In third grade, kids spend a lot of time learning how to master more advanced punctuation, such as quotation marks in dialogue sentences.& Don’t be surprised if the skills come slow: there are lots of tricky commas and spaces to master.
Often, kids practice with worksheets. But as Mother’s Day approaches, here’s a great way to practice while making a gift she’ll treasure for years. Everybody's grateful for Mom! Let them say just how.
What You Need:
- 3 pieces of card stock paper, 8-1/2”x11”
- 9 photos, old or new, of family, friends, and pets who love Mom (you may represent 9 separate people; or it’s also okay to repeat!)
- Glue stick
- Markers for drawing; black fine tip pen for writing
What You Do:
- Fold the card stock in half to make a booklet, 5-1/2” wide by 8-1/4” tall. Use a stapler to fasten the three pages on the fold.
- On the front, have your third grader make a cover. It should say “What We Love About Mom” and should have your child’s name, too. Encourage your child to finish it off with a special picture, either of something Mom loves, or of Mom herself!
- Now you’re ready for the “story.” On each of the inside pages, have your child glue a different photograph, and leave enough space at the bottom or top of each page for your child to write a full, solid sentence.
- Go back through the book. For each picture, have your child write one full sentence of dialogue, correctly punctuated, “from” that person (and remember: pets may “speak” in this way; so may babies and even beloved cantankerous machines, like the family car!) Here is one favorite from our family: Tunafish the cat says, “Every night you feed me my favorite liver-cod feast!”
- On the very last page of the book, your child can write the big punch line: Happy Mother’s Day! Wrap it up and be prepared—you can count on a book like this to bring huge guffaws, and possibly a tear or two, too. And don’t be surprised if you see some strong gains in quotation usage while you’re at it, too!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.