Introducing Colons

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This lesson was originally designed for 5th graders.

  • Read Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller
  • If possible display the pages of the book under a document camera and point out all of the fun spacing and punctuation the book uses
  • Draw attention to some of the colons. It is a fun element that doesn't get used too much in picture books!
  • Quickly point out all of the pages that use colons (if the pages were numbered they would be pages 4,9,11,13,19,22-23,24)
  • Pass out the worksheet to the students. Challenge them to analyze why the colons are being used.
  • Let them discuss their ideas with partners and then share out as a class. List the students' ideas on the board.
  • Have students use the index to find the page about colons in the Writers Express book. (pg 347)
  • Read the "official" list of reasons to use colons and adjust the list you have on the board if needed.
  • Challenge the students to look through their own books, including text books, to find uses of colons. They can record their finds on the bottom fo their worksheet.
  • As an extension, you could set up a class blog where students can add uses of colons that they find in books, magazines or around town over the next couple of weeks. Encourage them to learn from the world around them!

originally submitted by Carolyn Grumm

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