Using parallel structure makes it easier for readers to understand writing. Give your students practice on these important concepts with the parallel structure activities outlined in this article! Plus, download my free Parallel Structure Grammar Activity and other writing resources.
Poetry is one my favorite genres. Not only is the language beautiful and engaging, but also the rhythm and patterns create a melody that makes reading and listening magical. Writing follows certain patterns and when students write in parallel structure, they use the same pattern of words, phrases, or clauses to show that items are equally important.
Parallel structure is sometimes referred to as parallelism. Parallel structure practice can be offered to students in the form of worksheets, interactive exercises, or writing. Using parallel structure makes it easier for readers to understand writing.
Activities for Parallel Structure Practice
#1 Modeling Parallel Structure and Reinforcement
Visuals are a great way to engage student thinking. Below is a simple grammar exercise to teach parallel structure. To get started, you will need an Expo marker and a white board or a projector and document camera or a similar device to project your work. You could also use big chart paper that can be placed around the room as an anchor chart.
Students understand parallel lines in math, so we will use that idea here.
Step 1: Draw 2 or more parallel lines on the board.
Step 2: Explain that parallel structure means the same grammatical form is used for similar ideas.
Model that idea.
Step 3: Write the word swimming at the end of your first parallel line.
Step 4: Discuss the structure of the word and the –ing ending.
Include the class.
Step 5: Ask the class what word could go on the next line using the same grammatical form.
Step 6: Write the words students share.
Examples include hiking, relaxing, camping, running, walking, or jogging.
Provide additional practice of the concepts you modeled with the Parallel Structure Grammar Activity. Whether for guided instruction or independent practice, your students will get the reinforcement they need!
#2 Index Card Swap
Here is an idea for a fun, interactive exercise to practice parallel structure!
On an index card, have students write three action verbs. Some examples include walk, jog, and talk, or scheme, erase, and connect, or run, swim, and wring.
Students exchange their cards with a partner.
Students will write one parallel sentence, using all three verbs.
For the next steps to practicing parallel structure, use different verb tenses with the words.
4. Tell students the verbs are now past tense. Some examples now include walked, jogged, and talked, or schemed, erased, and connected, or ran, swam, and wrung.
5. Students exchange their cards with a partner.
6. Students will write one parallel sentence, using all three verbs in the past tense.
(You can also use future tense, present perfect, and past perfect verb forms).
Other versions for parallel structure practice include the following:
Add –ing to the verbs (i.e., walking, jogging, and talking)
Make infinitive verb forms (to walk, to job, to talk)
#3 Daily Writing for Parallel Structure Practice
While writing is certainly involved in this interactive exercise, you can utilize daily writing goals to reinforce parallel structure practice. When students write, have them edit for verb tense. If they write in the past tense, then all their verbs need to be in the past tense. This is parallelism. If students create a list, then all items in the list must follow the same pattern to show that items are equally important. Below are various resources that encourage daily writing in the classroom and make it fun for students!