Resources needed:

  • Dice
  • Who/why/where/when/how/? stickers
  • List of main clauses
  • Large pieces of paper
  • Packets of Post-it notes


  1. Give one of the dice to each pair of children and ask them to stick the little stickers over the numbers. Now show a main clause to the children and ask them to roll the dice.
  2. Each child should use the prompt on the dice to extend the sentence in some way, either by beginning with a subordinate clause or using a conjunction to add to the end of the main clause. For example, if the main clause was ‘I went swimming’ and the dice roll is ‘where’, they could say ‘I went swimming in the wide blue ocean’.
  3. The ‘?’ on the dice allows the children to choose their own addition to the main clause.
  4. Repeat this activity a few times until everyone has made several sentences. Can anyone offer their best/strangest/funniest sentence?

Teaching point: remind children of the difference between extending a sentence using a conjunction, and beginning the next sentence with a connective.

  1. Now give a group of four or five children a large piece of paper and a packet of Post-it notes. In the centre of the large piece of paper, they should write a main clause (with your guidance where necessary). This clause is best if it takes the form of a definite statement, such as ‘The public pool is always full of people’ or ‘Nobody has ever touched the Loch Ness Monster’.
  2. The children should now use the Post-it notes to write as many subordinate clauses as they can, particularly using the conjunctions ‘when’, ‘if’, ‘because’ and ‘although’.
  3. After a suitable amount of time, allow the children to share their ideas – perhaps this could take the form of a learning walk around the class, looking at each other’s ideas and even adding to them where possible.


Further Activities:

Print out a list of conjunctions and have them handy in the classroom. When the children are writing independently, stop them occasionally and hold up a conjunction – challenge the whole class or a targeted group to use that conjunction in their next sentence. They could highlight this sentence to show you that they did it.

Using the same cards, give them out during a writing session and ask the children to include as many of the listed conjunctions as they can.

Make deliberate mistakes when modelling writing with the class – begin with a subordinate clause and see if anyone spots the missing main clause. Can they suggest an appropriate way of completing the sentence?


Curriculum Areas covered:


(Y3/4) Pupils should be taught to:

  • extending the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although