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donnaodonnellfigurski.com - IF YOU WERE A CONJUNCTION

written by Nancy Loewen
illustrated by Sara Gray

Picture Window Books
Ages 7-10

Conjunctions may seem like pretty insignificant words. You can’t get an image of them like you can with other words, like . . . baby OR teddy bear OR a warm summer day at the beach, BUT conjunctions play a very important role in our language.

They NOT ONLY join single words together, like . . . liver AND onions, BUT ALSO connect two sentences together. They join clauses, too, BECAUSE it sometimes makes a sentence sound better. NEITHER nouns NOR verbs could ever take the place of a conjunction, ALTHOUGH I’m sure they would like to. Conjunctions are like glue. They hold thoughts in sentences together.

You might think conjunctions are mighty helpful words AND you would be right. Though they are usually pretty small words, they are busy words with very long names -- Connector, Coordinating, Correlative, Subordinating. BUT, don’t let their names scare you. Just pick up If You Were A Conjunction written by Nancy Loewen and illustrated by Sara Gray. Ms. Loewen, with her fun sentences AND Ms. Gray, with her silly illustrations will make learning conjunctions fun.

Look for a complete review of this book at SmartWriters.com.
FROM the MOUTHS of KIDDLE CRITers: a critique group

“This book might look pretty odd to you,” said Ethan, “but it teaches you the conjunctions.”

“Conjunctions are different words,” said Jewel.

“Yeah! Like AND, OR, and more,” said Ethan.

“I think it’s a good book,” said Timmy, “because the conjunctions are easy.”

“And, the author used boldface print . . . and different colors . . .,” said Jewel.

Pritka nodded her head as she interrupted. “So you know which are the conjunctions. They stick out!” she said.”

“It makes you want to read more,” said Jane.

“Because it’s easier to read,” Pritka pointed out.

“And . . . it teaches you,” said Ethan, “but it teaches you about conjunctions in a fun way - like . . . with animals having a party or with fruits playing tennis.”

“I liked the lemon,” said Becky.

“Yeah . . . and the cake and ice cream,” said Ethan. “All those sugary, delicious snacks . . . ”

". . . It's making me hungry," said Timmy.

Pritka giggled. “I like how they used funny stuff like a monkey eating banana bread.”

“I think banana bread for the monkey’s birthday was smart,” said Sarit.

“Well, said Pritka. “I didn’t know much about conjunctions before I read this book. We hadn’t learned it in class yet, so I got a head start.

“I think teachers would like to use this book,” said Sarit.

“In English class!” said Pritka. “This book would be helpful in English class!”

“Uh-huh, because it would help children learn about conjunctions in a better way . . . so they can remember them,” agreed Sarit.

“Pritka thought for a moment then said, “When I talk, I use conjunctions every day and don’t even notice it.”

Sarit thought for a moment. Then she said. “The cool thing about conjuctions is when you have to write a long sentence; they help you to do it.” For an example she said, “Billy drank a whole bottle of soda, and did the loudest burp in the whole wide world. You are connecting the loudest burp in the whole wide world with Billy drinking a whole bottle of soda.”

Becky, Melia, and Nina couldn't stop laughing.

Then Pritka gave her examples. “I want EITHER the blue sandals OR the cute green ones,” she said and then added, “NEITHER French fries NOR chicken nuggets will do.”

Ethan laughed. “It’s fun to think of your own sentences,” he said. “Like . . . I want EITHER hot sauce OR sprinkles on my ice cream.”

“Those words are conjunctions!” said Nina.

Conjunctions are like friends; they always stick together,” said Sarit, AND then she closed the book.


STICK LIKE GLUE: Language Arts

Stick like glue!
That’s what conjunctions do.

Conjunctions are the glue that sticks two sentences or phrases together. They turn simple thoughts into more complex and interesting sentences. After reading the book, If You Were A Conjunction by Nancy Loewen, and discussing conjunctions with your class, make a list of the common coordinating conjunctions For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So. Then construct several sentences using these conjunctions to play the game, Stick Like Glue.

  1. Type the sample sentences below into the computer. Use a large font size.
  2. Cut out each sentence portion.
  3. Glue the 1st sentence portion onto green construction paper.
  4. Glue the 2nd sentence portion onto red construction paper.
  5. Laminate for durability
  1. Have children sit in a circle.
  2. Pass out the sentence strips.
  3. Explain to the class that they will use the green and red sentence
  4. strips to compose sentences.
For example:
  1. A child with a green strip reads her sentence portion.
  2. Then the child with the red strip, which matches the green strip portion, reads his portion to complete the sentence. Continue until all sentence strips have been read and matched.
  3. Store in a laminated 9” x 6” envelope in a “center area” for independent use.
  1. As a group, have the children make up their own sentences using common coordinating conjunctions.
  2. Write the sentences on chart paper. Then type into the computer to make additional games.
  3. Use the above procedure to practice Connector, Correlative, and Subordinating conjunctions, as well.

Sample Sentences:

               1st Sentence Portion                      2nd Sentence Portion

                 The sun was hot,                             yet Jill was cold.

                 The lion                                          and the tiger live in the zoo.

                 Kim loves ice cream,                       but she doesn’t like cake.

                 The game ended,                            so the children went home.

                 Bill will eat neither eggs                   nor bacon.

                 Jane wore her raincoat,                    for it had been raining.

                 Steven can have a red balloon,         or he can have a green one.

CONJUNGO - Conjunction-Bingo: Language Arts

What do you get when you combine conjunctions with bingo? CONJUNGO! of course. AND with CONJUNGO, learning conjunctions is a whole lot easier.
  1. Make a set of six Bingo cards with 9 spaces.
  2. Write the common coordinating conjunctions in each of the spaces to fill the card. (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So)
  3. Or
  4. Go to 5 X 5 Bingo Card Maker
  5.          http://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/materials/bingo/5/
  6. Type the common coordinating conjunctions in each of the spaces to fill the card. You can make as many different cards as you like by hitting the SHUFFLE key. (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So)
  7. Laminate cards for durability
  1. Pass out a card to each child or team of children.
  2. Give each child or team enough markers to cover the spaces on their cards.
  3. Name a common coordinating conjunction.
  4. Children cover any matching spaces on their cards.
  5. Then call on one child to say a sentence using the conjunction.
  6. Continue game until someone has three spaces in a row covered.
  7. Or, for a longer game, have the children cover their entire cards.


(Although I examined these websites and found them to be very helpful, please use them at your own discretion.)

Fact Monster _ Conjunctions: The Ties That Bind
Conjunctions - Connecting Words


Checking Your Grammar written by Marvin Terban
The Kid’s Guide to Good Grammar by Dorothy McKerns and Leslie Motchkavitz
FANTASTIC! WOW! AND UNREAL! A Book About Interjections and Conjunctions written by Ruth Heller
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All contents copyright (c) 2002. Donna O'Donnell Figurski.
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