Having the right tools in your writing toolbox can make all the difference when it comes time to revise a composition. Do your students need a creative way to link ideas and show association? Then look no further than the correlative conjunction! First, let's look at this simple definition:
Today, we will focus on connecting two nouns for the purpose of simplification. Remember, the reason for the correlation determines which pair of correlative conjunctions to use. Here are three examples to model for your students that will show them how to associate two ideas in a logical manner.
Either – or can show choices.
The dog made a mess in the kitchen. The cat made a mess in the kitchen.
Either the dog or the cat made a mess in the kitchen.
Neither – nor can show the absence of choices.
Maria cannot go to the game tonight. Tammy cannot go to the game tonight.
Neither Maria nor Tammy can go to the game tonight.
Both – and can show a link between two words or phrases.
Henry will be here soon. His big brother will be here soon.
Both Henry and his big brother will be here soon.
Don't forget to mention to your students that both sides of their sentence should be parallel in structure when using correlative conjunctions. Any pronouns or verbs used at the end of the sentence should agree with whatever is mentioned last.
As your students grow in their abilities to use correlative conjunctions effectively, they will show an increased level of maturity in their writing. This is a skill that they can take with them into their future college and career adventures!
EXTEND THE LESSON: Why not make this a group activity?!? Here's an idea to get you started.