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What’s His Sentence? Third Graders Review Sentence Types in The Trial of Cardigan Jones

written by: Patricia Gable • edited by: Carly Stockwell • updated: 11/19/2015

In this lesson we review four types of sentences: statements, questions, commands and exclamations in the book "The Trial of Cardigan Jones" by Tim Egan. Lesson includes a fun activity.

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    Lesson Plan on 'The Trial of Cardigan Jones' Combining reading of a fictional story with language arts objectives adds interest and relevance. In this lesson we review four types of sentences: statements, questions, commands and exclamations in the book The Trial of Cardigan Jones followed up by a fun activity.


    1. Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences. LA3-L-1-I
    2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. LA3-L-2
    3. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from non-literal language. LA3-RL-4

    Materials and Preparation:

    • The Trial of Cardigan Jones by Tim Egan
    • 12"x18" light colored construction paper cut in half horizontally to make strips of paper enough for each student.
    • Index cards. Write each of the following sentences from the book on a separate card.


    • “Is there anyone in this courtroom that you saw the day the pie disappeared?"
    • “Did you see anyone near the pie?"
    • “Who did you see at the time the pie was taken?"
    • “Did you walk up to the pie?"


    • “I didn’t steal it! I promise!"
    • “But I didn’t take it!" insisted Cardigan
    • “I knew it!" shouted a goat.
    • “He hit the judge!" shouted the guard.
    • “Order! shouted the judge.
    • “Sit down."
    • “Now just hold on a minute!"
    • “Follow me."


    • He stood up and his antlers knocked the judge’s gavel to the floor.
    • “It was an accident."
    • “His face was practically touching the pie."
    • “We still don’t have any proof."
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    Teacher: “Today we will be listening to a fictional book called The Trial of Cardigan Jones. I would like you to listen for four different types of sentences: statements, questions, commands and exclamations. Also try to figure out what happened to the fresh-baked apple pie that is missing."

    Read the book to the class or, if you have multiple copies, the students may take turns reading aloud.

    Then pass out the cards you have prepared. Students will take turns reading the sentence on the card and calling on someone to say what type of sentence it is. Then the student calls on someone else to say what type of punctuation the sentence requires.

    • Question needs a question mark (?)
    • Statement needs a period (.)
    • Exclamation needs an exclamation mark. (!)
    • Command needs a period or exclamation mark.
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    Students will create a comic strip on the strips of paper you have prepared. It can be based on the book or something else of their choosing. The characters will have speech bubbles. Each of the four types of sentences must be used at least once in the cartoon in the speech bubbles. Correct punctuation and capitalization must be used.