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Functions of Conjunctions
Students will be able to identify clauses and use conjunctions to combine them into more complex sentences.
- Students will be able to repair run-on sentences using conjunctions.
- Recruit two student volunteers to come to the front of the room and hold up the run-on sentence strip.
- Read it as a class.
- Conduct a think-pair-share about this sentence. What do students notice?
- Share out student thoughts. Students should notice that the sentence doesn’t really make sense, or that it reads awkwardly, as if something is missing.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Explain that this sentence is what we call a run-on sentence.
- Distribute the Gluing Words: Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions worksheet
- Go over the information on the sheet, explaining that conjunctions are like glue. They are the connecting pieces that combine two thoughts in a sentence. The bigger pieces in the sentence are clauses — a group of words that represent a complete thought. A complete thought (or sentence) has a subject and a predicate. That means you can identify a “who” or “what,” and a “what about it?"
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- As a class, generate two clauses and fill them in together on the worksheet activity.
- Have students generate two clauses of their own and add them to the sheet. Share out briefly.
- Explain that, by using coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, you can make new, more complex sentences out of simple clauses.
- As a class, make two new sentences, using the clauses and conjunctions listed on the sheet.
- Touch back on the idea of run-on sentences. Explain that by understanding how conjunctions work, you can take two clauses that make up a run-on and use the conjunctions to glue them together.
- Distribute the Conjunctions: The Cure for Your Run-ons worksheet
- Call students’ attention to the lists of conjunctions on the sheet.
- Take out the original sentence strip and conjunction cards.
- Invite students to consider how they could use a conjunction to glue the two clauses together so that the sentence makes sense.
- Share student suggestions by tearing the run-on sentence strip so that the two clauses are divided. Insert conjunctions to reconstruct the sentence.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Have students complete the worksheet by revising the five run-on sentences provided using conjunctions.
- Provide clauses and conjunctions on sentence strips and allow students to manipulate them as sentence building blocks.
- Have students locate complex sentences that utilize conjunctions in their independent reading books. Instruct them to write them on the board and analyze them as a class.
- Select two of the student-generated clauses from the first worksheet. Instruct students to combine them using a conjunction on the back of their worksheet.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Discuss: What would happen if we didn’t have conjunctions? How would our writing be different? What challenges would we face as writers?