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Coordinating Conjunctions Activities

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Coordinating conjunctions are a necessary part of English grammar, so it's essential for students to understand how to use them correctly. This lesson provides teachers with classroom activities designed to teach coordinating conjunctions to a variety of learners.

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions serve many important roles in English. In addition to providing sentence structure, conjunctions assign meaning to a phrase before and afterwards. As a refresher, review the following information with your students.

Seven Coordinating Conjunctions

There are seven coordinating conjunctions. Suggest that students use the acronym FANBOYS to remember them.

  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

Use of Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are used to join two simple sentences. When a coordinating conjunction is used, the sentence becomes a compound sentence.

  • I like apples. (simple sentence) I don't like applesauce. (simple sentence)
  • I like apples, but I don't like applesauce. (compound sentence)

At this point it can be helpful to ask students to give you other examples of compound sentences. Once you feel your learners have an understanding of conjunctions, it's time to dive into the activities below.

Coordinating Speed

This team exercise will test the ability of your learners to use correct coordinating conjunctions within a specified amount of time.

  1. Divide the class into teams of 2-4 students.
  2. Distribute seven index cards to each team, and have them write one conjunction in large letters on each card.
  3. Read two simple sentences aloud. Teams must hold up one card that contains a conjunction that can be used to combine those two simple sentences into one compound sentence.
  4. You can either award a point to all the teams who choose a correct conjunction, or only award one to the team who held up their card the fastest.

For example, you could say: We like movies. We go to the theater often.

Students could hold up the SO or the AND conjunction cards because those conjunctions can be used to correctly link the two simple sentences. If any teams hold up a different card, dock them points or award no points. Teams who jump the gun and hold up a card before you finish reading the two sentences aloud are more likely to make an incorrect selection, so be sure to remind teams to listen to both simple sentences before showing a card. Repeat the process as often as you like using different sets of simple sentences, and award a prize to the winning team.

Conjunction Confusion

This activity requires a bit of prep work, but it's a great way to test student understanding of the material.

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