10 Fun 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.

tips for teaching punctuation marks 

What are 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 different punctuation marks in the English language. In the United States we recognize the period, comma, exclamation point, question mark, colon, semicolon, hyphen, dash, parentheses, brackets, braces, apostrophe, ellipsis, and quotation marks. Not all of which are used solely at the end of sentences. Depending on the sentence structure, there are several punctuation rules.

Types of Punctuation Marks

  • period
  • comma
  • exclamation point
  • question mark
  • colon
  • semicolon
  • hyphen
  • dash
  • parentheses
  • brackets braces
  • apostrophe
  • ellipsis
  • 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

 

Tips for Teaching Punctuation Marks

  1. Make sure the young students have a strong foundation of concepts of print.
  2. During read alouds, emphasize strong emotion, pauses, and coming to a complete stop at the end of each sentence.  
  3. Use punctuation worksheets when teaching punctuation marks in small groups.
  4. Hang punctuation posters on a bulletin board for easy reference.
  5. Use a variety of punctuation in morning messages and shared writing activities.
  6. Encourage peer-checks and self-checks for punctuation in daily journal writing. This will help the kids become more aware of their own punctuation errors, as well as punctuation skills.
  7. Use a combination of contextual read alouds,
  8. Use Punctuation Task Cards as a fun way to practice. 
  9. Encourage end punctuation with a set of punctuation magnets.
  10. Let your advanced students highlight punctuation marks used in a popular news article or magazine.

 

Punctuation Marks Worksheets and Activities

Punctuation Task Cards

To help keep learning fun when teaching punctuation marks, I created a couple printable punctuation activities. You’ll find the printable activities focus on common punctuation marks used at the end of a sentence.

In short, the Parts of Speech Ending Punctuation Task Cards are perfect for building early reading and writing skills.

punctuation marks task cards

Get these task cards HERE or on TPT

 

This interactive reading activity is for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students.  They read the simple sentences on each card. After reading, they have to write the punctuation mark in the correct places on the provided recording sheet.

punctuation marks task cards

Get these printable task cards HERE or on TPT

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.  Answer keys are included.

tips for teaching punctuation marks 

 

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! These punctuation cards are a great resource that can be used in many different ways. 

Some of the great ways to use task cards include whole class teacher-led activity, scoot game, writing center, and guided reading. A primary teacher will also appreciate different uses. For example, task cards are a powerful tool as a Title 1 tutoring resource, parent volunteer activity, or as a Write the Room punctuation activity.

 

 

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.

teaching punctuation marks worksheets

Get these worksheets HERE or on TPT

These printable worksheets are a fun way for get a quick assessment on your punctuation lessons. Each worksheet has 10 simple sentences. At the end of each sentence, there is a blank box that represents the missing punctuation mark. The kids write the correct ending punctuation mark in the box.

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.

teaching punctuation marks worksheets

Get these worksheets HERE or on TPT

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!

 

 

 

Before you go, here are some blog posts you may enjoy:

4 Easy Steps to Start a Teacher Blog

The Best Tip for Cut and Paste Activities

20 Tips for Teaching Concepts of Print

5 Fun Activities for Speech and Language

 

Teaching Punctuation Marks