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Punctuation Points

To REALLY get your boys (shhh… and girls) crazy and conscientious about punctuation, create Punctuation Points. Keep these in a high profile place at the front of your classroom:

Full Stop = 2 points
Comma = 1 point
Inverted Commas = 3 points
Question Mark = 5 points
Exclamation Mark = 5 points
Colon = 3 points
Semi-Colon = 3 points
Ellipses = 5 points
Hyphen = 5 points
Brackets = 3 points

During Peer Assessement, get your pupils to not only find three things they like about their peer’s work but also one thing they could improve AND a total for how many punctuation points they have achieved. Yes, you may get some pupils trying too hard but embrace their efforts! You will find your pupils will be actively looking for how punctuation impacts their writing for THEIR audience!

Thanks to the POWER of Twitter Mark Warner has produced some fantastic resources to go with this idea which include posters, leader boards and points charts. Thank you Mark!

If you do decide to try this, please come back and let everyone know how you got on!

To read more tips for Boys’ Writing follow @BoysWriting on Twitter

November 8, 2012


Leave a comment
  1. Emma Wassall
    November 8, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Love it, can’t wait to try it on Monday 🙂

    • mitchell
      November 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

      I hope you come back and share how it went for you and your pupils?

      • Jon BIddle
        November 9, 2012 at 8:04 am #

        This looks great- they love a bit of competition in class. Will let you know how it goes

        • Jon Biddle
          November 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

          Massive success! Virtually all the kids tried to use a new piece of punctuation. I added in a bonus point for the correct use of a capital letter.

          • mitchell
            November 18, 2012 at 11:49 am #


            This is great news!! Thanks so much for trying it. Do come back with any further updates!!


  2. Steve Griffiths
    November 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Tried it today with my year 3 slightly amended to exclude more ambitious punctuation. Worked a treat.

    • mitchell
      November 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

      That’s great Steve! Did you get them to per assess using it or write whilst thinking about points?

      • Steve Griffiths
        November 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

        Write whilst thinking about points, as well as VCOP.

  3. Tracy Kewley
    November 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Really interesting idea David – I can see how this would enthuse children. In the peer assessment, do children look to see if the punctuation is used correctly and not overused? Don’t you find that children splatter their writing with inappropriate punctuation?

    • mitchell
      November 18, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      At first there was a little bit of that but we built in some penalties for those doing that. You only got the points if the punctuation was used correctly. Pupils soon saw that correct application was needed. But even getting some of the pupils to splatter was better than nothing at all. It raised awareness.

  4. Roy Bird
    November 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    This is a great idea. I’ve been using a sentence pricelist for a few years now which is basicially the same but with money. It also includes words, so, if they start a sentence with a connective, ‘-ing’ or ‘-ly’ word then there’s extra money up for grabs. The Year 2’s, 4’s and 5’s that I’ve tried it with so far have loved it.

    There is a laminated sheet in the “Class RB Literacy Support Booklets” where they can work out the price of their sentences as they go or where others can peer mark and hand back to the writer.

    • Nicola Darling
      November 18, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      This sounds fantastic! What do they do with the money they earn?

  5. Nicki Tempero
    November 11, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Fantastic idea, a little bit of competition works

  6. Dawn Pendlington
    November 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Tried it once and saw huge improvement in using a range of punctuation. I asked children for feedback. All children said they enjoyed it and gave several different reasons. They were all very much on task! Im very impressed and will be using it again.

    • mitchell
      November 18, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      Thanks Dawn, great to see that you asked the pupils for feedback too!!! Exactly what I did. Thanks for getting back in touch with some feedback too.

  7. chinki chhapia
    November 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Nice idea..will implement in my school..for sure. Thanks

  8. emma
    November 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    What a super idea!

    • mitchell
      November 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

      Hi Emma

      If you do try it, would you pop back and let me and others know how you get on?

  9. Paul Cowburn
    November 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    Brill … Will be up on my wall tomorrow … Classroom wall that is! (15-points earned there)

    • mitchell
      November 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      Great, glad you will be trying it! By the comments so far, it looks like people that have tried have had a chunk of success with it. Please will you come back and let us know how you got on with it?

  10. Jenny Marsh
    November 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    A super idea – thank you so much for sharing. I’ll have that laminated and up ready for my new Y5/6 class in January!

  11. Joanne Gordon
    November 18, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Great idea. In KS1 they love acting as peer detectives to check each others work. How about something similar for them eg points for caps used in correct places, full stops, initial sounds, medial sounds and correct end sounds in a word.

    Worth a try to make accurate phoneme use and basic punctuation fun!

    • mitchell
      November 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

      Absolutely Joanne! Adapt the concept for YOUR pupils but please do come back and feedback how it goes. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  12. alison
    November 20, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Downloaded ready to try tomorrow with my Year 6 class. They (and I( love Top Gear so may tie in with the car posters rather well. Let you know how it goes! Thank you for the idea.

  13. Katie Wilson - KS2 Teacher
    November 21, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Punctuation Points, first day! Feedback from a mixed Y3-5 class!

    “Well I only used to be able to use full stops and commas, this is helping me add more punctuation to my writing!” Kian

    “I enjoyed doing it, because you can challenge yourself and write more using punctuation. I liked the fact that it is Numeracy and Literacy because you need to add up at the end!” Paula

    “I like it because it makes you want to add more punctuation to make your work better!” Lewis

    “I only used a full stop before in my writing, but today I used question marks, speech marks and commas.” Laish

    “We are going to keep totals of each of our scores and it will encourage us all to remember to use punctuation in our writing. In our houses, we are going to keep running totals and the highest scoring house at the end of a term will win something! We don’t know what yet though!” Woodpeckers Class – Miss Wilson

  14. Jo Yr6
    December 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    I’m borrowing this idea to try out in my class after the Christmas holidays. Poster is made …cannot wait to see how the children take to it.

  15. Mrs. Thatcher
    January 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Used this today with my low ability year 7s as a sort of plenary task. They worked out the points for the work they’d done in the lesson. Many cheated, adding in a few extra bits and one student corrected her neighbours saying, ‘you’ve not used any capital letters!’ Never have I seen kids so excited over punctuation. Peer and self assessment – big tick! Fab.

    • mitchell
      January 19, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      Great to see you using the idea and making it work for your pupils! Thanks for the feedback.

      • Ms S
        January 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

        Great idea. Will also add capital letters – and I work in secondary!

  16. Ms. B
    January 25, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    I’ll be using your punctuation points with my Saturday intensive writing class for 4th graders. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Dawn Pendlington
    January 26, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    I’ve been using Punctuation Points since November . The children ask to use them and really enjoy peer marking and totalling the points . It has worked very well with reluctant users of punctuation, esp boys but the girls don’t like to be beaten by them so it works really well all round . I get a much wider range of punctuation when I put up the
    visual display using the downloaded posters .

  18. Lucie
    January 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Picked this up and now the punctuation points permanently on my board. Works with yr 7 to yr 11 pupils. Great for getting them to focus on punctuation to their extended writing in science.

  19. Jan
    November 21, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    Printed punctuation points today can’t wait to introduce to kids 😉 great idea

  20. Lisa
    December 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Used this with a Year 5 class and it really appealed to their competitive side. As with all learning, they need a variety of approaches. The poster is still on working wall oir referencing with different genres

  21. Sarah
    January 11, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    What a fantastic idea that will fit in just right with my F1 theme and writing pit stop. Thank you.

  22. helendw
    February 1, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Great idea – especially if points make prizes? Golden time or…..? I wondered if this would link with some data handling. Could children produce spreadsheets using some formulas to compare their points through graphs? Either against each other or over time to see how their punctuation was improving?

  23. Emma B
    March 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    I have adapted this and used it in MFL. We use it with year 7 to 11. Huge difference especially giving them a target to reach eg 100 points in a piece of writing.

  24. Megan Parsons
    April 23, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    What a great idea! We will share this with our teachers


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