Infographic on Punctuation

Hello colleagues, Have you found that when writing many adult learners need to improve their use of punctuation? How much attention do you devote to teaching punctuation? What instructional methods have been effective? Here is an interesting infographic that identifies how and when to use various punctuation marks. This tool includes a lot of information, but it might make for an interesting classroom poster or maybe a handout students could keep in their folders for reference.

What do you think?

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP


Hello friends.

Susan, this is a great infographic.  Thank you for sharing it.  It's worth making a copy to keep in their folder.  

When I think of Reading Comprehension, fluency is the first thing that comes to mind.  Of course, this comes only after we master our phonetic decoding skills to read each word on the page. Fluency is rarely used as an instructional strategy for comprehension in the classroom. Focus tends to shift to the new, unknown vocabulary words in the text for reading comprehension.  Knowing the new definition of a word certainly doesn't mean that student will be able to read the text with full understanding.  I believe, the ability to read the text fluently will weigh greater in full reading comprehension and increase the student's ability to use context clues when they encounter new words.  Understanding punctuation plays a significant part in fluency and fluency instruction.  

In order to read fluently, students must have a good understanding of punctuation and how punctuation influences their reading and understanding of a sentence.  I do teach punctuation in isolation, but I immediately follow this instruction with developing the new skill during the reading process.  Students need to practice reading aloud so they can hear the change in intonation and volume when they encounter punctuation. This will tune learners' ears to the "brief pause" they make after a comma, or how their voice changes at the end of a sentence when it's a question.  

Students can record and listen to their voices reading a passage, and they can discuss what types of sentences are heard in the recording and if the student can be easily understood.  Give suggestions to read sentences better (if needed).  Our students are not reading aloud enough in the classroom or at home.  Also, teachers need to be reading to students (yes, even to our adult population) to model great fluency. Reading aloud to students is a great way to check Listening Comprehension as well.      



Susan, I'm glad you raised the question since punctuation is so often taught with strict and boring rules when, in fact, it can prove to be very instinctual.

As we differentiate instruction, why not give rules to those who thrive on them, and then allow others to instinctively punctuate once they know what each symbol means? I'm glad that Kimberly brought sound and rhythm into the picture, and there are many tools allowing students and teachers to record clips. Following are two clips , created with digital voices although people can record right into the tool instead. There are many choices of characters and backgrounds: and

Which brings me to the old practice of dictation as a means to improve not only punctuation but also comprehension and fluency, as you mentioned, Kimberly. Dictation was so misused that it got a bad rep. However, it can really work to help students instinctively punctuate their writing if used kindly and correctly. My students got to love dictation! Go figure. Maybe rules can come in later if needed. What do others think? Leecy

Hi Kimberly, Thanks for adding to this thread by pointing out how punctuation and oral fluency when reading aloud are connected. Including reading aloud as part of instruction for learners at lower levels can be a useful component to add to our classes. As you note, teachers can read aloud to learners as well as engage learners in reading aloud. I have been thinking about the value of having learners record themselves while reading aloud. With cell phones and online tools such as Leecy pointed out, audio recording is more accessible than ever. Another easy to use online tool is Vocaroo, which creates a link of the audio recording that can be shared via email.

Teachers, please weigh in with your thoughts on teaching punctuation for writing as well as the role of punctuation in reading fluently.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP