Choosing correct ending punctuation
If your child struggles to choose the correct punctuation at the end of a sentence, do this fun exercise together to help him learn what each punctuation mark sounds like when spoken aloud.
1. Write the following words, phrases, and sentences on index cards or pieces of paper, one per card.
All done? All done. All done!
I did it. I did it!
Turn left. Turn left!
Yes. Yes! Yes?
Okay! Okay? Okay.
Tomorrow? Tomorrow. Tomorrow!
Be careful! Be careful.
Grandma is here? Grandma is here. Grandma is here!
Right! Right. Right?
2. Sit side by side so your child can see the cards. Explain that different ending punctuation affects the way that a word or phrase can sound.
- A period ends a calm or matter-of-fact statement. We use a normal speaking voice.
- A question mark comes at the end of a question. When we ask a question aloud, we usually lift our voice at the end.
- An exclamation point shows strong emotion. We use a louder or more excited speaking voice.
3. Read each card aloud, dramatically using your voice to show how each punctuation mark sounds when it is used.
4. When finished, invite your child to read the cards aloud by himself and practice using his own voice to show how each punctuation mark sounds.