Teaching Comma Rules

Teaching Comma Rules

Are you looking for some fun activities to teach fifth graders the five Common Core comma rules? You have come to the right place. This post includes the following:

  • an anchor chart idea
  • an organizer idea
  • YouTube videos to learn the rules
  • a Jeopardy game 
  • task cards 

These low-prep activities can be ready to use in just moments. Before you know it, your students will master all the comma rules and have fun doing so.


Teaching Idea #1 – Comma Rules Anchor Chart

Comma Rules Anchor Chart

Students will find this anchor chart a quick easy reference.

This anchor chart covers the 5th-grade Common Core rules:

Use punctuation to separate items in a series.*

Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.

Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).

The Rules

  • To set off the name of the person to who you are speaking
  • After introductory words yes and no and interjections
  • To separate words or groups of words in a series
  • To set off introductory elements
  • In tag questions

More Rules

  • To set off an appositive
  • To join two related sentences
  • Between the day of the week and the month – Between the date and the year
  • To separate the name of a city and its state or country
  • To separate a quote from a source phrase
  • In friendly letters, after the greeting and closing
  • In business letters, after the closing

Teaching Idea #2 – Learning Comma Rules with an Organizer

Making foldable organizers uses up a lot of class time. This quick and simple organizer can be made in a matter of minutes. Just fold the copier paper and staple it across the top. Best yet, no cutting is needed.

How to Create a Staggered Flip Organizer
How to Create a Staggered Flip Organizer
  1. Stagger three pages of regular-sized duplicating paper by moving each up approximately ½ inch.
  2. Fold the stack in half lining up the pages so the entire stack is staggered. Staple across the top.

How to Create a Staggered Flip Organizer
  1. Have students label the top flap with a title and write rules on the bottom of the pages. Keep these short. After opening a page, students can write a more detailed rule.
How to Create a Staggered Flip Organizer
  1. On the inside of the organizer, students will write detailed rules and example sentences.

Teaching Idea #3 – Learning the Rules with Video

Play Video about The Electric Company Comma Video
Play Video about The Electric Company Comma Video

Commas and Quotes (The Electric Company)

Play Video about Comma Lesson Video

Introductory Elements and Commas

Comma Video
Play Video about Comma Video

Teaching Idea #4 – Practice the Rules with a Game of Jeopardy

Comma Rules Jeopardy Game

This Jeopardy game was created using Google Slides. I recommend converting it to a PowerPoint because Google Slides does not have the option for changing the color of visited links.

The five categories for the game match the five 5th-grade CCSS comma standards. Questions vary from adding commas to sentences to multiple-choice questions to explaining the rules.

This is a fun activity for test review.

Teaching Idea #5 – More Practice with Task Cards

Comma Rules Task Cards

These task cards were created on Google Slides making them 100% editable. Not only can teachers change the text but colors as well. You can even dress them up with some clipart.

Cards can easily be used for station activities, independent practice, review games like Scoot, assessment, brain breaks, test prep, and so on.

Depending on the skill you wish to practice, have students identify the rules the sentences use or remove the commas and have students rewrite the sentences correctly by adding commas. Sentences are short making rewriting them quick.

Teaching Idea #6 – On the Web

Activities that help Students Learn Comma Rules

39 FREE Punctuation Worksheets

Rules for Learning Commas – This Grammarly page goes over comma rules with example sentences. This is a great resource for students to use as they complete the foldable organizer.

Commas Galore interactive (Quia Game)


Gay Miller

Permanent link to this article: https://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=3095


    • Shawanna on March 17, 2017 at 7:54 am

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