Wanted: Missing Punctuation

Do you have students who forget punctuation? Or those who use one period at the end of an entire piece of writing? If so, try this…

Ask the student to read the work out loud to you. (This is most effective if it occurs shortly after the piece was written.)

Surprisingly, the student will likely stop or pause at the end of the sentences (even with no punctuation present). After the student has read the writing through once (or part of the work for older students), say something like… “I noticed that something is missing in your writing. Do you know what it is?”

“You’re right! There is no punctuation. But I also noticed that you often know where it goes. As you read to me, your voice stopped in the right places. Start reading at the beginning again and let’s see if you can add punctuation.”

On the second read-through, support the student when he or she pauses at the end of a sentence by adding the appropriate punctuation together. (Capital letters may need to be added, too.) After working together for the first few sentences, challenge the student to continue reading the work quietly out loud and add punctuation for the rest of the writing.

Be sure to return a few minutes later to compliment the efforts or provide more support if needed.

One thought on Wanted: Missing Punctuation

  1. Love this strategy! It is so effective with the students. We are going to use this with our transformation story writing TODAY!

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