Mentor Texts to Teach Punctuation

As the end of the year nears for us, I am trying to make sure that my students are as prepared as possible for first grade.

One area which we continue to need to work on is punctuation.  I love to use the Piggie and Elephant series by Mo Willems. At this point of the year, many can read the books and understand how witty Mo Willems is as the author of these characters.

First, I read I am Going!.  I like to use this book because several of the same words or phrases appear throughout the book but change meaning due to the punctuation.  This helps to show how important punctuation is to meaning.

Afterwards, I created simple anchor charts to meet our standard; recognize and name the punctuation.

Students wrote their own Piggie and Elephant stories; trying to use each type of punctuation.  Here is a sample. Can you tell which Piggie and Elephant book it is modeled after?

                Gerald want to go play? Yes?                             Gerald. There's a bird in your head!                  Gerald. Now there's a nest.

We will continue to work on this skill for the next few weeks.  My hope is that children see how punctuation plays an important role in reading and writing as well as text meaning.

In the past, I've used these books as well.  I like them because they are easy enough to be read by beginning readers.

If you'd like to see more of our classroom happenings, check out my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram. I tend to post there more frequently.

post signature
Follow my blog with Bloglovin


  1. Great idea to use these books for punctuation! We are starting common core next year and punctuation is a big first grade skill. I will be using your ideas!!

    Happily Teaching

  2. Awesome tips! I'm convinced that application when they are in the moment is definitely a developmental thing since punctuation is really about the reader, not the writer and it's hard for kiddos to think outside themselves. Great book list too - thanks!
    - Leslie


Back to Top