Over the years, many if not most of the high school students I’ve served alerted me to the fact that it isn’t possible to begin a sentence with because. Of course that is incorrect, and it means that no one taught them the use of subordinating conjunctions–probably because this skill isn’t on the high-stakes test du jour. It’s true that this is a moderately tricky area of English usage, but with proper preparation, I believe it is possible to teach the use of all three types of conjunctions–coordinating, subordinating, and correlative–effectively and with ease. To that end, here is a learning support on the most commonly used conjunctions of all three types.
I believe strongly in teaching the parts of speech to struggling learners. Properly planned, units on each part of speech provide a variety of ways to foster and improve literacy. Over the years, I have developed units on all the parts of speech, and they now constitute a nearly yearlong course of study in my English Language Arts classes. The conjunctions unit is the last of them I need to complete, and I’m working on it now. Over time, I’ll post a variety of learning supports from these units on Mark’s Text Terminal.
UPDATE, December 14, 2015: Since I wrote this post, I have revised the learning support it includes three times, the most recently today. In the process of finding the document on my computer to revise it, I discovered that I have a second, more complete learning support for conjunctions in my English Language Arts Support folder. I probably set this one aside because it’s a little too complicated for the students I’m currently serving. In any case, to write a unit around this support is more than I can take on right now. Perhaps you’ll find it useful?
If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.