PUNCTUATION: CAPITAL LETTERS, PERIODS, COMMAS AND QUESTION MARKS
Set A: Used to illustrate the capital letter at the beginning of each sentence and the full stop at the end. The first three cards each have one sentence with the capital letter and full stop highlighted in red. The other three cards duplicate these sentences but have no capital letter or full stop. The needed capital letters and full stop marks are each written in red on small cards sized to match the text.
Set B: Used to illustrate commas. It is constructed as for Set A.
Set C: Used to show the question mark. It is constructed as for Set A.
- Invite one child to work with you and have the child bring over the material.
- Have the child understand that you will be showing him some sentences with punctuation.
- With the first set, ask the child to read each card in turn.
- Emphasis the first letter in red that is a capital letter and the dot (period) at the end is a full stop.
- With each card, conversationally highlight the function of those two punctuations. (An indirect Three Period Lesson) For example, tell the child that all sentences begin with a capital letter and once our sentence is done, we place a dot to tell the read that the sentence is done.
- Then put those cards away and take out the second set.
- Lay out the punctuation marks (capital letters and periods)
- Take one sentence at a time, help the child conversationally place each punctuation mark where needed.
- Once each card has been done, have the child check his work against the first set of cards.
- Then put the punctuation marks and cards away.
The child works as shown.
- Conversationally bring the child’s attention to the commas. “I see two little red marks. These are called ‘commas’. Can you say comma?”
- Have the child read the sentence. Bring to the child’s attention that the sentence is very long.
- Tell the child that commas tell us to pause just for a short breath. “Sometimes in a very long sentence, we have to stop to take a breath. And we can take our breath whenever we see a comma.”
- Have the child read the sentence with these pauses.
- Bring the child’s attention to the words that come between the two comas. Tell the child that the words between the commas give us addition information.
- Tell the child that we can read the sentence without the words between the commas.
- Read the sentence without the words between the commas.
- Tell the child that although it makes sense, the words between the commas give us some additional information that helps us understand the sentence a little better.
- Have the child read the sentence again.
- Read all of the cards before putting them away.
- Take out the second set of cards.
- Lay out the commas in a row.
- Take one sentence at a time, help the child conversationally place each punctuation mark where needed. The have him check his work against the first set.
The child can work with Set B (and Set A) as shown in the presentation.
- Emphasis the beginning of the sentence with the capital letter and the ending with a new mark: the question mark.
- As before, conversationally introduce the question mark.
- Bring the child’s attention to how our voices go up when we ask a question.
- Then take out the second set and do as with the other second sets.
The child works with Set C (and Sets A and B) as shown in the presentation.