I found great books at the library to teach my children punctuation. My kids study these picture books, laughing over each and every drawing. The books are Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference!, The Girl’s Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can’t Manage without Apostrophes!, and Twenty-Odd Ducks: Why, every punctuation mark counts!.
Here is one example from Eats, Shoots & Leaves. There are a pair of drawings with the words “slow children crossing” underneath. The first drawing illustrates “Slow, children crossing” with a crossing guard stopping cars so that the children can cross the street. The second illustration for “Slow children crossing.” has children moving very slowly and blocking traffic. In fact, there’s even a child walking a snail in the drawing.
All 3 books are filled with funny illustrations to help get a punctuation point across. (In the back, there is a more detailed explanation of each punctuation rule.)
If you were to read these with much older students (upper elementary or even middle or high school), I think the illustrations would really cement for the students the different meanings a sentence can have with different punctuation. The pictures are certainly helping me to remember punctuation rules (or even to learn them for the first time).
For my children (younger students), they just love the pictures and laugh about them over and over again. Even my 4-year-old will look at the pictures His favorite is the “giant kid’s playground”. In fact, we’ve heard him off by himself laughing out loud over that drawing. I hope that my children will just keep remembering that there are rules for punctuation and that writing it “wrong” can make a completely different meaning than what they intended. As they get a little older, I have a feeling that some of these drawings will come to mind as they try to write a sentence.
We checked these books out of the library at least 3 separate times already. You can tell how much the kids enjoy them. Don’t worry. We’ll return them so someone else can check them out – at least until we get them again.
Note: There is 1 pair of sentences that I don’t really like out of the 3 books. It’s “The king walked and talked half an hour after his head was cut off.” If you have a child who doesn’t like blood in drawings, you won’t like this one either. It shows a kind with his head chopped off and the body walking around without the head. My kids just laughed over the badly written sentence and didn’t seem phased by the drawing. I guess I found it grosser than they did.
Let me know if you have success with these books!