ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
The Passion of Punctuation
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Lesson Plan Type||Unit|
|Estimated Time||Six 50-minute sessions|
In an effort to make punctuation more accessible to students, this unit explores emotions that are associated with the artful and deliberate use of commas, semicolons, colons, and exclamation points. In addition to providing students with the tools to use these punctuation marks appropriately, the lessons urge students to experiment with punctuation in a way that contributes to the meaning, style, and voice of writing. Students will examine emotionally charged opinions about punctuation voiced by established writers and will form their own opinions, defend their own choices, and become passionate about their own uses of punctuation.
- Right or Wrong? It’s my choice. Right?
- What Mark of Punctuation Are You?
- Practicing Passionate Punctuation with Postcards
Haussamen et al. (2003) encourages the teaching of grammatical concepts in the context of real world writing and through examining writers’ choices, asserting, “Although we turn to reference books when we want to check on the acceptability of a word or a type of phrase, the ultimate resources for judgments of the social acceptability of any language are its literature and the way the language is used by influential groups in society” (16). Considering punctuation options as stylistic choices asks students to apply grammatical knowledge to real communication contexts and to appreciate the ways in which the diversity of authors’ purposes, contents, and contexts allow for play within conventional rules and thoughtful breaking of those rules.
Haussamen, Brock, et al. 2003. Grammar Alive! A Guide for Teachers. Urbana, IL: NCTE.