Language Games to Improve Sentences Skills

Deena SeifertM.S., CCC-SLP
Deena Seifert

If you are looking to add some games to your family or work collection, there are quite a few games in the stores now to improve sentence structure.  Improving a student’s sentence structure is not just important for conversational skills, but it’s the building block of written language.

Before a child can write simple, compound and complex sentences, they must first be able to use them aloud.  We do a lot of practice with our students in oral syntax (grammar).  We practice making complete sentences aloud with and without pictures for cues.  Just practicing this skill can be veryhum drum, so I try toincorporate a game or two into our speech-language sessions to make working on this skill more fun.  Here are just a few of my favorite sentence games…


You've Been Sentenced
You’ve Been Sentenced

You’ve Been Sentenced is a fun game of pentagonal-shaped cards.  Each side of every card has a word and the points that word is worth.  Players try to make the longest, most grammatically correct sentence they can and score points in the process.  This has been a big hit with middle school and high school students.  You can play the game as is or add on additional decks.  It has add ons for players interested in pop culture, science fiction/fantasy, word challenges, sports highlights and gourmet.

Mad Libs Criss Cross
Mad Libs Criss Cross

MadLibs Criss Cross Board Game is a fun inexpensive way to work on sentences.  Cards come in 3 categories: nouns, verbs and miscellaneous.  Players work on creating the longest possible sentence, each card worth points for the player.  You can write in some of your own words on blank cards.  Players enjoy the wacky sentences they create themselves.

Rory's Story Cubes Actions
Rory’s Story Cubes Actions

If you are familiar with Rory’s Story Cubes did you know they make an actions deck?  Sometimes students get a blank look on their face when asked to create a sentence or a story.  When this happens I pull out the story cubes and watch it inspire a student to create a story.  The small visual pictures on the dice trigger names, objects and events to help a student create a sentence or story.

Hope this helps with your holiday shopping or inspires you to look at games in a different way.  What’s your favorite speech-language game or activity? Let us know!