Susan C. Anthony

Dictation Sentences from the Bible

See also Dictation Sentences from Children's Literature

Sentence dictation is a powerful tool to provide extended and mixed review for spelling and language skills. The Dictation Resource Book has starter sentences to follow each list in Spelling Plus as well as resources to help you write additional sentences. This section provides a resource bank from which you can choose additional sentences.

It's best if you dictate up to four sentences every school day, mixing the spelling, capitalization and punctuation skills you've taught. Make it a routine, and even the least talented spellers will eventually become competent!

The sentences in this section are from the New International Version of the Bible.

Level E:  List 37  |  List 38  |  List 39  |  List 40  |  List 41  |  List 42  |  List 43  |  List 44  |  List 45  |  List 46  |  List 47 
Level F:  List 48  |  List 49  |  List 50  |  List 51  |  List 52  |  List 53  |  List 54  |  List 55  |  List 56  |  List 57  |  List 58
Level G:  List 59  |  List 60  |  List 61  |  List 62  |  List 63  |  List 64  |  List 65  |  List 66  |  List 67  |  List 68  |  List 69

So far, I've searched the Bible for sentences children should be able to write if they've completed at levels A - E (lists 1 - 47) of Spelling Plus. Children may need to add an inflectional ending or suffix to a base word they've been taught, using rules they've been taught. Simple compound words are included if children have studied both parts of the word (anyone, whoever, yourself, somebody). All contractions are included, whether or not they were specifically on the list. Possessives are included.

Words not on the Spelling Plus 1000-word list, with the exceptions above, are in bold. Most of them are simple, regularly-spelled words. If you think your children will be unable to spell one of these words, you might talk about it beforehand or write it for them to copy. Or use an easier synonym.

Some of the sentences are long. Feel free to delete a parenthetical phrase, dictate a quoted sentence rather than a whole quotation, or otherwise shorten a sentence. It's easier to shorten a sentence on the spur of the moment than to lengthen it, so I included as much of the Bible text as your child may be able to spell. You might dictate a sentence in sections and tell students where to put the commas, or repeat the sentence several times while kids are writing it so it doesn't fade from memory.

Children should be taught to capitalize words related to God (God, Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus).

It might be interesting to have students look up some of the verses after they write them to check the context and read the whole story or find out who, what and where information. I've used pronouns in many cases rather than hard-to-spell Bible names. Find out to whom the pronouns refer.

Or, list the four verses on the board in random order and after dictation, have children guess which is which and then look up the verses to see if they guessed correctly. It was interesting for me to see how well I could recall whole stories and concepts on the basis of a single short verse, even without the reference. Eventually that will be true for your students if the learn the Bible well.

Go on to Sample Plan for Teaching a Story: The Hundred Penny Box
Source:, ┬ęSusan C. Anthony