Lesson Plan

Making Independent and Dependent Clauses Fun!

In this lesson students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of both independent and dependent clauses, as well as using those clauses to identify and create complex sentences.
Kristen Z.
Classroom teacher
Marshall Elementary School
Wexford, United States
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My Grades 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to understand independent and dependent clauses, as well as identify phrases that are not clauses (fragments).  Students will also be able to understand how to create complex sentences using both independent and dependent clauses.

English Language Arts
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter

Activity: Investigating

Prior to this, the students have had a small mini lesson on independent and dependent clauses. They are able to identify them within a sentence.  Pass out an index card to each student on which you have either written an independent or dependent clause.  (If you have an odd number of students, you may need to participate yourself or simply place the extra card on the board for students to check to see if they have a match). As you create the cards, ensure that all dependent and independent clauses go together to make a complex sentence that makes sense.  Instruct the students to leave the card on their desks face down.  Conduct a small oral review of what makes an independent clause and a dependent clause for review to help alleviate any confusion during the next part.   Instruct the students that on your cue, they will get up and walk around the room to find their partner (dependent will be looking for independent and vice versa) that makes a complex sentence that makes sense.  I would inform the students that there is only 1 correct match for their card, so read and choose carefully.  I also have my students sit once they think they have found their match.   Give the students a signal to move and they will go around the room to find their match. 

After every student is seated, or at least has made an attempt, then we review them as a class. (In the case that you have students who are outliers and cannot find their match, have them stand off to the side of the room to wait until you check as a class).  One by one each pair will stand and read their complex sentence (each partner reading their part). The class then votes (thumbs up if correct, thumbs down if not).  If they are correct they can turn in their cards and return to their seats. If they are not correct, send them to the section of the room where you have the outliers standing to see if they can make a match.  Continue with this until everyone has a match and has shared out and is seated.

2 Direct Instruction

During this portion, you will play the BrainPOP movie entitled clauses.  Encourage the students to pay close attention to the video as there will be a quiz after.  Play the the video for the students whole group.

3 Guided Practice

Free, Paid

Create a quiz using Kahoot for the students to complete following the quiz. Use information from the quiz (to see if they paid close attention) and questions related to the information in the video (independent, dependent, fragments, etc.) to create the quiz.  Students will respond using Kahoot on their own devices.  As the students answer the questions and the answers pop up on their screens after the alotted time, take the time to address any misconceptions and discuss the content of the questions and video.

4 Guided Practice

Activity: Other — Cutting, Sorting, Pasting

During this portion of the lesson, students will return to the partner which they were match up with during the first part of this lesson. They will receive two papers.  One paper will have a 3 column chart labeled: Independent Clause, Dependent Clause, Not a Clause.  This is where they will be sorting and pasting their choices.  The second paper will have boxes on it that will be filled with examples of independent and dependent clauses and some that are just phrases and not clauses at all.  The students will work with their partner to sort these rectangular boxes of text into the 3 categories.  Following this sort, they will paste them into the column in which they belong.  

5 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating

After they do the cut and paste activity with a partner, they will be able to complete the back independently.  On the back of the paper, students will create 10 complex sentences using the independent and dependent clauses they just sorted on the front.  By this point they will be aware that they need to choose one from each column to make a complex sentence that makes sense.  They will write these sentences on the back of the paper.  

6 Wrap Up

Google Drive
Free, Paid

As a culminating activity, students will use Google Drive to create a Google Slideshow of their learning. They will identify/define what makes an independent and dependent clause, as well as show their ten complex sentence choices.