I desperately needed friendly comma practice for my 4th graders. The TEKS for commas did not match with the expectations they were seeing on the more rigorous revising/editing practice. My students were not equipped to confidently select answer choices that involved dependent clauses, dates, asides, etc. So, I decided to tread on sacred comma ground. The ground that says, “That’s NOT the way I learned it!” And, I am sure, even though I have an editor; an elusive comma rule has gotten by me. The more I researched commas, the more I found that one rule could be interpreted more than one way.
But, I have taught this unit, and my students now love commas instead of fear them. They even named our pre-STAAR writing camp, “Comma Inn!” It’s fun play on words, but shows the play we approached in learning the comma rules.
The “Comma Crazy Posters,” that I have on TpT support this unit, but are not required.
Included: (color and blackline)
Introduction of commas rules and guided practice on:
Letter openings and closings
asides (appositives, explanatory phrases, introductory phrases, and interjections)
in a series
Guided Practices are 3-5 questions
answer keys provided
3 “Capturing Good Authors” one pagers on Kate DiCamillo, Rick, Riordan, and Lemony Snicket that can be used as assessments or partner work. Each one pager has a “hint” bar that tells how many missing commas are in the line. If your students are more proficient, the “hint” bar can be folded under or cut off.
My students loved the simple guided practices and the challenge of the one pagers.
I hope you find these useful as well.