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Storyboards for Punctuation Lessons

Storyboards aren't just for reading comprehension. They can be utilized in the classroom to teach important grammar and punctuation lessons as well. By teaching punctuation using storyboards, students get the chance to write AND illustrate their meaning. This gives teachers a clear, fast way of assessing student understanding of the concept.

If you look at the following storyboards, they illustrate the types of punctuation (period, comma, exclamation point, colon, and semi-colon) and then provide great examples of using each.

Understanding and correctly using all types of punctuation is a necessary skill. However, the complexities of the comma and the semicolon are difficult, even for high-school students. Often, these skills need to be reinforced in order for students to use them effectively in their work. By reviewing these types of punctuation and then having students complete a storyboard, teachers have a fast, effective way to reinforce the concepts.

But storyboards don’t have to just be for review. For more advanced students, teachers can use storyboards to explain or create assignments for concepts like the "oxford comma" or incorporate nonstandard punctuation like the interrobang (!?). One can even use storyboards to de-mystify punctuation that is misused more often than not, like the ellipsis.

Practicing Punctuation In Your Classroom

  1. Have students define and illustrate each type of mark in its own cell.

  2. Tell students to create their own story using storyboards and assign them to use a certain number of commas, semi-colons, exclamation points, etc.

  3. Use the storyboard as a pre-test to assess students' current knowledge of the punctuation marks and direct topics for future lessons.

  4. Using the sample storyboards, or creating one of your own, present it to the class as a simple, visual way to review punctuation concepts.

  5. Common Core

    Common Core Standards dictate that high school students be able to “use varied transitions and sentence structures to link the major sections of the text…” (ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.2a) and “maintain a formal style” in their writing (ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.2e and 11-12. 1d). All of these standards require a mastery of punctuation so students advancing through high school have a greater ability to alter and adjust syntax.

    Check out Storyboard That's punctuation worksheets and punctuation poster templates!

    How to Develop Punctuation Awareness in Reading


    Introduce the Importance of Punctuation

    Start by explaining to students the significance of punctuation in written text. Help them understand that punctuation marks serve as signals for pausing, emphasizing, and clarifying meaning. Discuss how punctuation contributes to the overall tone and flow of a piece of writing.


    Teach the Different Punctuation Marks

    Familiarize students with the various punctuation marks, including periods, commas, question marks, exclamation marks, quotation marks, semicolons, colons, dashes, parentheses, and ellipses. Explain the purpose and usage of each mark, providing examples to illustrate their functions.


    Analyze Texts for Punctuation

    Select engaging texts or passages and guide students in analyzing the punctuation used by the author. Encourage them to identify and discuss the impact of punctuation on the meaning, tone, and overall effectiveness of the writing. Ask questions to prompt critical thinking about the author's choices.


    Engage in Punctuation Exercises

    Provide students with punctuation exercises that involve inserting or correcting punctuation marks within sentences or paragraphs. These exercises can focus on specific punctuation marks or challenge students to apply a range of punctuation correctly. Offer feedback and explanations to reinforce learning.


    Explore Punctuation in Context

    Guide students to explore different genres and types of writing, such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and dialogue, and analyze how punctuation is used in each. Discuss how punctuation conventions may vary across genres and the impact it has on readers' comprehension and interpretation.


    Reflect and Discuss

    Facilitate reflective discussions to help students become more aware of the punctuation choices they encounter while reading. Encourage them to share their observations and interpretations of the author's intentions based on the punctuation used. Foster critical thinking and encourage students to analyze the effectiveness of punctuation in conveying meaning.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Teaching Punctuation with Storyboards

    What is the importance of using storyboards to teach punctuation?

    Storyboards provide a visual and engaging way for students to learn about punctuation, making it more memorable and enjoyable for them. By incorporating visual elements, students can see how punctuation affects the meaning and flow of a sentence, and how it can change the tone or mood of a piece of writing.

    How can storyboards be used to teach different types of punctuation, such as commas and apostrophes?

    Storyboards can be used to illustrate the use of different types of punctuation in a sentence. For example, a storyboard could show how a comma can be used to separate items in a list, or how an apostrophe is used to show possession. This visual representation can help students understand the correct usage of each punctuation mark.

    How can storyboards be used to help students understand the relationship between punctuation and meaning in writing?

    Storyboards can show how punctuation affects the meaning and tone of a sentence or paragraph. By illustrating how different punctuation marks change the flow and emphasis of a sentence, students can see how punctuation contributes to the overall meaning of a piece of writing.

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