9 Fun Punctuation Resources and Activities for Elementary Schoolers

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Photo of Holly (Teach Starter)
Updated | 4 min read

Teaching punctuation can feel frustrating in a world of texting and online messaging. We live in a world where scientists have found using periods and questions marks can make you sound insincere (yes, this was a real study). But as informal methods of communication grow, it may be more important now than ever before to give students a solid foundation in punctuation that gives shape to their sentences and clarifies the meaning of their writing.

These sentence-level mechanics have long been a fundamental of grammar, and as the meme tells us, the difference between “Let’s eat, Grandma” and “Let’s eat Grandma” comes down to one itty bitty punctuation mark.

So how do you get your students excited about learning punctuation? Can you really make question marks, colons, and dashes … fun? Our teacher team has put together some of our favorite punctuation activities to help make this brick in the grammar wall fun and useful too — Exclamation Point!

Fun Punctuation Activities and Exercises

Macaroni Commas

Ever noticed that macaroni is shaped a lot like a comma? Hit the grocery store for an inexpensive box of dried pasta, grab the classroom glue, and you have the makings of a perfect writing center activity to teach students about adding punctuation to their sentences.

Supply students with sheets of sentences that are missing commas, and ask them to glue the pasta in the right places to properly punctuate. Tip: You’ll want to blow up the font of your sentences and leave larger spaces between sentences for this to truly work, but it’s guaranteed to be a hit with the kids!

Punctuation Pizza

We promise that not every punctuation activity on this list will make you hungry! But this pizza cover-up game created by Michigan teacher (and Teach Starter collaborator!) Lindsey Phillips is a tasty treat for first graders who need to practice recognizing and using end punctuation. Use it as a scoot activity or an end punctuation relay race!

Punctuation Parking Lot

Another favorite of ours from Lindsey Phillips, this punctuation activity for the primary set based on parking cars on the lot can be used as a swat activity, or you can play knock off!

Sentence Sorting Activity

Encouraging students to look at already constructed sentences and working out what punctuation is missing is a fantastic small group activity. This Punctuation in a Pouch resource is a fun marsupial-themed display that does just that. With this resource, we have already come up with 40 sentence strips that are ready to go. There’s no need for you to sit and write the sentences yourself! We have even provided a recording sheet for your students to use if you want to use this activity in a writing center.

hands-on punctuation sorting activity for kids

Punctuation Paddles

Have your students glue the different punctuation marks to the end of popsicle or craft sticks — they can write each mark on paper plates or use these fun punctuation puppets.

Write a series of sentences on the board — some with the correct punctuation and some with marks that aren’t quite right.

Go through the sentences one by one, asking students to hold up the punctuation mark they think the sentence should have! You can turn this into a game by having students who get it wrong sit down. The last student standing is crowned the winner!

Cracking Contractions

Is your class slowly putting together the right ways to use apostrophes? Use contraction folding cards as a hands-on punctuation activity that can reinforce how contractions work with your students. This is a great interactive resource that visually shows how the two words combine to become one word, using an apostrophe to create the contraction.

Next, have students write the two words and then the contraction in their journal, then use the contraction in a sentence. Contractions activity for kids

Punctuation Scavenger Hunt

All you need for this little gem of an activity is a good storybook that includes a variety of punctuation marks. During whole group reading, cover up some of the punctuation marks in the storybook. As you are reading and come to a covered mark, stop and have your students complete a think-pair-share to decide which punctuation mark is needed.

punctuation think pair share


Sentence Shuffle Fun

This is a simple hands-on punctuation activity that you can set up in a writing center in your classroom. Create a collection of sentences with a number of punctuation options, including capital and non-capital letters (we used the editable cards from our Sentence Saga Literacy Activity (Silly Sentences) resource below).

The aim of this activity is for your students to put the sentences together using the correct capitalization and punctuation marks.

hands on punctuation activity


Punctuation on Magnets

The beauty of creating these punctuation magnets is that they can be used for a variety of punctuation activities. Purchase a set of magnets that have a flat surface like the ones we have pictured below. Use a Sharpie to write a variety of punctuation marks on the magnets.

punctuation activity using magnets

Use a whiteboard and have a variety of sentences already constructed that the students add the correct punctuation mark to the end.

You can also pair students off and have one student write a sentence with a missing punctuation mark. Their partner then needs to figure out which punctuation mark is missing and place the punctuation magnet on the whiteboard.

Check out our Punctuation Resource collection for our huge range of engaging resources for you to use in your classroom.

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