Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Organizers for Teaching Connectors

I have been meaning for some time to make these graphic organizers available to all here at Many Englishes. I have several versions of these two on connectors, but these are the most recent ones that I have distributed to my classes. One organizer focuses on coordinating conjunctions and transitions or conjunctive adverbs. I usually teach the usage of the FANBOYS and transition words together.  The other organizer focuses on a small array of subordinating conjunctions (which I encourage students to expand upon as they encounter other subordinators). Subordinating conjunctions which require more explanation of meanings, punctuation, and usage (especially the prepositional forms) are taught separately.

Many readers of this blog are familiar with my Intermediate Connectors Game Board which is a fun way (with some dice) for students to practice conjunctions orally. Here is another way using sentence strips that works well for a high intermediate+ level class. You can print the sentence strips on heavy paper or on colored paper. You need to cut between words where there is space (e.g., between conjunction and subject + verb, cut around the commas and periods. Students need to figure out what makes since. The words are all in capital letters so as not to give the students a clue about where to put a connector (at the beginning of a sentence or in the middle).  Please make comments if you have any questions or suggestions about other ways to improve the activity. I usually place a set of the strips inside a large envelope and put students in groups of four or five to sort and work together. You can do the activity more than once and make it a race to see which group remembers the sentences and puts the words together quickly and accurately.

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