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Learning Dependent and Independent Clauses

Learning Dependent and Independent Clauses

Learning Dependent and Independent Clauses

Santa “Clause” Game

It’s time to make learning and practicing those pesky dependent and independent clauses fun!  This activity will have your child learning about the different types of clauses, not to mention the punctuation that goes in the middle. By matching Christmas clauses, your student will get a slice of learning along with some Christmas fun!

Here’s what you need:

  • Red and green construction paper cut into small rectangles
  • Construction paper of a contrasting color, cut into small rectangles
  • Pen or marker


What to do:

Step 1:  Both you and your child should each come up with ten or more clauses having to do with the holidays, making sure that you have a mix of independent and dependent clauses, and that some contain conjunctions. For example: I want one thing this Christmas: a new bike. Mom and Dad sometime sleep in on Christmas morning, but I always wake up early. Each clause should be written on its own piece of paper, but don’t include the colon or semicolon on the card. With each rectangle representing a separate paper, it should look something like this:

I want one thing this Christmas a new bike
Mom and Dad sometime sleep in on Christmas morning but I always wake up early

Step 2:  On the six cards of a contrasting color, label two with a comma, two with a semicolon, and two with a colon. Place them in a pile, face-down.

Step 3:  Mix the “clause cards” up and place them face down.

Step 4:  Play the clause game! To play, each player takes turns turning over one of the punctuation cards. They then must match two clause cards that might use that punctuation mark. For instance, if you draw a comma card, you first turn over one clause card. You then have three chances to turn over another clause card that works with the first and with the comma to form a correct sentence.


Try this activity when learning and practicing dependent and independent clauses!


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