Conjunctions and Linking Words - Games, ESL Activities and Worksheets

Conjunctions Race

ESL Conjunctions Game - Reading, Listening, Matching and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this free conjunctions activity, students play a card game where they race to complete sentences with 'and, but, so, because'. The students are divided into groups of three. Each group is given a set of sentence cards and conjunction cards. The sentence cards are shuffled and placed face down in a pile on the desk, and the conjunction cards are spread out face up. Students then take it in turns to pick up a sentence card and read it to the other two students using the word 'blank' where the conjunction should go. The two students listen to the sentence and then race to grab the correct conjunction card to complete the sentence. The first student to grab the correct card and say the conjunction wins and keeps the two cards. If neither student gives the right answer, the sentence card is placed at the bottom of the pile and any conjunction cards are put back in place. The next student then picks up a sentence card and so on. The game continues until there are no more sentence cards left. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
 

FANBOYS Match Up

ESL Conjunctions Game - Reading and Matching Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this fun conjunctions game, students match sentence halves together that contain coordinating conjunctions. The students are divided into pairs. Each pair is given a set of cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. The cards contain sentences that use coordinating conjunctions, but the sentences are in two halves. The students' task is to correctly match the sentence halves together, according to the coordinating conjunctions. When the students have finished, the answers are checked with the class by having the students read out each sentence. Pairs receive one point for each correct sentence. The pair with the most points wins the game. Afterwards, the pairs play a pelmanism game with the cards. The students split the cards into number cards and letter cards. The cards are then shuffled and spread out face down on the desk in two separate sets. The students then take it in turns to turn over one card from each set. If the two halves match, the student keeps the two cards and has another turn. If the two halves don't match, the student turns them back over, keeping them in the same place. This continues until all the cards have been matched. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
 

Because Worksheet

ESL Because Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

This conjunctions worksheet helps students to learn and practice how to use 'because' to join independent clauses. Each student is given a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by putting sentences in order to create a story. The students then draw lines joining sentences with the conjunction 'because' in the middle to explain why the things in the story happened. After that, students put more sentences in order to create the second part of the story. Next, students draw lines joining sentences with 'because' at the start of the sentence, explaining why the things in the second part of the story happened. Students then move on to identify mistakes in sentences using 'because'. After that, students use their own ideas to complete sentences with 'because'. Finally, students create two sentences of their own with 'because' in the middle and two sentences with 'because' at the start of the sentence. Afterwards, the students' sentences are reviewed together as a class.
 

Complete the sentence

ESL Conjunctions Activity - Reading and Writing - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this engaging conjunctions activity, students race to complete sentences that use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. The students are divided into pairs. One student from each pair comes to your desk and picks up sentence card 1. The student then goes back to their partner with the card. The two students then race to complete the sentence in a meaningful way that demonstrates the use of the coordinating or subordinating conjunction in the sentence, adding in any necessary punctuation. When the students have completed the sentence, they come back to your desk and show you the sentence. If it is correct, the students pick up sentence card 2. If not, the students take the card back and try again. The first pair of students to complete all 20 sentences correctly wins.
 

Coordinating Conjunctions Board Game

ESL Conjunctions Board Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Low intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this conjunctions board game, students complete sentences that use the coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet. The students are divided into groups of three. Each group is given a copy of the game board, a dice and counters. The players take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a player lands on a square, the player completes the sentence in a way that demonstrates the use of the coordinating conjunction in the sentence. The player then says the sentence to the group for confirmation. If the other students agree that the sentence is correct, the player stays on the square. If not, the player goes back to their previous square (or you can have the player miss a turn). The first player to reach the finish square wins the game.
 

Comparing and Contrasting Worksheet

ESL Conjunctions and Linking Words Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This linking words worksheet helps students learn and practice conjunctions and linking words that are used to compare and contrast information. Each student is given a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by discussing the meaning of comparing and contrasting in pairs or small groups. Then, the students choose the correct definition in Exercise A. Working alone, the students then sort conjunctions and linking words into their corresponding columns, according to whether they indicate similarities or differences. After that, students read sentences and choose the correct linking word in brackets to complete each sentence. Next, students unscramble words to form sentences comparing and contrasting two houses. Finally, students look at pictures and write some sentences of their own to compare and contrast three different living locations. When the students have finished, their sentences are reviewed together as a class.
 

Contrast, Cause and Effect Worksheet

ESL Linking Words Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this linking words worksheet, students learn and practice connecting words that show contrast, cause and effect. Each student is given a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by categorizing connecting words that contrast ideas or show cause and effect. Students then join clauses together with appropriate connecting words, rewriting each sentence as necessary. After that, students read a story and complete gaps with connecting words from the category indicated in brackets, adding any necessary punctuation. Finally, students underline the correct connecting words in a set of sentences.
 

Despite Worksheet

ESL Despite Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This linking words worksheet helps students learn and practice the use of 'despite' in sentences to link contrasting ideas. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by putting a tick next to sentences that use 'despite' correctly and a cross next to the ones that don't. Students then correct the mistakes in the sentences from the first exercise and rewrite them. Next, students name things that they think fit descriptions with the word 'despite'. Afterwards, check the students' answers as a class. Students then move on to join sentence halves together with 'despite' in the middle to connect the contrasting ideas. In the last exercise, students write sentences connecting contrasting ideas with 'despite'.
 

Short Stories

ESL Conjunctions Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 45 minutes

In this conjunctions teaching activity, students invent and tell a story using coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. The students are divided into groups of four. Each group is given a set of story title cards, which they spread out face up on the table. The students then make three story titles using the words on the cards, e.g. 'The Dark Winter', etc. The groups read their titles to the class and explain the type of story each one is, e.g. a fantasy story. Next, the groups choose one of their titles and develop it into a story by creating sentences with coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. The groups begin by writing the title and first line of their story on a piece of paper. For example, if the title was 'The Dark Winter', students might write: Mary ran out of the house into the snow. Each group is then given a set of conjunction cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the table. Students then take it in turns to pick up a card from the top of the pile and use the conjunction on the card in the next sentence of the story, e.g. 'This was Mary's last chance to collect firewood before winter set in'. As a student says the next sentence, another student in the group writes it down on the paper. This continues until all the cards have been used. When the groups have finished, they review their story and check for any errors. The groups then take it in turns to tell their story to the class. After each group has told their story, feedback is given on their use of conjunctions. Finally, the class votes for the best story.
 

Subordinating Conjunctions Bingo

ESL Conjunctions Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Matching Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this free conjunctions teaching activity, students play games of bingo by completing sentences on a bingo card with subordinating conjunctions. Each student is given a bingo card. Each bingo card consists of five sentences with each sentence missing a different subordinating conjunction. The teacher calls out subordinating conjunctions from the caller's sheet in a random order. If a student thinks a conjunction goes in one of their sentences, they write it in the corresponding gap in the sentence. When a student has completed all five sentences with a different conjunction, they shout 'Bingo'. When a student shouts 'Bingo', they read out all five sentences. If the sentences are correct, the student wins the round. If the student has made a mistake, the game continues. Several rounds are played with students receiving a different bingo card each time. As an alternative or extension, the students are divided into groups of five. The students then play the game in their groups with students taking it in turns to be the bingo caller. This continues until all the bingo cards have been used.
 
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