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Teaching conjunctions to young students can be really difficult. You need to not only attain and retain their interests, but also get them understand the complex idea of the language.
To make your life easier, below are 12 very practical activities that you can do in class to achieve your teaching goals.
What is a Conjunction?
A conjunction is a part of speech that is used to connect words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. They can be one word or a few words. They glue words, phrases and clauses together and are made to convey two ideas in one sentence.
For more information about conjunctions, the types, examples, where they appear in the national curriculum – take a look here
12 Conjunction Activities for the Classroom
Conjunction Word Wall.
Have students write down all the words they can think of that are conjunctions.
Remove duplicates, give them some example sentences using a different conjunction, and ask for more. You can also add a new conjunction into the sentence and let the kids pick it out. Then create a wall with all the suggestions.
Put students in pairs and let them both write a sentence at the same time. Then ask the whole class to use conjunction words to link the two sentences up and choose a winner that is either the funniest, or the most surprising.
Kids love playing Bingo. You can make some cards with nine spaces and in each space there’s a conjunction word.
When the teacher calls out a words, students need to come up with a sentence using that word before he or she can cross it off. Students with three conjunction words in a row wins.
Wheel of Conjunction.
Students spinning a wheel to answer questions on conjunction.
Each area on the wheel represents a category such as food, music, sports or any other areas. Each question requires the student to fill in a blank that completes a sentence.
For instance: “I will do my homework (blank) eat pizza later”. You can also make it a multiple choice question by having “and,” “then,” “during” and “when” as options.
It’s always good to use classic games like Hangman which encourage students to work together to guess conjunctions letter by letter, or word search puzzles that asks students to find conjunction words hidden in a page full of letters.
Grammar with Emile
There’s no better way to avoid marking hundreds of worksheets than using technology. Children love tablets and computers, so why not use them to help achieve goals and make life easier?
Grammar with Emile, for instance, provides a great conjunction assignment. The questions are aligned to the National Curriculum, and when pupils start to compete in multiplayer mode and collect coins to buy clothes for their Emile, the impact on attainment can be quite remarkable.
The “Slap It” Game.
Write some conjunctions and transitions words randomly on the board. Divide the class into two groups and have one student from each group to the board.
Then, teacher can say a sentence and leave the conjunction out. For example, “I didn’t do my daily running exercise ____ I was very tired yesterday.” The first student to slap the correct word “because” gets a point for their group. You can erase the word chosen and fill in the blank with a new one.
Is The Sentence Correct?
Write down a sentence with a conjunction in it, but with the wrong one instead of the correct one. For instance, use “and” rather than “because”. A sample sentence: I enjoyed the movie last night and my favourite actor was in it. Ask pupils to spot the issue, and choose the correct word for the sentence.
Ask students pass an object around the classroom. Set a timer for a minute or play a piece of music, and when the timer goes off or the music stops, the pupil holding that object has to complete the challenge. You may show students two flashcards, and ask them to use a conjunction to join the two things together. For example, a banana and an apple. The pupil will have to make a sentence using a conjunction such as:
I like to eat apples, but not bananas.
My mother prepared some bananas for dinner, but I prefer apples.
Find a piece of writing, and mess it up by replacing all the conjunction words with wrong ones. Students have to work together to find all the errors and you want them to focus on the conjunctions to make the piece of writing reasonable again.
The Memory Circle Game.
Ask your pupils to say something they like and something they don’t like, or two thing they like or dislike. For example, “I like fishes but I don’t like shrimps”. Make sure that pupil make full sentences in order to practice conjunctions. Then ask the next student to say: “He/she likes fishes but he/she doesn’t like shrimps,” and then the next student add something of his or her own, for example “I like cats and cars”.
The game goes on until everyone has had a chance to speak, but if someone can’t remember, they are out.
Brochure Scanning Reading.
It’s true that you need some great reading activities that can be used as a nice lead-in to introduce transitions and conjunctions to your pupils. But you need to make sure that you have chosen the proper ones. A brochure or some kind (food, education, or even sports) is usually a good resource. The words won’t be too difficult, at the same time there will be enough conjunctions in the brochures for your pupils to understand how they’re used in English.