Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Rikki-Tikki-Types of Sentences

Indicative, Imperative, Interrogative Mood

Margaret Salesky, Margaret Salesky, Susan McHale | Published: November 4th, 2022 by K20 Center


In this lesson, students will distinguish between indicative, imperative, and interrogative sentences. Students will act out different types of sentences and write their own sentences in indicative, imperative, and interrogative mood. While this lesson is currently aligned only to 8th grade standards, it would be appropriate to teach in grades 7 through 8 , adjusting standards as needed.

Essential Question(s)

How do punctuation and sentence mood convey meaning to the reader? What are indicative, imperative, and interrogative sentences? 



Students view different emojis and identify the feeling or thinking associated with each.


Student pairs match sentences to the emojis. Students discuss how their voice changes tone when reading sentences with different moods.


Students identify sentence mood appropriately using a text excerpt from Rudyard Kipling's "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi."


Students create sentences of their own in the indicative, imperative, and interrogative moods by playing a "Spin-a-Sentence" game.


The "Spin-a-Sentence" game and the identification of sentence mood in selected text will serve as assessments of this lesson. The lesson also contains a Kahoots activity for students.


  • Pencils

  • Large paper clips

  • "Spin-A-Sentence" game wheel (attached)

  • "Spin-A-Sentence" student handout (attached)

  • Emoji matching activity handout (attached)

  • Excerpt from Rudyard Kipling's "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" story (class set)

  • Internet-connected devices for technology activity and assessment (optional)


Begin the lesson by displaying the title slide 1 and then the essential questions on slides 2 and 3. Ask students what would happen to readers if there was no punctuation in a text?

Display slide 4. Combine an Elbow Partner strategy and a Think-Pair-Share strategy to engage students and elicit their prior knowledge. Ask students to think about the emoji shown, determine what feeling the face expresses, and then share their thoughts with a partner. Randomly call on a few sets of partners to discuss how they decided the feeling that the emoji conveyed. What were their clues?

Display slide 5. Ask students to think for a moment about this emoji. Ask students to find a different elbow partner and share what feeling they think this face expresses. Randomly call on partners to discuss how they chose the feeling for this emoji. What were the clues?

Display slide 6. Ask students to think about this emoji for a moment. Again, have students find another elbow partner and share what feeling they think this face expresses. Randomly call on more partners to discuss how they chose the feeling for the emoji. What were the clues for this emoji?


Explain to students that punctuation gives us clues about the writer's purpose or the "mood" the writer wants to convey. Display slide 7 and let students know that today they are going to examine and explore three sentence types or moods. Go over each sentence mood (imperative, indicative, and interrogative) with the students.

After reading the information for imperative sentences, ask for a volunteer to give an example of an imperative sentence. Follow the same procedure, reading the information and asking volunteers for examples, for the remaining two sentence types.

Have students pair again with a former elbow partner. Pass out the attached Emoji/Sentence Matching handout. Display the directions on slide 8. Ask pairs to look at the sentences at the bottom of the page and place them in the column that best fits with that emoji. You may wish to display slide 7 again as partners work together. Allow 15 to 20 minutes for this activity.

Have partners check their work with slide 9. Ask how many partners got all answers correct? Ask how many only missed one? Missed two?

Ask partners to take turns saying the sentences aloud. Encourage them to read expressively and tell them to listen to how their voice changes for each type of sentence. Does their voice go up or down at the end of the sentence? Does the voice get louder? Does it get softer? Allow time (10 minutes) for partners to say the sentences aloud and listen for voice changes.

Now, as a class, discuss voice changes for each sentence mood. Start with the indicative mood and ask a volunteer to read aloud one sentence from slide 9. Ask for other class members to comment on how the reader's voice changed during the sentence. Continue with examples for each mood using sentences from slide 9.


Based on the previous emoji activity, the teacher can determine if this next task can be completed by students individually or with their same partner. Pass out the Rikk-Tikki-Tavi excerpt handout and display slide 10. Tell students that we will be looking at an excerpt from the short story, "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling. Some sentences in the excerpt are numbered and underlined.

With their partner or individually, ask students to get out a sheet of notebook paper, put their name on the notebook paper, and number one through fifteen. Students are to determine the sentence type of each underlined sentence in the excerpts and write the correct type on their notebook paper. If they are unsure of the mood of the sentence, students should read the sentence aloud to see if doing so helps them distinguish the sentence type. You may also wish to display slide 7 again as a reference while students are working on this activity.

This handout may be turned in by students as an assessment of the lesson, or you may use the activity for class discussion. A copy of the answers is provided.


Assign partners or create new groups of three or four. Distribute to each group a Spin-A-Sentence game wheel card, a large paper clip, and ask that one of the students contribute a pencil for gameplay. Pass out the attached Spin-A-Sentence handout to every player. Show the directions on slide 11. As demonstrated in the image, students can place their paper clip in the center of the wheel, holding it in place with a pencil, and spin. Where the paper clip stops indicates the "spin option" or type of sentence to be created and added to the chart on the handout. Each player must create their own sentence in the correct mood using the characters from "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" as subject prompts listed on the handout.


The emoji matching activity, the "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" sentence types handout, and the student-created sentences from the Spin-A-Sentence game can all serve as assessments for this lesson.

OPTIONAL: An additional activity could involve student groups creating a rap or chant that shares tips on to how to identify "sentence mood" correctly. Randomly assign groups to each sentence type—indicative, imperative, or interrogative.