Punctuation practice

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By Eileen Joneseducation journalist, author and literacy specialist
(Originally published June 2009)

Use the poster as a stimulus to help boost punctuation purpose and effect.

Illustrated safari park

Punctuation is not a haphazard collection of symbols; it is a well-planned code. Used deliberately, the code contributes to a text’s meaning, its mood and effect on the reader. Once children understand the benefits, they too will want to punctuate effectively.

This series aims to emphasise the power of punctuation. After an introduction to its purpose and effect in this article, we focus on its use in different contexts: conversational texts , instructional texts, and descriptive texts. The series also uses the colourful Poster, ‘Punctuation Safari Park’ to help put punctuation in context. Display the poster somewhere prominent and the children will be able to use it for inspiration, while enjoying the challenges of some fun punctuation work.

A great way to begin is to put the children into pairs to collaborate on a quick oral list of punctuation marks that they regularly use. Can they explain their use to each other? Encourage the children to use Activity sheets 1 and 2, ‘Punctuation practice: Glossary’ to help them.

Interactive resource

Members can exclusively access the Interactive resource, ‘Animal punctuation’ that challenges children to identify punctuation marks within a fun safari park context.


  1. Animal punctuation
  2. Animal magic
  3. Say what you mean
  4. Safari commas
  5. Owner confusion
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