The Passion of Punctuation

This group of lesson plans presents punctuation in a fun and interactive manner. Students explore an argument about the author's right to choice of punctuation; they identify use of comma splices in an exercept of Steinbeck's The Pearl; and they participate in a fun activity in which they determine which punctuation mark best represents them.  Other activities include a Seinfeld clip on YouTube, identifying errors in young adult literature excerpts, and handouts on specific types of punctuation. The assessment for these lessons is the creation of a postcard utilizing different aspects of punctuation. Teachers can use these lessons in whole or part, as many aspects of this lesson can be easily disconnected with the others, but still be effective.  The activities in this lesson are creative and engaging and focus on students who may not respond well to textbook grammar instruction.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.2
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.6
Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative...
CLE 3001.1.1
Demonstrate control of Standard English through grammar usage and mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, and spelling).
CLE 3001.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words and phrases.
CLE 3001.1.3
Understand and use a variety of sentence structures.
CLE 3001.8.5
Know and use appropriate literary terms to derive meaning from various literary genres.
CLE 3002.1.1
Demonstrate control of Standard English through grammar usage and mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, and spelling).
CLE 3002.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words and phrases
CLE 3002.1.3
Understand and use a variety of sentence structures.
CLE 3002.8.5
Know and use appropriate literary terms to derive meaning from various literary genres.
SPI 3001.1.1
Demonstrate an understanding of the eight parts of speech, including their troublesome aspects, such as how to form the past and past participle of irregular but...
SPI 3001.1.12
Use context clues and/or knowledge of roots, affixes, and cognates to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.
SPI 3001.1.13
Select the appropriate word among frequently confused words (i.e., to/too/two, their/there/theyre, it/its, you/youre, whose/whos, which/that/who, accept/except,...
SPI 3001.1.15
Use a sample reference source to determine aspects of a given word (e.g., spelling, part of speech, definition, cognates, etymology, synonyms).
SPI 3001.8.13
Locate words or phrases in a passage that provide historical or cultural cues.
SPI 3002.1.1
Demonstrate an understanding of the eight parts of speech, including their troublesome aspects, such as how to form the past and past participle of irregular but...
SPI 3002.1.13
Select the appropriate word from among frequently confused words (i.e., to/too/two, their/there/theyre, it/its, you/youre, whose/whos, which/that/who,...
SPI 3002.1.14
Use context clues and/or knowledge of roots, affixes, and cognates to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.
SPI 3002.1.16
Use a sample reference source to determine aspects of a given word (e.g., spelling, part of speech, definition, cognates, etymology, synonyms).
SPI 3002.1.9
Recognize a shift in either verb tense or point of view within a writing sample.
SPI 3002.8.12
Locate words or phrases in a passage that provide historical or cultural cues.
TSS.ELA.9-10.L.CSE.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking; use effective parallel structure and various types...
TSS.ELA.9-10.L.CSE.2
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing; when reading and writing, explain the...
TSS.ELA.9-10.L.VAU.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on 9th -10th grade-level text by choosing flexibly from a range...
TSS.ELA.9-10.L.VAU.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings in grades 9-10 reading and content; interpret figures...
TSS.ELA.9-10.L.VAU.6
Acquire and accurately use general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the...
TSS.ELA.9-10.RI.CS.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative...
TSS.ELA.9-10.RL.CS.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • learn the appropriate uses of, and practice using, the semicolon, comma, colon, and exclamation point.
  • examine the opinions and attitudes that various published authors hold concerning punctuation choices.
  • become familiar with the punctuation choices found in published texts.
  • add meaning, style, and voice to their own writing through deliberately placed and chosen punctuation marks.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding
Extension suggestions: 
  • Semicolons: Allow students to analyze published authors’ use of the semicolon.
  • Commas: Allow students to practice correcting comma splices in another published piece.
  • Ask students to apply what they are learning about end punctuation to their own ongoing compositional writing of poems, essays, and stories.
  • Ask students to apply what they are learning about end punctuation to their academic and outside readings, bringing in examples for discussion.  Students can also be encouraged to examine how the use of these punctuation marks vary as writers move across the genres of expository to narrative to poetry writing. For example, how do poets (including e.e. cummings) use punctuation?  Why do they tend to take more liberties in their punctuation use?
     

Helpful Hints

  • Computers with Internet access
  • Ability to project videos from a computer screen to a white board, projection screen, interactive whiteboard, etc.

References

Contributors: