Play With Punctuation
Punctuation is essential to good reading and writing, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun too! Geared toward children in kindergarten and first grade, this playful lesson plan teaches young learners the basics of punctuation through hands-on games and activities. After reviewing common punctuation marks (such as question marks, exclamation points, and commas) and warming up with some practice sentences, children will enjoy the chance to play with punctuation in games such as Punctuation Red Light, Green Light, Gotcha! A Punctuation Read-aloud Game, and a reading or matching worksheet (depending on skill level).
Students will be able to identify and properly use common punctuation marks.
- Explain to the class that punctuation is the usage of marks to make the meanings of sentences clearer.
- Have students name some punctuation marks that they already know.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Write down a few non-punctuated sentences on the board. For example: I went to the park yesterday I had a great time What did you do yesterday
- Ask the students to suggest ways to punctuate the sentences.
Guided Practice(20 minutes)
- Once the students are warmed up for the lesson, take them outside to play Punctuation Red Light, Green Light.
- Follow the activity instructions as closely as you can.
Independent working time(30 minutes)
- Hand out a copy of Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann (or another grade-appropriate reading book) to each student.
- Follow the instructions to Gotcha! A Punctuation Readaloud Game. However, instead of working with each student one-on-one, have students form small groups.
- Conduct the activity once with each group. Each time you visit a group, have the other groups read the book on their own.
- Once students are done with the activity, have them work on either the Wolf and the Goat or Punctuation Match-up worksheet. (See Differentiation for details.)
- Enrichment: Have advanced students work on The Wolf and the Goat worksheet during Independent Working Time.
- Support: Work with struggling students on the Punctuation Symbols worksheet during Independent Working Time.
- Write some incorrectly-punctuated sentences on the board.
- Ask the students to proofread your sentences. Each time a student makes a suggestion, ask him to explain the reason why the change needs to be made.
- Assess students' understanding of the lesson content based on their answers.
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- Review the correct ways to use common punctuation marks. Marks you should definitely cover are the period, comma, question mark, and exclamation point.