Reading punctuation

What is punctuation for young readers?

Our students typically see capital letters (Anna, Toytown), full stops (. Also called periods.), question marks (?), commas (,), talking marks (“ ”)and exclamation marks (!) in their early books.

Why is punctuation important?

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Students need to learn how to read the punctuation as it affects how they sound as they read aloud, and it helps them to gain meaning.

I have had more than one student who has thought that reading the punctuation means saying: ‘I can run fullstop’.

A student who correctly reads the punctuation knows to:

  • stop to take a breath at the full-stop at the end of the sentence,
  • pause (little stop) at a comma, (Good hit, Jack.),
  • change the voice for a question, (usually the voice is higher at the end of a question- Where is it?),
  • change the voice for a character when reading the words between talking marks, (Billy said, “I can hit the ball like Jack.”),
  • and add excitement to the voice when there is an exclamation mark. (Stop!)

Students also learn to read words that are bold or in italics louder than the surrounding words. (This is my car.)

To learn more about reading the punctuation click on the pictures to take you to some YouTube videos from LearnZillion.

punctuation video pic

 Stopping at end punctuation marks while reading Lesson 1 of 5



 Change voice to match end punctuation marksLesson 2 of 5  punctuation2




 Pause for in-sentence punctuation marksLesson 3 of 5



 Notice all punctuation while reading. Lesson 4 of 5 punctuation4



punctuation5 Read fluently by monitoring reading progress. Lesson 5 of 5   

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