Activities to Teach Students to Identify Dependent and Independent Clauses

Dependent and independent clauses are two essential components of English grammar, and it’s crucial for students to learn how to identify and differentiate between them. Knowing how to tell the difference between dependent and independent clauses is critical in mastering sentence structure and composition. In this article, we will focus on some activities that can help students to identify dependent and independent clauses and enhance their writing skills.

1. Sentence Construction Game

Start by dividing the students into groups and then provide several cards with clauses or phrases on them. Ask the groups to come up with as many independent clauses as possible using the given phrases. Afterward, they can exchange the cards with another team and try to create dependent clauses using the same phrases. This activity will help the students understand the difference between dependent and independent clauses and how they form complete sentences.

2. Sentence Sorting Activity

In this activity, prepare a list of sentences with both dependent and independent clauses mixed together. Ask the students to sort the sentences into two categories: one for independent clauses and the other for dependent ones. To make it more engaging, you can include sentences that have both clauses mixed up, making the task more challenging.

3. Identifying Clauses in Text

Provide the students with a few paragraphs from a storybook or a novel and ask them to identify the independent and dependent clauses. This activity will enhance students’ comprehension skills and make them more skilled in recognizing clauses in a sentence. The students can work on this activity independently, and they can also check their answers in class for clarification.

4. Clause Hierarchy Activity

In this activity, provide two or three sentences with dependent clauses to each student. Ask the students to rank the clauses in these sentences from least important to most important. This way, the students will understand how dependent clauses build upon the independent clause to make meaningful sentences.

5. Creating Meaningful Sentences

Provide the students with a list of dependent clauses and a few independent clauses. Ask the students to come up with meaningful sentences by combining the clauses in a creative way. This activity will not only develop their understanding of dependent and independent clauses but also help them create well-written and sophisticated sentences.

In conclusion, learning to identify dependent and independent clauses is crucial for students to enhance their writing and comprehension skills. By incorporating these activities, teachers can make English grammar more fun and interactive for students. These activities will not only help students identify different clauses but also open the doors for the development of a strong foundation in English grammar.  

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