Transitional Words/Phrases


The lesson introduces students to the many transitional words, phrases, and clauses they can use to manage the sequence of events for narrative writing, stories, and other types of text.  Many students can write paragraphs well, but often have a difficult time transitioning from one subtopic to another.  It is recommended teachers give students the opportunity to practice their writing using the transitions.

Transitional Words/Phrases Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Subject-Verb Agreement passages and copies of worksheets
  • Activity pages about Transitional Words/Phrases
  • Practice pages on Transitional Words/Phrases
  • Homework page
  • Answer Key
  • Built for Grades 5-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson introduces students to the many transitional words, phrases, and clauses they can use to manage the sequence of events for narrative writing, stories, and other types of text. The lesson defines transition and then offers two sample paragraphs, one with transition words and one without so students have a visual example of the importance of transition words. A detailed list of transition words, broken down by purpose (such as to compare or to summarize) is included with the lesson. The lesson may be used in conjunction with other writing-related lessons.

Sample Classroom Procedure/Teacher Resources:  

  1. Display a list of about 10 transitional words or phrases. Ask students if they can identify what the words and phrases have in common, and if there is anything different about them
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students to explain how, when, and why they might be used for writing.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion, asking students to give examples of their use. Introduce Transitional Words and Phrases to the class.
  4. Distribute Transitional Words/Phrases content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Use current reading content or other subject matter for students to identify the correct use of transitional words and phrases.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Remind students that every sentence will not necessarily include a transition.  They will need to include other sentences without transitions.  Paragraphs may include stories or other types of writing.  Allow sufficient time for completion.
  6. Once completed, student pairs share one or more paragraphs with the class or another pair of students.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  9. In closing, ask students: Review the transitional words and phrases, and choose one or two of them that would best be a representation of your personality and/or life. Tell why.
  10. Allow for responses and discussion. Share an example with the class, such as by contrast may be a symbol of a student being different than others, or to be exact may symbolize a student who does well in school.  Ask students to be creative and then to use it in a sentence.

Common Core State Standards:


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Additional information

Grade Level

5th Grade, 6th Grade


Language Arts