufficient time to create the fragments, and encourage creativity.  Once completed, choose exchange partners for the class.
  7. Allow students sufficient time for students to create complete sentences from the fragments. Students will share aloud the new complete sentences they created from the partner’s fragments.
  8. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.  Orally, ask students to correct each run-on and fragment.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. Review the instructions.  The next day, read aloud the “before” story”.  Allow student volunteers to read the corrected story.  Stories will vary, but each run-on and fragment must be corrected.
  10. In closing, direct students: Correctly write one single sentence you would hope everyone in the world would read.  If necessary, distribute paper.

Common Core State Standards:


None for Grade 6

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more language arts resources? Check out our other Language Arts Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Language Arts