Conjunctions, or “joining words,” connect pairs or groups of words and clauses in a sentence.
Many conjunctions are high-frequency words, such as and, commonly understood and used by children in kindergarten and first grade. Spelling practice for conjunctions can continue through Grade 2, but conjunctions are not taught as grammar until third grade. Using a grade level appropriate conjunctions list can help students retain this important information and grow as readers and writers.
Teaching Lists of Conjunctions
In Grade 3, students learn the three most common conjunctions (and, or, but) are coordinating conjunctions, which combine related sentences into a compound sentence (the water was warm, but I didn’t go swimming). They learn when to use each of these three common conjunctions to connect words, clauses, or sentences: to add information (and), to show a choice (or), and to show a difference (but). All lists of conjunctions studied early in the learning process should include these 3 core words.
Students begin to learn some common subordinating conjunctions (although, because, if, when, before, after, while, whether, since, until) they can use to make complex sentences (I went swimming although the water was freezing). Students learn that there are many more subordinating conjunctions than coordinating conjunctions, and word study of conjunction lists should continue to introduce more subordinating conjunctions and provide opportunities for students to use and identify correlative conjunctions.
Common Core State Standards Related to Conjunctions
Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).
Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.
Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor).
Subordinating Conjunctions: although, as, because, if, since, until, unless, while, when, though, whenever, whereas, whether
VocabularySpellingCity.com provides word lists, printables, and interactive conjunction games and activities for kids that give studentsthe opportunity to use coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions as they grow in age and ability.
Try our conjunction game for kids, Test-N-Teach, with the Coordinating Conjunctions list.