Comma Splice Activities & Games

Instructor: Jason Lineberger

Jason has 20 years of education experience including 14 years of teaching college literature.

Young writers often mistakenly join independent clauses with a comma. This lesson will give you a variety of activities that will help students recognize and correct comma splices.

The Dreaded Comma Splice

While joining two independent clauses with a comma may seem like a minor slip, comma splices stand out as serious errors to many readers. Even one comma splice in an essay can distract some readers, taking their attention away from the paper's main point. Students therefore need to be aware of comma splices and how to fix them in revision.

The activities in this lesson are designed to reach a variety of learning styles, age ranges, and levels of experience with writing. Choose the ones that best suit your teaching situation.

Comma 9-1-1

Create several compound sentences. Print or write out the independent clauses on full sheets of paper and have students hold them at the front of the room. Give a third student a sheet of paper with a comma to hold between the two clauses. Explain that when you see a setup like this one - a comma splice - it's an emergency situation. You have to call Comma 9-1-1! Make a set of cards with all the possible ways to fix a comma splice: conjunctions to go with the comma, a period, a semicolon, and, if your students have studied these, add conjunctive adverbs as well. Put these cards into a tool box or medical bag. Select a small group of students to play the role of the Grammar First Responders. They should run up to the sentence, look through the box, and select the proper cards to correct the sentence. Switch out roles so everyone gets a chance to act as the Grammar First Responders. Later, when you encounter a comma splice in student writing you can call out ''Comma 9-1-1!'' This can act as a trigger for students to remember the tools they used to correct those comma splices.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account