Comma Games for Kids

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Learning how to use commas properly does not have to be dull! This lesson offers some games that will familiarize your students with how this important aspect of punctuation works.

Use of Games in Instruction

Some students have the preconceived notion that learning grammar and punctuation will inevitably be boring. However, this certainly does not have to be the case! If you are hoping to teach your students to become better users of commas, consider incorporating games into your instruction. When teaching something like commas through games, you ensure that all students are active agents in their own learning and can internalize grammar and punctuation as things that are interesting, engaging and even fun!

Comma Games

Place Those Commas

One thing that students often enjoy learning about commas is that their proper or improper placement can truly alter the meaning of a phrase or sentence. Explain to your students that 'I like painting, cats, and children' has a very different meaning from 'I like painting cats and children.' Then, break your students into groups of three or four. Challenge each group to come up with a pair of sentences using the same words but placing the comma differently.

Students should write these sentences on separate pieces of paper, then exchange them with a different group. The new group is responsible for illustrating the sentences to show their different meanings.

At the end of the game, bring all of your students together and vote on which group did the best illustration; that group wins the point for that round. Playing additional rounds, either in the same or a different session, can help students visualize why comma placement matters so much in sentences!

Comma Tag

This game is one that you should play outside or in a gym, since it involves running around. It's a lot like any other version of tag, only your 'it' is actually a comma! The comma runs around trying to catch other children in the class. In order to avoid being tagged, students must call out a rule associated with commas, such as saying 'between the city and state in an address.' If a student gets tagged, he or she becomes the next comma, or it, and begins chasing other students. Continue playing until you think your students have exhausted all of the rules about commas that they know.

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