7th grade English students write the longest sentence in Rupert’s history

RUPERT — Teaching middle school grammar rules can sometimes be difficult. To make the sometimes dreary lessons on grammar and punctuation more engaging, East Minico Middle School English teacher Emma Van Every invited the 128 students she teaches to do something a little different.

She challenged them to write the longest sentence they could imagine. The result: They wrote the longest recorded sentence in Rupert’s history.

The project began on October 20, National Day of Writing. Van Every wanted to inspire, but rather than give students a traditional creative writing assignment, she challenged the 128 students in her five classes to get inventive with words.

“Rather than doing a creative writing task traditionally, I thought it would be really fun to deconstruct it and do the opposite,” Van Every said.

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“I’ve learned that sometimes by teaching what something isn’t supposed to be, you teach them what it is,” she said. “If we could do it the wrong way, and they could see why it’s wrong, then we could fix it.”

The execution sentence was written on strips of paper and glued end to end. In total, the sentence was long enough to do two stints in the gymnasium at East Minico Middle School.

When measured, the runtime phrase was 163 feet and three-quarters of an inch long and consisted of 1,486 words.

Van Every then transcribed the sentence into a Word document over four pages long.

The sentence takes more than seven minutes to read aloud.

Rupert City Council member Joel Heward presents a trophy to the 128 grade seven students as Principal Greg Durrant and Vice-Principal Dustin Heath look on as school board members look on.

Van Every wants to know if there is a world record for this category.

The next lesson Van Every has planned for his classes is to provide students with red pens and ask them to edit the performance sentence to make it grammatically correct.

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