Background Information

Punctuation marks are symbols sued to separate words, add emphasis, and clarify meaning. Proper punctuation is essential to clear and effective writing. Students will benefit from an early introduction to punctuation.

The best way to learn hw to use punctuation marks properly is to practice using them. Encourage students to substitute one punctuation mark for another, then read the sentences aloud. For example, notice how. The sentence blows change their meaning when the end punctuation is changed.:

She went to the store.

She went to the store!

She went to the store?

In the earlier elementary years, students are introduced to common punctuation mars such as the period comma, question mark, m exclamation mark, hyphen, apostrophe, and quotation marks. Because students will see and use these punctuation marks daily, teachers can observe students as they read and write to ensure the they understand and can use punctuation marks correctly.

Once students understand how to punctuate sentences, groups of words that express a complete thought, they can begin begin to punctuate paragraphs, blocks of text that center on a main idea. Students will naturally increase their understanding of punctuation, sentences, and paragraphs through reading and writing both at home and within the classroom.

“If grammar provides the “rules of the road” for writing, then punctuation provides the road signs: slow down here (comma),detour there (dash, parentheses) and stop (semicolon, period).” – Jan Venolia, Kids Write Right!: What You Need to Be a Writing Powerhouse

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