Lesson plan

Question or Exclamation?

Let's use exclamation points! Help your students become more expressive, efficient readers and writers by teaching them about this special punctuation mark.
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Students will be able to use exclamation points effectively in oral and written language, generate their own sentences using exclamation marks, and read to convey messages clearly to listeners.

(10 minutes)
  • Begin the lesson by asking students if they have ever been excited or angry.
  • Ask them how they show that they are excited, surprised, or scared.
  • Explain to your students that people often shout when they are angry, surprised, or excited.
  • Invite volunteers to demonstrate excitement or surprise.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to your students that an exclamation point is a punctuation mark usually used to indicate strong feelings or high volume and often marks the end of a sentence. For example: Watch out!
  • Have students generate a list of words that show excitement, surprise, relief, anger, and fear. For example: Oh no! Go away! Ouch! Hooray!
  • Write these words on the board, emphasizing that you are writing an exclamation point each time.
(20 minutes)
  • In groups, instruct students to write sentences on sentence strips using one of the listed exclamatory words.
  • Invite each group to share sentences with the class using correct intonation and pitch. Remind your students to elevate their voices.
  • Allow the class to comment and determine whether other students are using the exclamation point appropriately.
  • Give question mark cards and exclamation point cards to each student. Have students give example sentences, and instruct the rest of the class to listen and raise the correct card when a question or exclamatory sentence is spoken.
  • Play another version of this game by asking your students to listen carefully to the sentences. Direct them to stomp their feet at the end of a sentence if it is a question and clap their hands once if it is an exclamatory sentence. If the sentence is neither a question sentence nor an exclamatory sentence, have your students remain silent.
(15 minutes)
  • Give students simple sentences in different ways so that they can be transformed into statements, exclamations, and questions. For example: Run John! Can John run? John runs.
  • For each sentence, ask your students to copy the statement and write the correct ending mark on a piece of paper.
  • Enrichment: Instruct your students to write a short story with as many question sentences and exclamatory sentences to read aloud.
  • Support: Have struggling students act out a scene where they act out questions and the feelings that typically accompany exclamation points. Instruct them to write down what they said.
(10 minutes)
  • During the lesson, observe students who are participating, following directions, and keeping up with their peers.
  • Check completed work.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students reread their sentence strips and display them in the classroom.

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