Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Put Your Hands Together for Conjunctions

Conjunctions are joiners or connectors that bring together words, phrases, and clauses. A few of these important words follow:

To teach my son about how these words are used, I created an activity we'll be able to do again and again, with a template I'll use for practicing other skills too.

To get started I printed several pages of these right and left hands. Download a 1-page PDF here.

I used colored papers, but that's not necessary. After they were printed, I laminated and cut them out (including the hole inside the hand); yes, this is a bit of a pain but with a small craft knife, it went rather swiftly.

Once my hands were done, I cut some small strips of paper. Now I got busy writing parts of sentences on right and left hands with a fine-tip dry-erase marker. I also wrote the conjunction that would join them on the blank slips of paper. Here are some of the sentences I used:
During the race I swam and ran.
I got today's mail and put it on the desk.
Mom was tired after exercising at the gym.
I stayed awake until the sun came up.
Molly hated peas because they never stayed on her spoon.
Do you want popcorn or peanuts?
I do not like broccoli so I chose corn instead.

By laminating, the dry-erase markers wipe clean making the hands reusable!

When my son came home from school we read a great book by Brian P. Cleary. I'm a huge fan of his Words are CATegorical series and this book delivered the same whimsical illustrations I expected with the simple, clear definition of conjunctions my son needed.

My son also watched Schoolhouse Rock's "Conjunction Junction" video; I remember it from when I was a kid. This little song is certainly handy (and mighty catchy too; my son was singing it later that evening)!

With the hands laid on the table, it was up to my son to determine which conjunction was missing and join the hands together by looping the paper with the conjunction through the hands and stapling it. My son made quick work of the task and was excited to have joined the sentence fragments with the correct conjunctions.

Next time, I might scramble the fragments to make the exercise more challenging for him. 


  1. WONDERFUL HANDS-ON ACTIVITY!! THANK YOU! Smiles and stop by anytime!

  2. Bellissima attività, grazie per la condivisione, la userò nei prossimi giorni, come rinforzo.:)

  3. I can see my daughter getting a huge kick from trying incorrect conjunctions and creating silly sentences. It's a fun idea!

  4. I like that! It's very Montessori and hands-on. Thanks for the School House Rock video reminder. I haven't shown any of them to my kids. I wonder if they would like them?

  5. What a fabulous visual you used on that template! Thank you for sharing your creativity with everyone! Have a great learning year :)