Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crazy about Punctuation!! (FREEBIES GALORE!!)

My litte pigeon and I have been working tirelessly with my little second graders to improve their writing and it is slowly but surely working! I noticed that my kiddos have SUCH good ideas as to what to write about, but our sentence conventions are holding us back!

We are big into goal setting in our classroom, so we set a goal for ourselves to improve the use of our punctuation. This means that not only are we going to make sure our sentences all end with punctuation, but we are also going to vary our punctuation to use more question marks and exclamation points.

So I started out by showing my kiddos Rachelle Smith's Punctuation Perfection pack that is FREE on TPT. It is an awesome resource to introduce the "ending marks" as I call them, and show the kids when you should use them. It also gives you posters for apostrophes, quotation marks, and commas if you need them as well!

Then, I gave my students this packet I made called My Little Book of Punctuation. This is an interactive book in which students learn about the definitions of each type of ending mark punctuation, practice writing them, practice identifying which sentences use which type of punctuation, and writing their own sentences using different ending marks.

Then, we read a few books that have lots of examples of the various punctuation so we can notice when good authors use them.

The first book I read is More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt. This book is HYSTERICAL! If you like shared reading, this book is wonderful! It has all kinds of examples of the use of question marks and exclamation points.

In addition to reading this story, we also made a cute little craft to go with it! In this story, the author is the narrator and the story is written like he is talking and interacting with you, and on every page is the statement "MORE BEARS!!" for one reason or another. The story is all about adding more bears to the story, but in the end the author decides the story needs more chickens.

So I had my kiddos make a little bear that looks similar to the bear on the cover with construction paper. The kids make their bear, and then choose something that the author should have "more" of. They are then responsible for explaining why. In addition to explaining why, they are responsible for using each type of ending mark in their explanation at least once. They may need 2-3 of the lined writing speech bubble. You can get the craftivity here!

Here is an example of one of my kiddos projects :)

Another awesome series to read is the pigeon series by Mo Willems. We read The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! and Don't Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus! His books are full of the different uses of ending mark punctuation and the kiddos just love how silly this little pigeon is!

These are really great books for students to listen to expression. Sometimes they can tell me what type of ending mark punctuation is used in the sentence, but they don't really understand why the author would want to use it. For this activity, I read the first story (either book would work first) on one day. Then the next day, I give students this paper, and tell them to listen closely to my expression as I read the second book.

They have to listen for a question, a statement, and an exclamatory statement and write them down when they hear it. It is a really good assessment to see if your students can hear the difference when you are talking!

Hopefully this will help you in your punctuation journey! I know that it is slowly but surely helping mine :)

Enjoy the calm today, and good luck tomorrow. I know my class is going to be "batty!" (Haha)

Happy Tuesday!


Christy said...

Thanks so much for the freebies! My kiddos LOVE the pigeon books! I'm your newest follower.
Christy :)
Mrs. Christy’s Leaping Loopers

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great little book I can't wait to use it with my class.

First Grade Carousel said...

I love your ideas for punctuation using the pigeon books. My students always seem to understand what to use, but just don't seem to carry the skill to their writing. I will give your ideas a try. I am hoping you might be interested in joining my Winter Exchange Project! I am new to blogging and this is the first "big thing" I'm trying. Please consider joining along. All the info is on my bog: firstgradecarousel.blogspot.com ~Maria

Elizabeth Howell said...

Thanks so much for sharing! Love this.

Kelly said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. Teaching punctuation is always a killer & this will be perfect :)

First Grade Fairytales

Unknown said...

super cute!
UPper Grade Reading

Diane Strickland said...

Excellent books and ideas for teaching punctuation. Thanks for sharing the freebies!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. I have mainly ESL students and your materials will help immensely especially because they address our needs and also because they are so very appealing. Have a great school year!

Deb P. from Ky said...

Super cute ideas!! Thanks for sharing! My firsties are having trouble remembering to use punctuation so hopefully this will help them out!! Thanks again!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm just a mom trying to help my 7 yr old 2nd grader. Love this, thank you so much!

Monica said...

Thank you for the ideas and freebies!

Anonymous said...

This is great! Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

laSonya said...

These were great! Thank you!

Talia said...

Love the book on punctuation and the connection with Pigeon books. Thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Found this just in time to talk to my first graders about punctuation. Thanks so much for the EXCELLENT material!

Megan said...

Thanks!!! I was hoping for a good punctuation activity and can't believe how lucky I was to find your site! I love the pigeon too!

Megan said...

Thank you! I have a first grader who is really struggling with punctuation--- your resources are going to be great!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Your punctuation book will be so helpful for my struggling writers.

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