Conjunctions

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Language Arts, Writing, Grammar

Grade 3- 5

Objective

Students learn about and practice using conjunctions.

Directions

Introduction
Conjunctions can join compound subjects and compound predicates as well as serve to create compound sentences.
Examples:
compound subject--Jerrie and Mac went on a trip.
compound predicate--They would sail and fly.
compound sentence--Jerrie chose Russia, and Mac chose India.
Point out to students that whenever sentences are joined by the conjunctions and, but, and or, a comma usually goes before the conjunction as in the compound sentence above.
coordinating conjunctions (to join groups of words, including compound subjects, predicates, and sentences): and, but, or
subordinating conjunctions (to join main and subordinate clauses for complex sentences): when, while, since, though, until, although, unless, whether, because
relative pronouns (to join main and subordinate clauses for complex sentences): who, whom, which, that
Teaching Strategies
Glue for words. Tear a piece of paper in two and show children how it can be joined with glue or sticky tape. Now write two sentences on the board. Show children how these can be joined also, but this time instead of glue or sticky tape we use a comma and a conjunction.
I washed the dishes. Sally dried them.
I washed the dishes, and Sally dried them.
You must hurry. You will miss the train.
You must hurry, or you will miss the train.
Provide children with numerous simple and informal exercises, having them suggest words suitable to join the sentences.
After the join
Have children orally finish sentences you have written on the chalkboard.
We laughed when . . .
I have not seen him since . . .
I was scared because . . .
I will not help you unless . . .
Use the conjunction
Provide children with exercises in which they use a given conjunction to join pairs of sentences.
Use a comma and but.
Mike is tall. Tom is short. Mike is tall, but Tom is short.
A fire is hot. Ice is cold. A fire is hot, but ice is cold.
Choose the conjunction Provide a list of conjunctions on the chalkboard and have children finish sentences by using each one.
because and before

I cleaned my teeth ______ I went to bed.
We did not go ______ it was raining.
Tom grabbed the apple, _____ he ate it.
Conjunction search
Conduct a conjunction search from a common text, such as a photocopy of a story or poem already read. Have children read the text and circle any conjunctions they find.
Which conjunction?
Have children orally suggest suitable conjunctions for sentences which you read out loud.
I cannot come. My leg is sore. (if, because . . .)
In the beginning
Remind students that a conjunction need not necessarily come in the middle to join two sentences. Provide exercises encouraging children to begin the sentence with the conjunction.
He did not come. He is ill.
He did not come because he is ill.
Because he is ill, he did not come.

Resources

  • Conjunctions activity sheets
  • pencils
  • paper

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