Conjunction Exercise: The Comma Replaces the Conjunction

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  • Several cards on which and is printed in black on one side, a comma on the other.
  • 1 red and card.



  1. The directress writes several separate labels for various different objects.
  2. The child reads each label and places it with the object, in a row on the table.
  3. The black and cards are placed between the labels, and a red and card is placed between the last two objects' labels.
  4. The child reads the whole thing and interprets it; that is, she places the objects close together in a group.
  5. Observe how awkward it sounds.
  6. If necessary the directress should read it again.
  7. Let's try turning all of these cards (conjunction cards) over.
  8. On the back of each one is a comma (in red), except the last, which still says and.
  9. Instead of putting and between each thing, I can put this comma.
  10. The comma tells me that something is missing, but it is understood.
  11. The comma tells me to make a short pause as I read this list.
  12. The directress reads the new phrase.
  13. The last and must remain.
  14. It shows me that in place of those other commas, the word and is understood.

Control Of Error

Points Of Interest

It is important to make the child see that the comma takes the place of the conjunction, and that we must always have the last conjunction.

Note: Maria Montessori's original symbol was two golden chain links to represent this unifying word. That symbol was abandoned because it was too difficult to manufacture.