Table of Contents
Spring has arrived, for many it is a chance to start a new leaf. For schools, it’s time to change up the classroom displays!
- Capital letters.
- Full stops.
- Exclamation marks.
- Question marks.
- Apostrophes, you can check out our apostrophes blog here.
Punctuation is a mandatory subject in primary education, through teaching punctuation teachers should teach students the definitions and uses of different types of punctuation so students can identify them and incorporate them into their writing. Students should be taught to use the elements of grammar, spelling and punctuation, this is not to restrict the teacher but to give them a simple guide which can create an exciting lesson.
What does it mean?
We use punctuation for many things: creative choices, targeting the right audience, to change the way a sentence sounds. But overall, they are focused on two things:
- To make a text easier to read – adding breaks, pauses, emphasis and irony,
- To create expression, detail and perspective – especially in storytelling.
Punctuation is the set of marks which symbolise how a sentence is read. Not just this, it also adds meaning and rhythm by linking or unlinking words and sentences. There is approximately fourteen signs that are used in the English language for punctuation.
- Exclamation mark
- Full stop
- Question mark
- Quotation marks
However, the basics and most used in primary education are:
- Capital letters
- Full stops
- The comma
- The colon and semi colon
- Speech marks
- Exclamation marks
- Question marks
As you can see there are many devices that form up what punctuation is. Each device works in its own way but overall, they all lead to the same thing: an easily understood developed sentence.
Without punctuation, most sentences would not make sense nor be readable, meanings would be misconstrued, and communication would not be sufficient. Therefore, it is important to integrate it into the younger student’s learning as soon as possible.
Basic punctuation rules:
- Every sentence must start with a capital letter and end with a full stop.
- Capital letters are for proper nouns – places, names, people, brands.
- If you are quoting something you must put quotation marks at the start and finish of the sentence.
- Apostrophes are used to form contractions not to make a word sound plural. It is becomes it’s, there is becomes there’s, I have not becomes I’ve not.
- Exclamation marks are used to create emphasis or to stress a point, however you do not have to use them in every single sentence.
- The ellipsis is used to indicate that an intentional stop at the end of a sentence, an un-finished thought. Many writers of stories use this device to indicate that a story has not yet finished.
- When quoting sentences, you must make sure to quote exactly what they say, and that includes punctuation! If punctuation is not included in the original text, then this must be placed outside the quotation marks.
- Full stops mark the end of a sentence, commas indicate a break.
How to help students that are struggling with punctuation:
- Read to students and encourage them to read too – This works by listening to how the punctuation affects a sentence.
- Give students the opportunity to write – you could hold writing afterschool clubs, writing lessons, storytelling, etc.
- Dictate simple sentences for students to write down and practice where each punctuation should go.
- Use real world examples! Have you ever seen a sign that has been spelled wrong? A funny image that has the wrong grammar by accident? Use these examples with your students and ask them what the right way would be to create this sentence.
- Demonstrate how punctuation impacts the meaning of a sentence. A classic example is:
Let’s eat grandma – instead of:
Let’s eat, grandma!
- Avoid stress. It is true that sometimes, learning new definitions and techniques can become overwhelming.
Free Classroom Display:
We have created two posters to contribute towards your classroom display! One focuses on the basic rules for punctuation and grammar – these are essential for students therefore having a reminder of them in the classroom or in the halls might help them incorporate these into their writing.
Classroom displays are important because they communicate educational messages which can be used as a reminder of what students have learnt, they also give value to what students have created. Classroom displays also serve to inform visitors of the curriculum and helps provide good practice and examples for students.
The poster size is equivalent to A3 piece of paper, you can download both for free below.