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7 Easy Activities to Help Teach Connectives in the Classroom

Teaching Connectives
Connectives represents the logical connection between two sentences, and they are crucial for understanding basic meaning of English. Children in KS2 are expected to use them in sentences or paragraphs, and by Year 6 children will need to have good sense of them, why and how to use them, and be prepared for the KS2 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test. The final goal is for the children to be able to separate connectives into conjunctions, prepositions and adverbs.

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Connectives represents the logical connection between two sentences, and they are crucial for understanding basic meaning of English.

The final goal is for the children to be able to separate connectives into conjunctions, prepositions and adverbs.

Connectives. What are they?

So a connective is a word or a short phrase that combines one part of a text to another. 

There are many types of connectives such as conjunctions, prepositions and adverbs. Although connective is the umbrella term for all of the listed terms above, children are still encouraged to identify them with their unique grammatical names according to the new primary curriculum.

Why Bother?

Connectives represents the logical connection between two sentences, and they are crucial for understanding basic meaning of English. 

Children in KS2 are expected to use them in sentences or paragraphs, and by Year 6 children will need to have good sense of them, why and how to use them, and be prepared for the KS2 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test.

Tips on Teaching Connectives?

Pupils need to know the different types of connectives and recognise them in a sentence.

Types of Connectives and some examples.

There are 8 types of connectives in English:

  1. Qualifying: however, although, unless, except, if, as long as, apart from, yet, despite.
  1. Contrasting: whereas, instead of, alternatively, otherwise, unlike, on the other hand, in contrast.
  1. Cause and Effect: because, so, therefore, thus, consequently, as a result of.
  1. Emphasizing: above all, in particular, especially, significantly, indeed, notably, most of all.
  1. Sequencing: next, then, first, second, finally, meanwhile, after.
  1. Illustrating: for example, such as, for instance, as revealed by, in the case of, as shown by.
  1. Comparing: equally, in the same way, like, similarly, likewise, as with, as compared with.
  1. Adding: and, also, as well as, moreover, furthermore, besides, in addition.

 

Below are some sample sentences for each type of connectives. Can your students identify them? 

I don’t like apples, however they are good for my health.

Jack walked to school instead of riding a bicycle.

Michael cried because he fell down the stairs.

Lucy likes to eat fruits, especially pears.

I arrived at school, then the teacher came.

There are many restaurants that I like, for example, the Corner Bistro.

My mom says that she loves me and my brother in the same way.

My family enjoyed dinner and a nice movie last night.

Connectives in class

7 Activities for Classes.

As soon as your pupils understand what connectives are and what they do, you can now start asking them to practice what they have learned perhaps using some of the activities below. 

Student Lists

You can ask children to write down all the words that they think are connectives. Circle the correct ones, and explain the wrong ones. This way they can build up their own collection of words, and it will reinforce their understanding.

Teacher List of Connectives.

Let children choose one from a list and come up with a sentence that uses the word. It can be a really fun activity. Try to encourage pupils to make the sentence as funny as possible or possibly build a story, one sentence at a time around the classroom.

Connective Challenge.

Have a “Connective Challenge” and ask children to include connectives in their speech and writing during the entire day.

Perhaps award house points, or have a competition girls vs boys?

Connective Learning Software and Resources.

Try using some grammar-learning software. Apps like Grammar with Emile can easily get the attention of the most active child in class, and make them love practising and competing at what they’ve learned. It offers the opportunity for pupils to practice with hundreds of questions with instant feedback, and no marking pressure for the teacher to worry about.

The best part is that the system also automatically learn the developing trend of each individual student as they practise, and come up with a impact report which teacher can easily check online.

Finding Connective Waldo.

Find a piece of text from your class book, local newspapers, magazines, or an online article, and ask your pupils to circle as many connectives as they can. Review the results all together as a class, and ask them to re-create some different sentences using the circled words.

Finding Verbal Connective Waldo.

As an advanced version of the previous activity, read a piece of article out to your entire class, and ask them to shout out whenever they hear a connective. It may cause some noises, but it’s equally engaging!


Get pupils into two teams, and each team takes a set of four sentences about food. Make some connectives cards and place them upside down. Teams take turns to pick a connective card and try to place it where it connects the two parts of the sentence. Make sure that both teams agree that the sentence make good sense.

Connective words:

butalthougheven thoughinstead of
unlesswhilethenbecause
as soon aswheneverandrather than
ifsoafterexcept

Sentences:

I like beef ………………..I don’t like chicken.

I like to eat carrots and peas …………………….it’s hard to keep them on my plate.

I will not eat baked potato ………………..all the gravy is removed.

I had biscuits for breakfast …………………everyone else in my house had bread.

I won’t eat burgers from the takeaway ……………..I prefer the burger my dad makes.

My mother complains that I watch TV ………………I eat my breakfast.

I always put my oatmeal in the oven for a while………………they go warm and tasty.

I hate to eat cucumbers……………….they are very good for my health.

Strange Rules Connectives Game

Very similar with the last activity, but this time ask your pupils to come up with strange rules. Shuffle the connectives words cards and place them upside down. Teams take turns to pick a connective card and try to place it where it connects the two parts of one of their sentences. Again make sure the sentences make sense! Connective words:
but although whenever instead of
unless while before because
when with and rather than
if so without except
Sentences: You must always touch your nose before speak …………. your right hand. You must jump up and down two times………….you answer questions. You must shut your eyes and count to a hundred…………….the players hide their toys all over the house. Shout out ‘Bingo!’………………..you find anything purple in the classroom. Wear long shoes and walk around the room ……………. falling over on your nose. You must hold an egg in each hand …………. balancing another egg on your head. You must climb through a large hole …………..you can enter the room. You lose three points ……………….you say “I” in your speech.

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