Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

This Is The Best Lesson Plan On Punctuation I’ve Ever Read


Patterns and Punctuation by Elizabeth Schlessman appears in the most recent issue of Rethinking Schools. It is clearly the best lesson plan I’ve ever heard about for teaching punctuation.

I’m not going to go into depth on it since the article is available for now and is not behind a paywall. In summary, it Elizabeth used inductive teaching and learning to have students identify punctuation in what they were reading, identify patterns, and then apply what they learned to their own writing.

In many ways, it’s similar to the inductive learning strategies I’ve often discussed in this blog and in my books. I’ve constantly used “data sets” — a list of 10-30 examples of writing — that students categorize and then expand. I’ve just never thought before about using them to teach punctuation, but it makes perfect sense. In fact, as soon as I’m done writing this post I’m going to create a simple data set to use with my Beginning English Language Learners on Monday.

The article is just the latest reason why I’ve read Rethinking Schools for many, many years….

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. I agree, what I saw visiting the site was solid & the lesson was worth utilizing. Just disappointed that after completing the temporary log-in, etc. that the Punctuation Inquiry Guide’s link is bad. Wish I could have looked the guide over.

  2. This is such a teaser! I’d really like to know more, especiawhat how you will use your beginner data set.

  3. Thanks for posting about this, I’ve just read through the article you linked & you’re 100% right, it is a really fantastic resource. Very rich on many levels! I’ve definitely got some food for thought now. Your website is a treasure trove, keep up the great work!

  4. Thanks for sharing this resource with your readers, Larry! We’re so glad you found it helpful. We appreciate your continued support of our work!

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