Transition words lend themselves to formal writing, but can also be very helpful when expanding general ideas in a more creative context. They help writers smoothly move from one paragraph to another; relating ideas within the text. In order to reinforce these concepts, use fun activities within the classroom and assign more homework. Check out our collection of 12 transition word activities to get started!
1. Stale Transitions
A great way to help students recognize the issues in writing is to make it as “stale” as possible. Younger students use “and then…” when telling stories due to a lack of transitional know-how. Write a chronological story together as a class and start each sentence with “And then…”. Supply the students with a list of transitional words and help them decide where to insert them in order to improve the flow of the story.
2. Skeleton Worksheets
Give students the bones of a story with the transitional words already there. Let them fill in the blanks with details before comparing stories to see how different they are. Then, flip it! Give them all the same story without the transitional words and see how they use the words to make the story flow.
3. Teach a How-To
Assign students a “teaching project” where they are to instruct the class on how to make or do something. They’ll need to write a script that is clear and gives their classmates instructions on what to do and in what order. They’ll need transitional words in order to make this possible. Then, have them teach!
4. Color Code Transition Words
Many transition words can be sorted into categories; including the beginning, middle, and end. You can equate these to a stoplight, showing the beginning words in green, the middle words in yellow, and the end words in red. Make a poster and include this on your classroom wall to create something for learners to refer to all year round!
Learn more: Scholastic
5. Compare & Contrast
Compare two unlike items, or contrast items that are very similar. Teach kids an assortment of comparative transition words and then play a game where they need to use the words to earn points for similarities and differences.
6. Animal vs. Animal
Kids love to research animals, and you can use comparative transition words in order to answer questions like, “Who would win in a fight- an alligator or an eagle?”. This makes a great research project combined with a writing assignment where kids use the facts they discover to prove their hypothesis.
7. Mother, May I?
Qualifying transitional words lend themselves to conditions. Put a twist on the traditional “Mother, May I?” game by adding conditions to each request. For example, “Mother, may I jump?” can be answered with, “You may jump, but only if you remain in one place.”
8. How Do You Know?
Answering the question “How Do You Know?” prompts students to review information they’ve learned and also use illustrative transition words to prove their point. This is a great way to revise information you’ve been studying in class.
9. Take a Stance
Opinion and persuasive-based transitional words require students to take a stance and convince their classmates that what they believe is correct. Have students pick an issue that deals with something they’re studying, such as environmental issues. You can even pair students together to create a pro and con argument for their topic using transitional words, before presenting to the class to vote on the statements they agree with the most.
10. Story Mix Up
Take well-known stories and scramble them up so they’re not in the correct order. This is a great way to teach kids chronologic transition words and also teach about the story. After the basic stories, have kids write their own plot points on index cards and then mix them up with partners to see if they can discover the order of the story based on the transitional words they’ve used.
11. Listen Up
TEDEd talks are full of expert information. Have students listen to a talk related to your course of study and write down the transitional words they hear the presenter use. This is a great way to practice and develop auditory skills!
Practice oratory skills with a more complex project like a speech. Have students use “I” statements to give their opinions and support them with evidence. This is a great way to support class elections or to analyze a speech that political candidates give. You can also have older kids visit younger classrooms to give their speeches.