Colon Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education

Use this lesson plan to help you teach your students about the colon in punctuation. Students will read a text lesson that explains what the colon is and how it's used in writing. Simple, easy-to-follow examples are given and hands-on application follows to make learning meaningful.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the use of a colon
  • use colons correctly within sentences


1 hour


  • Copies of the lesson What Are Colons? - Definition & Examples, one for each student
  • Dependent and independent clauses
  • Prepared sentences with correct and incorrect use of colons, written on index cards and taped in various places in the room. Record a number on the opposite side of each card, one through 10.

Key Vocabulary

  • Colon
  • Semicolon
  • Independent clause
  • Dependent clause
  • Phrase
  • Appositive

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.2

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.2.b

Use a colon to introduce a list or quotation.


  • Review concepts of dependent clauses by showing students the video lesson What is a Dependent Clause? - Definition & Examples.
  • Take the quiz with students to check understanding, then ask students to stand up.
  • Share independent and dependent clauses with students and have each group identify the type of clause by raising their right hand for independent clauses and by raising their left for dependent clauses.
  • If a student gets the answer wrong, have them sit down. Play until there is one winner or until all sentences are shared.


  • Next, label the board 'Colons' and have students begin a page in their grammar notebook with the same title.
  • Distribute the lesson What Are Colons? - Definition & Examples and read the first section, 'Colon or Semicolon?,' with students.
  • Write a definition for 'colon' on the board and have students copy it into their notebooks.
  • Ask students to read the remainder of the lesson before working with a partner to identify each of the uses of colons along with an example.
  • Come back together as a class and review the uses of a colon, writing each on the board along with an example.
  • Give students the quiz to check understanding.

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