Students get to become writing mechanics and work on fixing up broken down sentences. Include a pair of work gloves and a bandana for students to wear while working on the center. Students can use a grease rag (an old sock) to erase any errors they make along the way. Getting to dress the part makes this writing center extra special and fun for students!
Once the sentence has been marked up, students should count the number of tools they used and record it on the car (cover). Then they can check their work by flipping over the sentence card to see if they used the correct number of each tool (note that one set of quotation marks counts as one tool). Then students should rewrite the corrected sentence on the cover page and check their work using the answer key provided. I also created five additional sets of sentences that can be purchased in my TpT store. The additional sentences match the colors of the six cars so you can create six completely different writing centers! The sentences also include a black and white version if you prefer to print using black ink on colored paper.
You can see the tools on the back of each sentence card (pictured above) and the key that shows what each tool represents (pictured on the right). So for example, the sentence above reads, "mrs smith is my third grad techer".
In this sentence students should have used two hammers (which represent capital letters) for Mrs. and Smith, two saws (which represent end marks) for the period in Mrs. and the period at the end of the sentence, and two pliers (which represent spelling errors) for the words grade and teacher.
Mechanics can be a tricky subject for students to master, which is why I have simplified the rules (on the tools page) as much as possible. Because of this, my rules are not all inclusive of the English language. They follow the American English rules which may look a little different than the British English rules (such as a period inside the quotation marks vs. outside). These sentences include the Oxford comma (a comma before the word ‘and’ or ‘or’ in a list). However, I have included a separate file for those who do not teach the Oxford comma.