Children entering Grade 4 may have varying degrees of competency when it comes to how they use punctuation. One common issue you may find is that your child forgets to properly end their sentences in a timely manner using the correct sentence ending punctuation. This comes with practice and it can help for children to read their writing aloud once they have completed it. To understand what your fourth-grade child will have picked up from earlier grades, you may also like to browse through our helpful articles using the navigation bar above.
This article will focus on new skills that your child will need to acquire to be successful in Grade 4. We’ll show you how they can use quotation marks to pick out sections of text, whilst also looking at a variety of ways that they can use the comma when structuring more complex sentences.
Here are two of the ways we use quotation marks:
You’ll find examples of how to use quotation marks in direct speech within our Grade 3 article. We’ll move right into talking you through how your child can quote from a text when they are answering reading comprehension questions at this level.
When your child is writing about or answering questions on a text they have read, they need to give evidence for the claims that they make. Evidence is often a quotation from the text and is punctuated with quotation marks.
There are two uses of quotation marks in this context:
- for book titles
- for the words you have quoted from the text
Look at this example, citing the book “The Giraffes of Whispering Wood” by Joshua Davidson:
- In “The Giraffes of Whispering Wood”, Will’s teacher, Mrs Barnes, does not like his painting of a purple elephant. On page 25, when Mrs Barnes looked at Will’s painting she “wrinkled her nose and tutted three times.” This shows that she didn’t like the painting.
Practice Tip: Challenge your child to play through our lesson on nightzookeeper.com all about quotations and ask them to practice including them in their writing at the end of the lesson.
The comma is a punctuation mark that we use to separate parts of a sentence and words within a sentence.
We use a comma to separate items in a list. For example:
- Night Zookeeper Will wears a hat, coat, and tie.
Commas are important when writing a letter. Use a comma in the date, the greeting, and the closing. When writing an address on an envelope, remember to use a comma between the city and state.
When writing an address in a sentence, use commas after each part of the address. For example:
- The Professor lives at 5 Igloo Street, Iceberg, Igloo City, The Night Zoo.
A comma is also used before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
A compound sentence is made up of two independent clauses. An independent clause is a complete thought that makes sense as a sentence on its own.
This is an example of a compound sentence all about ants!
Your child can complete the remainder of this lesson on nightzookeeper.com to practice their use of commas in compound sentences.
Your child can practice and develop their punctuation skills on nightzookeeper.com. There are hundreds of challenges and games that help children work on their basic writing skills, and a wealth of opportunity to put these skills into practice as they complete creative writing activities.