Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Stop That Sentence

Susan Demaris
Hernando County Schools


Students learn to stop their sentences with the correct punctuation marks. Students choose which punctuation mark is needed to write sentences in their journals.


The student uses end punctuation and capitalizes initial words of sentences, names of people, `I`, days of the week, and months of the year.


-Big Book (choose a book with periods and question marks-teacherís choice)
-Post-it notes to cover punctuation marks on the first couple of pages in big book
-Sentence strips without punctuation
-Popsicle sticks for whole class with small cards glued on (On one side make a question mark, the other side a big period)
-Students journals


1. Choose book with question marks and periods.
2. On the first couple of pages in the book, block all ending punctuation with post-it notes.
3. Prepare popsicle sticks with cards attached. One side will have a question mark. The other side will have a period.
4. Prepare sentence strips with sentences needing question marks and periods. (Do not use them on the sentence strips).
5. Students need to have their writing journals.


**This lesson addresses only the use of ending punctuation

1. Have students come to area for shared reading time. Introduce the book to the class. Read the first couple of pages to students in a hurried voice to show students that without punctuation you have no place to stop the sentence.

2. Discuss when to use a period and a question mark. Give some nonexamples also. How do you know which punctuation mark to use? Why do you need punctuation marks?

3. Continue reading the big book, stopping periodically to review why a period was used or a question mark.

4. After reading the big book, review the periods and question marks with class.

5. Explain that you will now be doing some practice with punctuation marks. You may want to remind them that there is also another punctuation mark (exclamation mark) that is used sometimes in sentences and one example of a sentence with the exclamation mark, however, you will not be using the exclamation mark in this lesson.

6. Pass out a popsicle stick that has a card glued to it with a question mark on one side and a period on the other to each student. Explain that students will have to decide which punctuation mark is correct when you put up the sentence strips.

7. Using sentence strips already made, ask students to hold up their popsicle sticks with either the question mark or period. Call on a student to see why he/she chose the punctuation mark. (You can check the groupís answers to determine how much practice they need with punctuation.)

8. After group practice, have students copy four sentences in their journals. They decide if they need a question mark or a period.

9. Check students' work in their journals and give feedback. If reinforcement is needed, give students suggestions on how to choose correct punctuation and give additional practice.


Assess to see if students are able to choose the correct punctuation mark (question mark or period) when writing a sentence.

They will be formatively assessed after writing sentences in their journals using the correct punctuation mark.


Students can write their own sentences in their journals. Teacher can check to see if they have applied the use of punctuation in their own writing.
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.