At the start of the year, I had a lot of students that struggled with putting ending punctuation in the correct spots. They knew that they needed to use periods, but would put periods at the ends of lines or in seemingly random spots.
I tried helping them by correcting their own writing, by having them read it outloud to try and find the natural stopping points. However, NO ONE enjoys reading their own writing. That's no fun!
My solution was to create my own paragraphs - missing the punctuation - to help my students determine where punctuation is needed.
I call it "punctuation puzzles" to make it sound more fun than it actually is, but there are a few ways that you can make it even more exciting:
Who doesn't love food?! I used Skittles as periods, but you could use M&Ms, Cheerios, mini marshmallows.... the options are endless.
Side Note - Macaroni noodles make great commas, apostrophes, and quotation marks!
Playdough is another great option. I found these mini containers of neon dough at the Dollar Tree... eight for one dollar! What a deal! Students like being able to choose their own color.
Playdough makes it easy for students to create a variety of punctuation marks.
Markers are always an option. Print on cardstock and laminate so that you can reuse them for years.
Or, print on paper so you have a permanent work sample.
Another perk of using markers is that you can also have students correct capitalization as needed.
To meet the needs of and to scaffold my students, I created four different levels of punctuation paragraphs: just periods, sentence types, possessives, and dialogue.
Each level has a key at the bottom to show the types of punctuation marks that may be needed in the paragraph.
Think this could work for your classroom? Check it out by clicking on the image below.