Conjunctions are words that join two ideas together in a sentence. Some examples of commonly used conjunctions are "and," "but," "so," "or" and "because." Students can play games and participate in activities to learn about how conjunctions are used to create compound sentences. Games can be an interactive way to teach this simple grammar skill.
Provide each student in the class with a simple sentence or part of a sentence. Make sure your sentences and phrases are all related to a similar topic so that when they are combined they will make sense. Ask students to mingle with the rest of the class and find a partner whose sentence could be combined with their own to create a more complex sentence by adding a conjunction. The two students must decide which conjunction will make their sentence complete and then write their new sentence.
Build a Story
As a class, create a story, with each student contributing one idea at a time. Start the story off with one short phrase and then ask the first student to provide a conjunction to add to the sentence. The next student must then finish the sentence with another phrase that makes sense after the chosen conjunction. For example, if the story starts out "I was late to school" and the next student adds the conjunction "so," the third student might add the phrase "I ran as fast as I could." Continue adding to the story one phrase at a time with students adding conjunctions between the phrases to join them.
Provide each student with a card labelled with a conjunction word. Place large sentence strips around the room with sentences written on them, leaving out any conjunction words. Ask students to walk around the room reading the sentences. When they find one in which they can put their conjunction card, they will tape it to the sentence strip. For example, a sentence strip might say, "I tried to learn to juggle, ____ it was very difficult." A student with the conjunction "but" would be able to put his card in that blank. When students are done placing their conjunction cards, read the sentences as a class to see if they make sense.
Teach students about the different types of conjunctions and then have them sort conjunction words into three categories. Coordinating conjunctions are ones that join similar elements, like two subjects, two verbs or two sentences. These include "for," "and," "nor," "but," "or," and "yet." A subordinating conjunction joins a dependent and independent clause, often used to show cause and effect or to compare ideas. Some commonly used subordinating conjunctions are "because," "since," "so" and "although." Correlative conjunctions are made up of two words that always work together in a sentence to join elements. Some examples are "both...and," "neither....nor" and "not only....but also."
Provide students with a large sheet of paper listing many conjunction words. They will use their scissors to cut apart each conjunction and then sort the words into piles of coordinating, subordinating and correlative conjunctions.