The Period

The Period

Background Information

The period is a very common punctuation mark. The period I used to end a sentence, a group of words that express a complete thought. It is also used to shorten words into abbreviations. Phrases, groups of words that do not form a complete thought, do not require a period.   

Two common sentences that end with a period are the statement and command. The statement is a sentence is a sentence that expresses a fact, opinion, or feeling. Example: Today is cloudy and cool. A command is a sentence that gives an order. Example: Wear a jacket to school.

Introducing Periods


To become familiar with the use of the period.


Three prepared headings that read: This is a sentence. This is not a sentence. The is a phrase.

Sentence label that reads: an elephant is a mammal (Notice the lowercase a in “an” and the absence of a period at the end).

Phrase label that reads: an elephant

Slips of white paper

Red period from the printed alphabet

Uppercase “A” from the printed alphabet.

Red colored pencil


Langage Arts journals and pencils.


Most Montessori teachers introduce this topic in Year 1 and review it as necessary in subsequent years.

Announce to the students that today they they will learn about an important punctuation mark: the period,


Invite a small group of students to gather around a mat.

Define and discuss the terms sentence, phrase, and period.


Invite a student to read aloud the phrase label: an elephant.

Place the phrase label on the right side of the mat and ask the stunts if the words for ma complete thought. Encourage the students to tell you why or why not.

Invite a different student to read aloud the next label: an elephant is a mammal.

Place this sentence label to the left of the first one and ask the students is the words form a complete thought. Encourage the students to tell you why or who not.

Define and discuss the glossary term “sentence.”

Pass the heading: This is not a sentence, to a student and invite them to place it above the correct label on the mat. (If necessary remind the students that “an elephant” is not a sentence because it does not form a complete thought.)

Place the third title label: This is a prae, beneath the label that reads: This is not a sentence. Explain to the students that a set of words that do not form a complete sentence is called a phrase.


Place the red period from the uppercase printed alphabet at the end of the sentence that reads: an elephant is a mammal.

Ask the students if they know what a dot is.

Explain that the dot is called a period. A period goes at the end of a sentence. Its job is to indicate the end of a sentence.

Show and read aloud to students other examples of sentences that end with a period.


Again, show students the sentence label that read: an elephant is a mammal.

Ask students if hey notice what is missing from the sentence. (If necessary, provide hits until they realize that the sentence needs a capital letter at the beginning.)

Emphasize that all sentences start with a capital letter. Place the uppercase “A” over the lowercase “a” in the sentence: an elephant is a mammal.

Provide more prepared examples of phrases and sentences.


Pass out slips of blank paper, and invite the students to write complete sentences, using capitalization and placing a period at the end.

Encourage the students to take turns reading aloud their sentence labels and placing them in a column beneath the correct heading.

Invite students to write phrases on slips of blank paper.

Encourage the students to take turns reading aloud their phrases and placing them beneath the correct heading.

Ask the students to start two columns in their journals with the same headings as the activity. Encourage the students to write at least three sentences and three phrases beneath the headings.


Make a card game for creating sentences. On a sheet of paper write 10-15 sentences. Copy each word from the sentences onto black and white cards. Use only one side of the card. Shuffle the cards and set them aside. On 10-14 other cards, draw a large red period. Place these cards face up in the center. Pass several word cards to each player, and place the rest face down beside the period cards. Take turns drawing cards until one player can make a complete sentence. The player who makes a complete sentence must remember to place a period card at the end. If there are words left over, turn them face up and identify which sentences they can fit logically with.

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