Helping Students Understand
Dependent and Independent Clauses
Activity by Suzy Red

A writing idea using the list below:
Give students a copy of the "If...," dependent clauses, and ask them to finish the quotes by adding independent clauses.  The other half of the class receives the independent clauses and is asked to finish them by adding "If.....," dependent clauses.  When complete, compare our lists to the list below.

Before school is out, have each student write one new complex sentence about something that happened in school today.  Remind them that complex sentences contains both an independent and a dependent clauses.  Suggest a list of conjunctions like when, after, because, although, since, and before, to replace the "if" we used in the practice.

As a get acquainted activity, give some students one "If....," part each and others one independent clause each.  Instruct them to walk around, meet each other partner-up find the best match.  Discuss the results.

Classroom rules for the new year...

Author Unknown 

*  If you open it, close it. 
*  If you turn it on, turn it off. 

*  It you value it, take care of it. 

*  If it isn't broken, don't fix it. 

*  If you break it, admit it. 

*  If it's your fault, apologize for it. 

*  If you make a mess, clean it up. 

*  If you move it, put it back. 

*  If it's not yours, don't take it. 

*  If it belongs to someone else and you want to use it, get permission. 

*  If you borrow it, return it. 

*  If you don't know how to operate it, leave it alone. 

*  It it's not your turn, wait until it is. 

*  If someone else is speaking, wait until they finish. 

*  If it's none of your business, don't ask questions. 

*  If it's not true, don't say it. 

*  If it will tarnish someone's reputation, keep it to yourself. 

*  It if will brighten someone's day, say it.