Lesson plan

Earth Day Punctuation

Earth Day is a time for raising awareness and appreciation for our environment. It’s also a time for using correct punctuation! With this lesson, your students will use correct punctuation, like commas, quotation marks, and apostrophes.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to use correct punctuation.

(2 minutes)
  • Invite students to play a quick game in which they guess the topic of the lesson. They will look at the symbols that are on the board and make connections to figure out the topic.
  • Draw a period, question mark, quotation marks, comma, apostrophe, and exclamation point.
  • Allow students to share their thoughts about the topic of the lesson, and confirm that this lesson is about punctuation.
(10 minutes)
  • State the objective of today’s lesson and have students repeat it.
  • Explain to students that punctuation is marks, like periods and commas, in a piece of writing that make its meaning clear and that separate it into sentences and clauses.
  • Review punctuation rules and give examples of each by displaying them on the document camera: For example, "When we create the possessive form of a noun, we use an apostrophe, which is the punctuation mark that is used to show possession," etc.
  • Explain that today’s lesson will be include sentences that teach us a little about Earth Day, which is a day that brings awareness and appreciation about the environment.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide students into small groups of 3-4 students. Distribute a copy of the Punctuate the Story: Earth Day worksheet to each student.
  • Read the passage aloud to the class, purposely making it sound funny with the lack of correct punctuation.
  • Instruct students to fix the paragraph using all of the different types of punctuation reviewed earlier in the lesson. Encourage students to look at the example sentences as a reference as they complete the group work.
  • Circulate while the groups work and listen to conversations about why certain punctuation is needed. Prompt students to discuss why the punctuation belongs there.
  • Go over the worksheet as a class and have students defend their answers. Call on non-volunteers to either agree or disagree and explain.
(10 minutes)
  • Give each student a copy of the Earth Day Sentence Editing worksheet.
  • Instruct students to edit the sentences using the punctuation rules that were reviewed and practiced in today’s lesson.


  • Provide struggling students with example sentences with each mistake and how it is corrected.
  • Reduce the number of questions students must complete on the independent practice.
  • Support students by highlighting the locations of the mistakes in each sentence.
  • Read the sentences aloud to the students, or have students read the sentences aloud to themselves.


  • Partner advanced students together and have each create a paragraph with punctuation mistakes. Have them trade paragraphs and correct the punctuation.
(5 minutes)
  • Give each student an index card. Present them with the instructions for the exit ticket: Write a sentence that uses two of the following types of punctuation: quotation marks, comma, period, question mark, exclamation point, apostrophe.
  • Utilize the exit ticket and independent practice as a formative assessment of students’ mastery of using correct punctuation.
(3 minutes)
  • Ask students to turn and talk to a partner about what they learned about Earth Day through the punctuation lesson today.
  • Call on non-volunteers to share either what they or their partner learned.
  • Choose 1-2 answers, record the sentences without punctuation on the document camera, and have students point out and explain where the punctuation goes.

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