05 September 2013

I SAW A BUTWUB: Subordinating Conjunctions Lesson Success!

You've probably heard of FANBOYS when talking about coordinating conjunctions, but where is the acronym for subordinating conjunctions? Of course there are, like, zillions of subordinating conjunctions, so one must pick and choose. I chose my 10 favorites, based on what my I've seen my Creative Writing class use or suspect they would use. I arranged them on the SMARTboard, and we shuffled them around until we got an acronym we could remember. The result?


What's a BUTWUB, you ask? Well, in the style of Allie Brosh's Alot, we invented our own creature. Meet the BUTWUB:
Leaving class, girls (the whole class is girls) were writing I SAW A BUTWUB all over themselves and threatening to go up to the principal and say BUTWUB to see what she does. I said this could only happen if they could immediately tell her what BUTWUB stood for:


Although (added for symmetry.)

And they pretty much can. They're actually a little obsessed.
This made the writing activity that followed  easier. Now instead of "subordinating conjunctions," we can just say BUTWUBs. These also became BUTWUBs:

I made slips like this for each of the BUTWUBs to demonstrate the appropriate way to structure sentences with subordinating conjunctions, both at the beginning, and at the end. Being a Creative Writing class full of teenage girls, we have problems overusing cliches in class, so we combined our list of brainstormed cliches to try to make some truly spectacular poetry.

Each girl selected 3 BUTWUB slips from the pile, and we filled out the first two lines, talking about how we needed a subject-verb combination on each line--with as many cliches as possible.

Then they could use all new cliches or basically reverse the order of the previous ones for the third line.

They completed this with all 3 and then had to decide which order they should go in, even if they were completely unrelated (though they were encouraged to add more to connect them if they needed to make more sense.)

Now Creative Writing knows some of the most common subordinating conjunctions and how to use them in a sentence, plus they have some interesting BUTWUB cliche poetry!

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