Transition Words Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about the types of transition words found in literature. Practice with sentences and then have students work to apply knowledge in their own writing.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify types of transition words
  • explain the purpose of transition words
  • apply knowledge in sentences and writing


  • 1 hour


  • Short piece of writing without transitions
  • Chart paper

Key Vocabulary

  • Disparate
  • Transition

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1.c

Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2.c

Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.1.b

Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.


  • Begin by reading the writing sample without transition words aloud to your students. It should sound choppy and uncomfortable. After, ask students to identify what it was about the piece that made it difficult to listen to. Introduce transition words.
  • Watch the lesson How to Write Strong Transitions & Transitional Sentences.
  • Ask students to take notes during the lesson, paying attention to the different types of transition words.
  • After the lesson, ask:
    • Where do we find transitional words in sentences?
    • What role do transition words play in writing?
    • What would it be like to read a text or speak to someone who didn't use transitions?
  • When you see students understand the role and importance of transition words, create a chart organizing the transition words into categories, like 'location' and 'time.' Allow students to use their notes.


  • Provide paragraphs without transitions. Have students rewrite the paragraph using transition words and phrases.
  • For a partnering element, have students share work and compare uses of transition words.
  • As a follow up, ask students to write a short paragraph that does NOT use transition words. Then, have them (or a partner) add in the appropriate transition words.
  • For added support, you can provide students with transition words and phrases written on slips of paper and have them place appropriate options into their paragraph.


  • Continue to add to your transition word bank as students come across transition words and phrases in their reading. Refer to it when writing.
  • Give students a list of transition words and phrases. Have them create a story around these.
  • Instruct students to conduct a social experiment with family or friends by not using transition words and phrases when speaking. Notice and discuss reactions.

Related Lessons

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.