Resources needed:

  • Sentence cards halved into beginnings and endings.
  • A selection of words with their synonyms and antonyms, e.g. big, large, small, tiny
  • A list of Initial clauses for step 4.



  1. Begin with some work on connectives. Give all children half a sentence, either a beginning (We were out shopping; The road was uneven; They ran outside) or an ending (it began to rain.; it was relatively new.; they saw the rainbow.) Remind the children how to differentiate between the two, using the punctuation as a guide.
  2. Now ask the children to find an appropriate other half to their sentence. The pair of children formed by doing this should agree on a connective which would appropriately link the two parts together (e.g. We were out shopping when it began to rain)

Teaching Point: Discuss connective phrases – sometimes the sentences could be joined together with a phrase rather than a single word.  Discuss also, the use of adverbial phrases to connect ideas

  1. Now give each child a word from the synonym/antonym selection. Ask them to form a ‘family’ by showing their cards to other classmates. Once the families have formed, ask the children if they can think of any further synonyms/antonyms for their group.
  2. Show the children the active punctuation moves for a semi-colon (a punch in the air, with a swipe underneath). Start off a sentence and ask for an independent, but related clause to partner it. For example, you might say, ‘Tom was asleep’ and a partner clause might be ‘the house was silent’. The child who volunteers the partner clause can say the entire sentence aloud, including the semi-colon in the correct place. After a few tries, let the children work in pairs to make their own pairs of related clauses, complete with semi-colons.
  3. Complete the session with word association – start the game by saying a noun. The next person should use an adjective to describe the noun. The third person should say a noun which could be described by the previous adjective and so on until the entire class has had a turn (how quickly can they do it? No repeated words!) For example: Lipstick, red, traffic light, glowing…

Further activities:

Challenge the children to find as many different kinds of connective as possible in their own reading books. Create a wall of connectives for the children to use in their own work.

Have a ‘word of the day’ and ask the children to come up with as many synonyms and antonyms for that word as possible.

Practise all the actions for the other punctuation marks. A video can be found at

Curriculum Areas covered:

Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation – Y6

Linking ideas across paragraphs using a wider range of cohesive devices: repetition of a word or phrase, grammatical connections [for example, the use of adverbials such as on the other hand, in contrast, or as a consequence]

How words are related by meaning as synonyms and antonyms [for example, big, large, little].

Use of the semi-colon, colon and dash to mark the boundary between independent clauses [for example, It’s raining; I’m fed up]