Semicolons, Colons, & Dashes, Usage Lessons

Semicolons, Colons, & Dashes, Usage Lessons
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This is a usage lesson, covering the use of the semicolon, the colon, and the dash.

This is a collection of documents (slides in Word form) intended to be projected for the class to work through together. You can project these documents from your computer; you can copy to a transparency; if you have no way to project a document, you can simply make a class set of the master slides.

These slides begin with explanations of how to use the semicolons, colons, and dashes, as well as a series of sentences that lack the necessary semicolons, colons, or dashes. Start with students taking notes on how to use the devices. Then, expose one un-edited sentence at a time, calling on students to identify and then fix the problem in the sentences. In some cases students must determine if there even is a problem. This is the bulk of the lesson, and I find that this makes for a fun and meaningful activity. Typically, this takes 20-30 minutes. I like to quiz the students about a week after the initial activity. Have fun with the sentences.

Note: some of the sentences are allegedly funny. If you do not like the alleged humor in any of the slides, you are welcome to make changes-all slides are simply Word documents.

This bundle contains:
1. A Word-based slide (master) explaining the use of a colon and a semicolon. After the explanation you will find a series of sentences that need either a colon or a semicolon. This is designed to support a class activity in which you call on students to identify which is needed and where.
2. A handout (homework assignment) in which students use semicolons to fix sentences with comma splices and run-on-sentence errors.
3. A handout describing the use of dashes and colons.
4. A follow up quiz on colons and semicolons.

Enjoy, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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Adam Erickson

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