Lesson Plan on Punctuation Changes and Sentence Meaning: Elementary Language Arts

What is a Sentence?

There are several rules the student must remember to comprehend a sentence.

A sentence:

  • Is a set of words
  • Tells a total or complete idea
  • Starts off with a capital letter
  • Ends with a punctuation such as a period, question mark, or exclamation point

Examples of a sentence:

  • My car is bigger than yours.
  • He is taller than Jan.
  • They went to the farm.

Examples of non-sentences:

  • Bigger than yours.
  • Is blue.
  • Did it.

The previous examples of sentences make sense. The non-sentences do not show a complete thought process. It seems to abruptly start or end.

Not only does the sentence have to make sense but the words have to be in order.


In order:

  1. I have a bat.
  2. He is tall.

Not in order:

  1. Bat I have.
  2. Tall is he.

Period, Question Mark, Exclamation Point:

When should we use a period, when should we use a question mark, and when should we use an exclamation point? When we change the end punctuation this changes the meaning of the sentence.

When the sentence is stating something as it is telling about something or even someone, we would use a period.


  • The car is blue. ( We are stating that the car is blue)
  • She has red hair. ( We are stating that she has red hair)

What About Questions?

A question is a sentence which asks something. We end a question with a question mark. (?)


  • What color is the car? (We are asking what color the car is)
  • Who is her friend? (We are asking who her friend is)

Common words which will come at the start of the question:

    1. Who?
    2. What?
    3. When?
    4. Where?
    5. Why?
    6. How?

Exclamation Points!

An exclamation is also sentence but this sentence shows a strong emotion or reaction. (!)


· Turn down that radio!

· Stop that train!

Language Arts Activities:

  1. While explaining to students the difference between statements, questions, and exclamations have them complete the compare and contrast chart provided below.
  2. Put students into groups or pairs. Print out the word sheet provided below and give one word sheet to each group/pair. They will now cut the word cards out and create statements, questions, and exclamations. This hands on learning activity will allow for the students to fully comprehend when to use the punctuation marks.
  3. Have students complete the quiz provided after the lesson.


Word Sheet