fbpx

100 Sentence Starters to Engage Students in Every Subject



Have you ever carefully organized a class discussion, only to have your students sit silently and stare at each other? This post is for you. If you’ve ever had a class discussion fly off the rails and detour into the land of weekend plans and video games… this post is for you. Sentence stems, or sentence starters are the key to a lively, educational discussion that stays on track and helps everyone get involved.

Why are sentence starters useful?

Research shows sentence stems are crucial for supporting ELL students, but all of your students can benefit! While some kids come to us already adept at discussion, most will need a little help. Many students feel shy or even scared of saying the wrong thing. Some students don’t know how to cede the floor to others. In addition to supporting your students in knowing how to phrase their thoughts and ideas, they also keep the classroom conversation on track. Read on for 100 sentence starters you can use in your classroom to elevate your discussions from mediocre to miraculous!

Math sentence stems

  1. I used _____ strategy because…
  2. The steps I took are…
  3. Another way to solve this is…
  4. My first step was…
  5. I solved it differently, by…
  6. I used the same strategy, but…
  7. I can prove it by…
  8. My answer is reasonable because…
  9. I can check my work by…
  10. The method that worked for me was…
  11. I believe this is true because…
  12. One example is…
  13. The keywords that helped me…
  14. I chose this operation because…
  15. I can visualize this problem by…
  16. The information needed to solve is…
  17. I am confused about ______ because…
  18. I need more information about…
  19. When I checked my work, I noticed______

ELA sentence stems

  1. In the text it says…
  2. The text explicitly states…
  3. One example from the text is…
  4. On page _____ it says…
  5. The author stated that…
  6. The reader can infer…
  7. The text implies…
  8. Because of this…
  9. The text reveals…
  10. I share your perspective…
  11. I don’t share your perspective…
  12. I have a different viewpoint…
  13. According to the source…
  14. I hear what you’re saying, but…
  15. This reminds me of____ because…
  16. Could it also be that…
  17. I think the author was trying to say…
  18. One thing I don’t understand about this text is…

Science stems

  1. I observed…
  2. The cause of_____ was…
  3. The effect of ______ was…
  4. The model shows…
  5. The benefits of this____ are…
  6. The limitations of this___ are…
  7. The data shows…
  8. We began this investigation by…
  9. The pattern I noticed…
  10. I was surprised that…
  11. I still want to know…
  12. Based on____, I can conclude that…
  13. My hypothesis was correct/incorrect…
  14. The results proved that…
  15. If I were to do this again, one thing I would change is…
  16. I expect to see…
  17. The outcome might be changed if…
  18. _____ and ____ are the same because…
  19. _____ and ____ are different because…
  20. A property ______ and _____ share in common is…
  21. A property ______ and _____ do not share in common is…
  22. From my research, I can conclude…

Social studies sentence starters

  1. The cause of ____ was…
  2. The most likely reason for ____ was…
  3. _____ wanted _____ because…
  4. This impacted _____ because…
  5. The most significant cause of _____ was____ because…
  6. The similarities between _____ and _____ are…
  7. The differences between _____ and _____ are…
  8. One piece of evidence that supports my decisions is…
  9. I wonder what ___ was like in____ (time period)…
  10. ____ was important because…
  11. During that time…
  12. This event occurred due to…
  13. One effect of ____ was…
  14. If I had lived during this time period I would…
  15. The ____ represents…
  16. During his/her lifetime…
  17. Soon after____ (event)…
  18. The text indicates that ____ was important to _____ because…
  19. I know from other sources that____ was happening during…
  20. When the author was alive, many people thought…

Universal stems

  1. I believe that____ because…
  2. I noticed…
  3. To add to ____’s response…
  4. It seems…
  5. I agree because…
  6. I disagree because…
  7. This reminded me of…
  8. I wish…
  9. My evidence is…
  10. In my opinion…
  11. I have a question about…
  12. One could argue…
  13. To summarize…
  14. I like what ____ said because…
  15. I was wondering if…
  16. What I hear you saying is…
  17. From my perspective…
  18. I’m thinking…
  19. We decided that…
  20. Our group came up with…
  21. We determined that the correct answer is…
  22. Another thing to consider is…

The next time your lesson plan calls for a class discussion, try teaching students to use a few of these sentence starters in their responses. With a little practice, students will adjust to framing their discussions in this way, and you will likely notice an elevated sense of rigor and engagement.

ALSO CHECK OUT:


Like it? Share with your friends!

4 shares
Kristen Nance

Senior Member

Kristen Nance is an elementary school teacher in Oregon. She is passionate about children's literature, has an affinity for black cats, and is obsessed with ravens. She reads every mystery novel she can get her hands on, and feels happiest when she is near the ocean.

Choose A Format
Article
Share your amazing stories, tips, opinions, and other stuff that matters.
Video
Upload your funny, inspiring, DIY, or informative video(s) for the world to see!
Personality quiz
Leave the serious quizzes at school, these are strictly fun! You make the questions and pre-define the results.
Trivia quiz
Time to test your friends' knowledge! You choose the subject and have fun seeing who scores the highest!
Poll
Pose any question to millions of educators by creating your own polls/surveys, whether for research, for fun, or for the sake of curiosity!
Photo
Share your classroom decor, costumes, funny classroom antics, silly grading moments, or other teacher life shenanigans!

HAVING FUN?
Get the best teacher newsletter your inbox has ever seen!

Don't worry, we don't spam

HAVING FUN?
Get the best teacher newsletter your inbox has ever seen!

Don't worry, we don't spam