Play “Conjunction Junction” by SchoolHouse Rock for your students. After you watch the song, ask students to discuss what it is about.
Then pass out the lyrics to the song (which can be printed off the Schoolhouse Rock website), and have students identify the different ways conjunctions can be used. Encourage them to use examples from the song. This activity should introduce them to the basic concept of what a conjunction is and what it does. Refer back to this song as you continue teaching conjunctions.
You can also look at the Schoolhouse Rock product on Amazon.
Types of Conjunctions
Explain to students the three types of conjunctions - Coordinating, Subordinating and Correlative.
Write sentences on the board and have students help pick which type of conjunction you used.
- Roger and Leland went to the park to play ball. (Coordinating)
- What if Stephanie and I were to take piano lessons together? (Coordinating)
- The rain was pouring down outside but we were able to stay dry inside. (Coordinating)
- Even though the rain was pouring down outside we were able to stay dry inside. (Subordinate)
- I should get my birthday gift early this year because I deserve it! (Subordinate)
- Neither me nor my dog were fed dinner tonight. (Correlative)
- Not only did Roger score a point at the big game, but he also was voted the most valuable player by his team. (Correlative)
Have students mark the types of clauses for each sentence.
Coordinating will have two main clauses separated by the coodrinating conjunction. Subordinate conjunctions will have a main clause and subordinate clause.
Write a list of conjunctions on the board, and then write the sentence “I went to the party, and I was wearing my purple shoes.” Ask students to identify the conjunction in the sentence (and). Then have them replace that conjunction with one of the other conjunctions from the list. Ask students to explain how the sentence has changed. For example, you might replace “and” with “but” or “however.” You also might replace it with “because,” which would give the entire sentence a different meaning. Make sure that your students understand that all conjunctions connect words, phrases, or clauses, but that they connect them in different ways. If you’d like, repeat with other sentences such as “The car raced down the street, and the brakes weren’t working.” (In this example, you might explain why some types of conjunctions do not work at all, whereas some are stronger than others.)
Write one conjunction on each of a stack of notecards, and give out one notecard to each student. Then write the beginning of a sentence on the board, such as “The dog leapt at the cat…” and instruct students to finish the sentence using their conjunction. Have them work with a partner to perfect their sentences, and then encourage them to share their finished sentences with the class.
This post is part of the series: Parts of Speech Lesson Plans
These parts of speech lesson plans will help you to make sure that your students actually learn the various parts of speech - and have fun in the process!