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The Best Tips for Teaching Punctuation Marks
Ending punctuation marks are the basic symbols when learning to read. The symbols of the English language, such as periods, question marks, and exclamation points, help readers understand the meaning of text.
Today, I’m going to share the worksheets and task cards I use to reinforce the use of punctuation marks.
What is Punctuation Marks
When referring to punctuation marks, we are referencing the symbols found within printed text. Enchanting Learning best explains punctuation marks as symbols used to aide clarity and comprehension in our written language.
Punctuation Marks Names
There are 14 punctuation marks in the English language.
They include the period, comma, exclamation point, question mark, colon, semicolon, hyphen, dash, parentheses, brackets, braces, apostrophe, ellipsis, and quotation marks.
Why is Punctuation Important
How often do you pick up a students writing journal and find a page of wonderful thoughts ran together into one long sentence?
Do you notice kids are lacking expression and fluency when reading aloud?
This demonstrates a lack of awareness or understanding of punctuation. As a kindergarten teacher, and K-2 reading intervention tutor, I saw this all too often.
Punctuation marks are important because they guide readers to comprehend the meaning of text. Certain use of punctuation, or lack of punctuation, can give text a completely different meaning. Students will struggle as readers and writers without a foundation and understanding of this skill.
Tips for Teaching Punctuation Marks
- Make sure they have a strong foundation of concepts of print
- Emphasize use of punctuation while doing read alouds
- Use a variety of punctuation in morning messages and shared writing activities
- Encourage self-checks for punctuation in daily journal writing.
- Use a combination of contextual read alouds, fill in the blank punctuation worksheets, and punctuation activity cards.
Punctuation Marks Printable Activities
Punctuation Task Cards
To help teach this early reading and writing skill, I created these Parts of Speech Ending Punctuation Task Cards.
This interactive reading activity is for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students. They read the short sentence then write the correct punctuation mark on their recording sheet.
When working with my kindergarten guided reading groups, I read aloud the sentences to the students. This would allow me to emphasize expression in my voice to reinforce punctuation.
After all, I want them to focus on 3 punctuation marks, and not struggle with unknown words. They listen to my tone, and write which punctuation mark they believe should be at the end.
The first graders, depending on their current reading level, enjoy reading the task cards on their own.
Whereas, the second graders had no problem completing the task cards on their own. In fact, the second graders would ask if they can read the cards to a partner, and have the partner do the punctuation marks recording sheet.
The kids also loved using the punctuation task cards as a Scoot Game. Needless to say, they can be used with a wide span of early readers.
How to Use Punctuation Task Cards
Did you know task cards can be used in many ways?
For example, these punctuation marks task cards can be used as a whole class activity, a scoot game, in a writing or reading station, a fluency intervention tool in guided reading, a title 1 resource, or set up as a read and write the room center.
I love investing in task cards, because I can use them in so many different ways.
- Whole class teacher-led activity
- Scoot game – get the kiddos up and moving around
- Writing Center
- Guided Reading
- Title 1 resource
- Write the Room
- Parent Volunteer activity
Ending Punctuation Task Card Reviews
Here is a look at what other teachers and homeschool moms are saying about these printable punctuation activities:
Punctuation Marks Worksheets
As a follow-up to the Parts of Speech task cards, I check the students understanding with these Printable Punctuation Marks Worksheets.
These fill-in-the-blank punctuation worksheets have many uses. For example, I used them as a punctuation mark assessment for progress monitoring, homework, morning work (bell work), in my reading intervention groups, and as a whole class mini-lesson on learning to use punctuation.
Understanding and using punctuation is a vital skill within the English language. Teaching ending punctuation doesn’t have to be complicated. Model expression and implement interactive activities to build their awareness of punctuation, and you’ll see improvement in no time!
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