What Are the Best Tips for Teaching Punctuation?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2019
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Some of the best tips for teaching punctuation are those that recommend ensuring that students see plenty of examples of proper punctuation. For example, a teacher could display proper punctuation in the classroom and expose students to it through textbooks. He can also provide reading material that is properly punctuated so that students can see how punctuation is used in various types of writing. Providing students with opportunities to practice using punctuation and to proofread written material may help as well. Additionally, incorporating fun with lessons may prove effective for younger students.

One of the best tips for teaching punctuation is to provide opportunities to see correct punctuation in action. For example, writing sentences with correct punctuation for students to view may help. Likewise, a student can learn a good deal about proper punctuation by reading books, magazines, and newspapers in addition to the textbooks used to teach punctuation in class. Additionally, exposing students to many different types of reading materials may help them understand the different punctuation rules that are acceptable in various types of writing. For instance, they may learn that the punctuation rules that are acceptable for poetry differ from those used in news article writing.


Another helpful tip for teaching punctuation involves providing hands-on practice. Many people learn better by doing. As such, providing students with plenty of opportunities to practice punctuation in class exercises might help. Teachers may also do well to assign projects in which a student has to write essays or stories. Such assignments can help to provide plenty of practice with punctuation.

Teachers might also help their students by having them proofread each other's work. This allows students to hone their punctuation skills by correcting others' mistakes. Students could also share feedback with each other after such assignments, which can help both the proofreader and the writer learn and improve. A teacher can also provide worksheets that include proofreading exercises for extra practice.

If a teacher is teaching younger students, some of the best tips for teaching punctuation may include those that involve incorporating fun into the lessons. For example, a teacher can use games and songs to help reinforce lessons and encourage students to retain the information they learn. Teachers might also create friendly competitions in which students work to identify the correct punctuation before the other team. This could also work in competitions in which students have to identify the punctuation mistakes in a reading passage.


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Post 3

@Mor - I think that tablets and computers certainly have a place in the classroom these days, but I don't think something like punctuation should be left entirely to games. The kids won't have a real context for it if all they've ever done is play Punctuation Paintball or something like that.

I think you should use them as a consolidation tool, maybe, or just another way of getting a lesson across, but the primary means of teaching should always be through doing something practical, like writing a letter or a story, or reading a book.

Post 2

Another good tip for modern schools (or at least, schools which can afford it) is to try and use tablets to help teach things like this. There are plenty of different and often free games which will help when teaching features of grammar, and you can't get the kids off them, once they start using them.

It's a really good way to teach them something which might otherwise be really dry and difficult for them to find relevant.

Post 1

Something which I think is very important is that you really need to explicitly teach punctuation, not just hope that they will pick it up from reading or from other activities.

Some kids will pick it up that way, some simply will not notice, or won't notice the pattern, unless they are shown it.

I'm teaching very young students at the moment and we read books together all the time and I'll say to them, why did they put this here? Because it's the end of a sentence. Or, how do we know to be excited now? Because there's an exclamation mark.

I know it's become the done thing to teach creativity and hope the techniques will get picked up along the way, but it's not that difficult or time consuming to do both, just through thinking aloud about different features of a text.

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