Lesson plan

Transition Word Hunter

Help your students learn how to move smoothly between ideas and paragraphs using transition words and phrases. Young writers will use real texts as mentors as they study how authors use words to transition between ideas and support their claims. As a result, they will have a word bank to use in their own writing.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

No standards associated with this content.

Which set of standards are you looking for?

Students will be able to identify transition words.

(10 minutes)
  • Write the following transition words and phrases on the board: before, now, after, afterwards, later, earlier, while, after a while, as soon as, before, earlier, immediately, lately, since, then, until, when.
  • Instruct students to turn to a classmate and tell a story. It can be something that they actually experienced or something made-up. There is only one rule: They can’t use any of the words on the board.
  • When done, discuss as a class. Ask, "How did it go? What was challenging about it? Why?"
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that the words on the board are some of the most common transition words used to indicate time.
  • Ask the class if they can think of any other time-related transition words and add them to the list.
  • Explain that there are other categories of transition words and phrases. Some others examples are: words that indicate additional ideas, cause and effect, comparison, examples, location, and emphasizing a point.
  • Explain that it’s not important to memorize all of the categories or words. Rather, the most important thing is to understand, as a writer, that transition words are a way to metaphorically hold your readers’ hands, leading them from idea to idea and showing them how ideas relate to each other.
(20 minutes)
  • Distribute the Transition Word Hunt worksheet
  • Distribute nonfiction texts — one per student or pair.
  • Go over the instructions on the page.
  • Instruct students to scan the text for transition words and record them on the worksheet, along with a bit of the sentence.
(10 minutes)


  • While working on the Transition Word Hunt, complete some of the worksheet as a class as a shared writing activity.


  • Have students collect student work on Transition Word Hunt worksheet and create an anchor chart that students can reference in their daily writing. They may also search the internet for additional examples.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students write an impromptu paragraph about a topic they feel comfortable with. Tell them they must include at least three transition words.
(5 minutes)
  • Discuss with the class: "What challenges would we have as readers if there were no transition words?"

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items