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Giselle Taraboletti

Title: Commas and Coordinating Conjunctions


Grade Level: 4th
Objective
Students will be able to correctly determine whether or not a sentence requires a
comma before a coordinating conjunction.
Standards
E04.D.1.2.3: Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound
sentence.
Anticipatory Set
To start things off, were going to watch a little video about conjunctions. Can anyone
tell me anything about conjunctions? Can you name any of them? Accept answers from
the class. Alright, those are some great ideas. Lets take a look at our video to learn some
more (or to review if they know conjunctions) about conjunctions. Play the Conjunction
Junction video. So to review, can someone name a conjunction? Accept answers. And
can anyone tell me what conjunctions do? Whats the function of a conjunction? Accept
answers. I can tell you were all paying attention. Today, Im going to teach you about
something related to conjunctions, and thats when to use a comma before writing a
conjunction.
Procedure
Introduction
1. So we know that our conjunctions are and, but, and or. And we know that they
connect words, phrases, and clauses. Write the conjunctions and their function on
a piece of paper projected on the doc cam. Have the students copy these things
into their Writing Notebooks. Write When do I need a comma before a
conjunction? on the sheet of paper.
2. In some cases we dont need a comma before a conjunction. For example, if I
have the sentence I like milk and cookies (write on the board) I dont need a
comma before my conjunction and (underline and in the sentence).
3. I also dont need to use a comma before the conjunction or in the sentence I
could eat cake or pie. (Write the sentence on the board and underline or).
4. But what happens if I write I like milk, cookies, and cake.? And what if I write,
I could eat cake, pie, or ice cream.? Circle the commas. When I have write a
list of 3 or more things in a sentence, I have to use commas to separate the things
on my list, and I have to use a comma before my conjunction.
5. Below When do I need a comma before a conjunction? have the students write
When I am writing a list of 3 or more things. And have them copy down the
example sentences I like milk, cookies, and cake. and I could eat cake, pie, or
ice cream. Write the same thing on the sheet of paper under the doc cam
Remember to underline your conjunction, and circle the comma that comes before
it.

6. We also need a comma when we write compound sentences. Can anyone tell me
what a compound sentence is? Accept answers. Right, so a compound sentence is
when we want to write 2 sentences and combine them with a conjunction. For
example, I want to eat cake. I want to drink milk. Those are two complete
sentences. I can combine them to make, I want to eat cake, and I want to drink
milk. Underline the conjunction, and circle the comma.
7. Write the sentences It started to snow, but school wasnt cancelled. and I could
go to the movies, or I could stay home. It started to snow is a complete
sentence and so is school wasnt cancelled. And we have the same thing with I
could go to the movies, or I could stay home. Every time we use a conjunction to
combine two complete sentences we need a comma before the conjunction. Have
the students add, when we combine two complete sentences with a conjunction
to their list. Have them write one or two of the example sentences beneath it in
their notebooks. Do the same on the sheet projected by the doc cam.
8. However, lets say I have the sentence I want to go outside and play in the
snow. I want to go outside is a complete sentence, but play in the snow is
not a complete sentence. So I dont need a comma before the word and.
9. Lets take a look at a piece of writing now and see if we can put what we learned
about commas and conjunctions into practice.
Modeling
1. Pass out a copy of the Mickey Mouse and The Creation of Disneyland
paragraphs. These two paragraphs are missing some important commas. Im
going to read through the first paragraph one time. Read through the paragraph.
Now that Ive read the paragraph once, watch me go through the paragraph
again and add in the commas where they need to go.
2. Walt Disney originally created a character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Unfortunately, the company Walt Disney worked for told him that he had to
accept a lower salary, or he would lose the rights to make Oswald cartoons. Oh, I
see the conjunction or. Let me underline it. Now I need to figure out if I need a
comma before the conjunction. Well, I dont have a list of three or more things. I
should check to see if I have a compound sentence. Unfortunately, the company
Walt Disney worked for told him that he had to accept a lower salary... He would
lose the rights to make Oswald cartoons. Yep, I have two complete sentences
here that are combined by the word or so I need a comma. (Write in a comma).
So instead of making less money, Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in the late
1920s to replace Oswald. At first, Mickey Mouse wasnt a successful character,
but after the short cartoon Steamboat Willie was released in 1928, Mickey
Mouse became a huge success. Theres my conjunction but. Again, I dont have

a list of three or more things so I should check to see if I have two complete
sentences combined by the word but. (Underline but) At first, Mickey
Mouse wasnt a successful character... After the short cartoon Steamboat Willie
was released in 1928, Mickey Mouse became a huge success. Those sound like
two complete sentences to me, so I need a comma before the word but (Write in
comma). Walt Disney began making more Mickey Mouse cartoons and eventually
introduced Minnie Mouse to the series. Here I have the conjunction and.
(Underline and). There isnt a list of three or more things in the sentence, so
now Im going to check to see if I have a compound sentence. Walt Disney began
making more Mickey Mouse cartoons. Thats one complete sentence.
Eventually introduced Minnie Mouse to the series. Uh oh, thats not a complete
sentence, which means I dont write a comma before and. Over time, Walt
Disney also added Donald Duck, Daise Duck, Goofy, and Pluto to Mickeys list of
friends. Theres the conjunction and again. (Underline and) I see that I have
a list of characters. There are four characters in my list, which is more than three,
so I need a comma before and. (Write in comma). Mickey Mouse has appeared
in dozens of short cartoons and movies. Today, Mickey Mouse is the face of
Disney, and he has been a beloved character for more than eighty years. Theres
and again, but this time its not being used in a list. Time to check for a
compound sentence. Today, Mickey mouse is the face of Disney. Yep thats a
complete sentence. He has been a beloved character for more than eighty
years. Thats also a complete sentence. So I need a comma before and.

Guided Practice
1. Okay, now were going to read through the paragraph called The Creation of
Disneyland at the bottom of your sheet.
2. The first time I read the passage, dont raise your hand, but start to think about
the conjunctions in the passage and whether or not we need a comma right before
them in the sentence. Read the passage once.
3. While I read it this time, raise your hand to stop me when I reach a conjunction.
Remember, our conjunctions are and, but, and or.
4. Read the passage a second time. Make sure to stop for the following sentences
and have the students tell you what the conjunction is (underline it) and whether
or not a comma needs to be added (add in the comma).

a. One day, Walt Disney sat on a bench in Griffith Park and watched his
daughters ride the merry-go-round.
b. Many years passed before Walts dream could become a reality, but in
1953, he bought the100 acres of land in Anaheim, California where
Disneyland would be located.
c. The park was completed on time, and people flocked to Disneyland from
miles around.
d. However, Disneyland had a rough opening day. Visitors had do deal with
problems including a terrible heat wave, broken water fountains, and
pavement that hadnt completely dried yet.
e. Disney fans can experience the magic in California, Florida, Japan, Paris,
or Hong Kong.
Independent Practice
1. So now that weve practiced this together, I think youre ready to try it on your
own. Pass out the Commas and Conjunctions packet.
2. Before you get started, can I have someone read the instructions on the first
page? Have a student read the instructions. Okay, so this first page is exactly what
we did in our The Creation of Disneyland passage. Flip over to the next page.
Could someone read me those instructions? Have a student read the instructions.
This activity is a little bit different. I want you to write me at least four sentences,
using each conjunction at least once and repeating one of them. You get to decide
whether or not you write a sentence that needs a comma before the conjunction,
but I want at least one of the sentences to have a comma before the conjunction.
And I want you to tell me why each sentence needs or doesnt need a comma
before the conjunction.
3. Give students time to work. Walk around the classroom and answer questions the
students have.
1.5 Differentiation:

Students who need extra help: Walk around and give students who need it help
on their independent practice. Encourage them to work with the person sitting
next to them as well. Pull them aside for a mini-lesson during WIN if their
packets suggest they need more assistance after the lesson is over.
Students who need a challenge: Give students who need a challenge the
opportunity to write their own story using commas before conjunctions, similar to
the paragraphs they read in the earlier parts of the lesson. During WIN, introduce
them to the less common coordinating conjunctions (nor, for, yet, and so).

1.1 Closure:

When there are a few minutes left in the class time, bring the class back
together. If you are finished with your work, I would love to collect your
packets. Please make sure your name is at the top. And if you are not done,

please finish it for homework by the time you see me on Tuesday. Before we
wrap up, can someone tell me one thing they learned today? Does anyone
have any questions about what we learned? Take student responses and
answer questions.
1.2 Assessment
Formative: I will assess the students through observation and class discussion. I
will observe whether or not the students are able to determine when a conjunction is
being used in a sentence and whether or not the students can accurately determine
whether or not a comma is necessary before the conjunction.
Summative: During the independent practice, I will check the students worksheets to
see if they able complete the task (as detailed in the formative assessment) on their
own. I will use the follow up questions to see what the students found easiest and
hardest when working with commas and conjunctions
Materials

Students Writing Notebooks


Mickey Mouse/The Creation of Disneyland passage
The Movie that Saved Disney Packet
Doc Cam
Computer (Conjunction Junction video)
Projector
Pencils
White Board/Dry Erase markers

**Note** All Worksheets to be included with Lesson Plan

Mickey Mouse
Walt Disney originally created a character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Unfortunately, the company Walt Disney worked for told him that he had to accept
a lower salary or he would lose the rights to make Oswald cartoons. So instead of
making less money, Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in the late 1920s to
replace Oswald. At first, Mickey Mouse wasnt a successful character but after the
short cartoon Steamboat Willie was released in 1928, Mickey Mouse became a
huge success. Walt Disney began making more Mickey Mouse cartoons and
eventually introduced Minnie Mouse to the series. Over time, Walt Disney also
added Donald Duck, Daise Duck, Goofy and Pluto to Mickeys list of friends.
Mickey Mouse has appeared in dozens of short cartoons and movies. Today,
Mickey Mouse is the face of Disney and he has been a beloved character for more
than eighty years.
The Creation of Disneyland
One day, Walt Disney sat on a bench in Griffith Park and watched his
daughters ride the merry-go-round. While sitting there, Walt Disney decided that
he wanted to create a magical park where parents and children could have fun
together. Many years passed before Walts dream could become a reality but in
1953, he bought the100 acres of land in Anaheim, California where Disneyland
would be located. Work on Disneyland began only twelve months before the park
was scheduled to open. The park was completed on time and people flocked to
Disneyland from miles around. However, Disneyland had a rough opening day.
Visitors had do deal with problems including a terrible heat wave, broken water
fountains and pavement that hadnt completely dried yet. Despite all of these
problems, though, Disneyland was a huge success. Today, there are five Disney

theme parks located around the world. Disney fans can experience the magic in
California, Florida, Japan, Paris or Hong Kong.

Instructions: In the following passage, there are four (4) missing commas before
conjunctions. Read the passage carefully and underline the conjunctions. Then, go
back and read the passage again, adding in the commas where they are missing.

The Movie That Saved Disney


In 1934, Walt Disney asked himself if he should keep making short
cartoons or if he should branch out and make a full-length movie. When Walt
Disney announced that he wanted to make a full-length film called Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs, people thought he was crazy but Walt Disney believed in
Snow White. He even took out a second mortgage on his house to fund the movie,
which meant that if the movie failed, Walt Disney couldve lost his house, his
studio and everything hed worked for. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs first
premiered on December 21st, 1937. The celebrity-filled audience loved the movie
and gave it a standing ovation. When the film was released to the public in
February of 1938, it made over eight million dollars, more than any other movie at
the time. Walt Disney even won an honorary Academy Award for Snow White,
where he was presented with one large Oscar and seven smaller statues. The
success of Snow White allowed Disney to keep making movies and it is because of
Snow White, the first Disney Princess ever, that every other Disney movie ever
made even exists.

Instructions: Now its your turn. In the space below, write four (4) sentences, and
use each of the conjunctions at least once. Decide whether or not your sentence
needs a comma before the conjunction. (At least one of your sentences should
need a comma before the conjunction.) Underneath the sentence, tell me why the
sentence does or does not need a comma before the conjunction using the rules
you wrote in your writers notebook.