Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to use periods appropriately in a paragraph. Students will edit and correct a paragraph for punctuation and capitalization to show knowledge of a complete sentence.
Materials: Per student:
One sheet of notebook or other lined paper for writing a paragraph.
Per small group:
Several precut and laminated (if available) stop sign shaped pieces (from red construction paper.)
One red pen, crayon, or marker
One piece of large chart paper with a prewritten paragraph containing punctuation and capitalization errors.
One piece of large chart paper with a prewritten paragraph containing punctuation and capitalization errors that has been corrected using red stop signs for periods and a red pen for capitalization errors. (This paragraph should not be exactly the same as the paragraphs given to the groups)
1. Students should be in small groups of two to three for this activity.
2. Provide each group with a prewritten paragraph on large chart paper. (The paragraphs should not contain periods or correct capitalization.)
3. Provide students with several precut stop signs and a red pen, marker or crayon.
4. Have each group read through the paragraph as they discuss where each sentence begins and ends.
5. Students then put the stop signs on the paper where they determine the period should be placed.
6. Next, students use the red pen to correct capitalization errors. (Remind students that the first letter of each sentence must be capitalized.)
7. When students have made their corrections on the large chart paper, each student copies the paragraph correctly onto their own sheet of paper.
Assessment: The teacher can review the corrected paragraph on the large chart paper before the students write the corrected paragraph on their own paper. The teacher can also let the group double check the corrected paragraph and write it on the individual paper before he or she assesses the paragraph. During this lesson, I did check the corrected paragraph before students copied it using a checklist to determine (and remember!) what they were able to do on their own. Then I guided them to make any necessary corrections before they copied the paragraph onto their own paper. The final product should be assessed.
Reflections: This lesson worked amazingly well. Prior to this lesson, students were making significant errors in their writing. I was receiving paragraphs with periods randomly placed throughout. Students were using complete sentences but they did not punctuate or capitalize appropriately. After this lesson, I was surprised with the improvements that students made in subsequent writings. I use this format whenever we learn a new grammar component. For example, on a lesson for using commas in a list, I used the same lesson, adding “yield signs” for commas.