Sadlier Math Grades K–6
Core Program
Full Access
Progress in Mathematics Grades K–6
Core Program
Full Access
Progress in Mathematics Grades 7–8+
Core Program
Full Access
Progress Mathematics Grades K–8
National Program
Full Access
New York
Critical Thinking for Active Math Minds
Grades 3–6
Preparing for Standards Based Assessments
Grades 7–8
Vocabulary Workshop, Tools for Comprehension Grades 1–5
Print Program
Interactive Edition
Vocabulary Workshop Achieve Grades 6–12+
Print Program
Interactive Edition
Vocabulary Workshop, Tools for Excellence Grades 6–12+
Print Program
Interactive Edition
Vocabulary for Success
Grades 6–10
English Language Arts
Progress English Language Arts Grades K–8
National Program
Full Access
New York
Grammar & Writing
Grammar Workshop, Tools for Writing
Grades 3–5
Grammar for Writing
Grades 6–12
Writing a Research Paper
Grades 6–12
Writing Workshop
Grades 6–12
From Phonics to Reading Grades K-3
Print Program
Interactive Practice Bundle
Fluency Booster Practice Book
Sadlier Phonics
Grades K–3
Close Reading of Complex Texts Grades 3–8
Print Program
Interactive Edition

English Language Arts Blog

The home of Vocab Gal and other educational experts K–12 resources

May 24, 2016 CG Lessons 9-12, CG Writing Lessons 9-12, ELA Resources - Graphic Organizers, ELA Focus - Writing, ELA 9-12, ELA PD - Grammar Writing, ELA Focus - Grammar, Core Grammar

Crafting Clever Sentences; Organizers for Phrases and Clauses Practice

Making grammar exciting for students is rewarding and challenging at the same time. Whenever the opportunity arises, I like to add tangible and relatable elements to grammar instruction. For instance, the comma is a powerful, useful, and valuable punctuation marks, and teaching phrases and clauses can be fun!

Teaching Phrases and Clauses


To make the comma relatable to students, I might ask them to think of a household item that is powerful, useful, and valuable. Often, students will answer with vacuum cleaner. I would then ask students to brainstorm the traits of the vacuum. The might say it is sturdy, cleans up messes, and makes areas neat. Then, I would ask them how that might compare to a comma.

A comma acts as a strong structural element in a sentence. If too many words make a sentence clunky, a comma cleans up the mess. A comma separates sentences into manageable segments, keeping sentences tidy. What follows is a quick guide to comma use when teaching phrases and clauses.

  • Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of the seven FANBOYS, or coordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.

  • Use commas after introductory or dependent clauses or phrases that come before the independent clause.

  • Avoid commas after the independent clause when a dependent clause follows (unless an extreme contrast is given).

What follows are some common words to signify dependent clauses:


Phrases and Clauses Practice

Crafting Clever Sentences is a fun way to engage students in phrases and clauses practice. There are three different graphic organizers available to get your students writing with commas, phrases, and clauses. You can provide students with one of the Crafting Clever Sentences organizers or with all three.


Download Now

Each organizer will task students with a different objective for phrases and clauses practice. If you want to publicize your students’ work, transfer the graphic organizer to big chart paper and have each student write one of their sentences on it! Download the Crafting Clever SentencesPhrases and Clauses Organizers now.