Sentence Frames

Helping Learners Lead Text-Based Discussions

What are Sentence Frames?

Sentence frames ignite thinking and empower learners to start and sustain meaningful conversations independent of their teachers. Each frame provides readers and writers with words that can help them analyze texts and situations through varied lenses, connect their ideas in ways that they did not anticipate, and communicate complex thoughts with clarity and precision.

Inspired by the work of Jim Burke, Kylene Beers, and Robert and Marlene McCracken, teachers that I work with have begun inviting learners to approach tools like the one below as living documents that can flex and adapt to their changing needs and growing expertise. As learners gain experience using sentence frames, they often begin to design and add their own to our growing collection. Creating anchor charts for the frames below and posting them in areas where readers can refer to them quickly and consistently has proven effective as well.

Sentence Frames Adapted from the work of Jim Burke


I predict that_______

If x happens then__________

Because x did y, I expect ___________

I’m wondering if x ________________


X reminds me of ________________

X is similar to y because___________

X is important to y because________


X is _______so this means__________

Earlier, we learned ________, so this suggests_____

X causes Y as a result of____, which demonstrates___


The main idea is__________

The author’s point of view is____________

The author’s purpose is to _______________

We read this because_____________________


The point made is valid/invalid because_______

The strengths of this piece are_______________

The text/author does not do a good job of________

What’s most important about this is______________

Analyzing the Text:

The author uses_________for the purpose of______

The author assumes_______and I agree/disagree___

These particular features of the text clarify/convolute meaning______________


This is what the author is really saying__________

Given that ____happened, the author is trying to ___

X is not_____but is instead_____


These factors suggest______________

Initially, we/I thought____, but after learning___, I

now think____________________

It’s not a question of x but rather of y because______


Most will agree that_________________because_____

I agree with the suggestion that____and this evidence

supports that as well.


I would challenge x’s point about y because______

I would argue that______because______________

X claims y, but we’ve learned that____so_________

While x suggests y, this evidence disproves that_____

Agreeing and Disagreeing:

I agree that________I challenge y because_______

I share x’s belief that___but question__because_____

I agree with ______ but question how that belief

helps us resolve ____________

Arguing to Enlighten:

X is happening, but it is not y but z that is causing it to


While x is true, I would argue y, because of z.

Previously, we understood x to be the most important

factor, but y has changed, having this effect_____.

I’m noticing this relationship______which changes

previous notions about________.

Provoking Action:

We’ve learned x, so we must do ____________

In order to do y, we must learn more about x.

We used to think x, but now we realize y. Let’s plan how we will use this information to do z.

Offering Text-Based Responses:

I think that __________________. On page _______, this exact statement supports my thinking:

__________ thinking, which we can find on page _____, supports the idea that _________________.

This evidence from the text, which can be found ______, seems to contradict our/your claim because__________