Friday, June 12, 2015

Freckle Juice & Coordinating Conjunctions

This is such a quick Read Aloud, and my boys loved it in second grade. Andrew Marcus, enthralled with the freckles on Nicky Lane, especially those on the back of his neck, tries to get some of his own. This is a great choice for a day that the substitute has your class. You can come in the next day after the reading and introduce the grammar. If your students have already been introduced to compound sentences, you can do some pair or group work with activity mats. As you walk around your classroom, you will be able to revisit the story and assess your students' comprehension in a more personal way. No need for a multiple choice worksheet or enough computers in your classroom to take an on-line quiz! Kids are engaged and participating immediately.

Aid students in understanding the sentence structure of a compound sentence. Consider the five examples below. They are original, but they derive from the story.

  • Miss Kelly asked Andrew to begin reading, he couldn't find the correct page.
  • Andrew was always thinking about freckles, he couldn't concentrate in Miss Kelly's class.
  • Andrew was the line leader for the boys, Sharon was assigned to lead the girls.
  • Andrew has to go back to school, his mother will make him take three baths a day.
  • Nicky Lane asked Miss Kelly for her magic formula, he wanted to get rid of his freckles.

  • These sentences are a typical example of student writing. You can call this a comma splice or a run-on sentence. There are many ways to correct this type of sentence. Of course, the simplest way is to divide them into two sentences. However, your third and fourth graders should be beginning to form compound sentences in their writing. A coordinating conjunction can show the relationship between the two sentences. Choose among AND, BUT, FOR, OR, SO for each of the five sentences above. Only one fits perfectly in each.

    After they understand these four examples, let them work in pairs to come up with original examples which relate to their own experience.

    For example, ask the following types of questions.

    Has your teacher ever asked you a question which you had trouble answering? What was the reason?

    Example of response: Mrs. Spencer asked me to look up the word, but I couldn't find my dictionary.

    What are you busy thinking about that makes it difficult to concentrate in class?

    I was busy thinking about recess, so I had trouble concentrating in Mrs. Spencer's class.

    Next, introduce the activity mats. Make sure each group has enough of the conjunctions to complete the activity. After they finish one mat, they can pass it along to the next group.

    Review as a class.

    If you are interested in purchasing this activity, click here: Freckle Juice: Novel Work. The digital download includes an additional 14 examples in worksheet format as well as on activity mats which give students the opportunity to place down the correct conjunction in between the two independent clauses.

    ~ Debby