Elementary Punctuation

Elementary Punctuation

Welcome to Komodo's blog page for all things punctuation.

We'll start with the most basic punctuation that kids are exposed to in kindergarten and first grade. Then we'll move through the years to the trickier elements of punctuation that children are expected to tackle in fourth and fifth grade. 

Capital letters

Capital letters are an important form of punctuation. They are also called uppercase, and they appear in very specific places in our writing. 

Some capital letters are easy for kids to learn because they are just bigger and taller versions of their lowercase counterparts, but some trickier ones look like they are barely related at all!


Where do we use capital letters?

Every sentence starts with a capital letter. Remind your child to double check that the first letter of the first word in every sentence is written in upper case. 

Children will also learn to capitalize proper nouns. Proper nouns are the names we give to people, places and occasions. For example, Jon went to Paris at Easter, which was the first Sunday in April.  


End marks


An end mark is the symbol that we put at the end of a sentence. It is often a period, but can be a question mark or an exclamation point. 

Periods look like little dots and they signify that a sentence has ended. The next word to come after a period must always start with - you've guessed it - a capital letter! 

Curly looking question marks turn a sentence into a query:

Exclamation points add a sense of urgency or emphasis. Use sparingly!


Commas

Commas help to make meaning clear by separating different elements in a sentence. 

In the early years of school, children learn to use them to separate a list of words in a sentence. 


If we are writing a sentence that includes a list of items, we separate them using commas. For example: 

I bought bread, eggs, juice, and cheese. 

A list for the purposes of punctuation is any group of adjectives used together. For example: 

The castle was creepy, dark, and haunted. 


Punctuating interjections

Commas are also used for punctuating interjections.

Interjections are words that express a feeling, make a demand or emphasise a phrase. They are separated from the words around them by commas when the interjection is mild. For example:

Oh, I didn't know you were coming. 

or, No, I can't go out this evening.

If the interjection is strong, we can use an exclamation point, for example, 

Ouch! That was my toe. 

 

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