Prior to teaching this lesson, I have taught another lesson about periods. Understanding the period's purpose gives students another tool to help them to become better readers. When I read the segment of the story without punctuation, the story becomes confusing. I point this idea out to the children so that they can see that periods are useful reading and writing tools. They add clarity and control to the reading. This lesson is meant to be a review of information. I have the children join me on the classroom rug.
Boys and girls, earlier this year, we learned about some punctuation marks. I have one in mind that this stop sign reminds me of. Who is getting a clue from my sign? That's right, I am thinking about the period.
Who can tell me what a period does? It does tell us to stop.
Where do I find a period in a sentence? It usually comes at the end.
Listen to what this story would sound like if it had no periods. (Read a segment of a story by running past the periods.) Is it easy to understand what the story is about when I keep reading without stopping?
Now listen to the story when I read it and there are periods at the end. Do you hear a difference?
I am going to read a story about the period.
The book that I am going to read today is called If You Were A Period. This book will show us several ways that periods are used, but for today we will talk mainly about writing them at the end of a sentence. When we have heard the story, we will list the different ways that we remember about how the period is used.
What are some of the ways we use periods? At the end of a sentence, to shorten words, after numbers, etc.
When you write in your journals, what do I often remind you to do? (End your sentence with a period.)
Why do you think I ask you to do that? (So that the reader knows that that is the end of a thought.)
Multi-sensory teaching works better than talk and chalk and it has been proven that children have accelerated learning if a kinesthetic component is introduced. The more links a child can make to a new piece of information the more easily they remember it. Punctuation is a key component in the teaching of grammar, and one which can benefit from being ‘acted out’.
Now we are going to play a game using periods, question marks and exclamation points. Do you remember what each of those marks are for? Periods are for telling sentences, question marks are for asking sentences, and exclamation points are for when we want to show excitement. If I ask you a question, I want you to curve your arms to make a question mark shape. If I express excitement, I want you to put your hands together over your head--that's for exclamation point. If I say a telling statement, put your hands together in front of your belly to represent the period.
This is a way we can practice our punctuation marks before I have you do some writing.
Now that you have practiced your punctuation marks, I think you are ready to write in your journals. Today we will focus on writing a telling sentence, so what punctuation mark will we use? I will be checking to see if you remember to put the period at the end of your sentences. A sentence does not always finish at the end of a line, it is written at the end of a thought. I will be walking around to see how you are doing.
After a while, I just begin saying, "You're missing something," and the children know that it is usually a period that is missing. Daily journal writing really has improved my students' reading, spelling, writing and punctuation practice. Walking around the room during journal time, let's me see who understands a period's job and it lets me know who still needs practice.