Grade 1 Punctuation

Discover Grade 1 punctuation standards

At Grade 1 level, children learn to use punctuation marks with the basic process of creating a simple sentence and including a piece of sentence-ending punctuation, such as a period, question mark and exclamation point. In this article, we’ll take you through each of these first-grade concepts and provide some practice tips for you to try with your child.

What Is Punctuation?

Punctuation is a name for the marks we use to make our writing clear.

Periods, question marks, and exclamation points are punctuation that mark the end of a sentence. A sentence tells a complete thought.


A period marks the end of a statement. A statement is a sentence that tells you something.

Practice Tip

Practise putting periods at the end of sentences on Night Zookeeper! Challenge your first grader to unscramble sentences ensuring the punctuation is placed in the correct position.

Sentence unscramble activity on, displayed on tablet screen.


Your first grader will learn that, when a sentence asks something, it should end with a question mark.

We often use these words to begin a question:

  • What
  • Where
  • Who
  • When


When a sentence shows a strong feeling, it's called an exclamation. An exclamation sentence ends with an exclamation point.

Practice tip

Practice writing exclamations in the Night Zookeeper lesson series about punctuation.


The comma is a punctuation mark that we use to separate numbers and words.

In first grade, children learn how to use a comma to separate the date and the year. The comma shows us where the date ends and the year begins.

  • January 1, 2023

The comma can also be used to separate items in a list. Children may practice writing sentences just like this when in first grade:

  • Night Zookeeper Will wears a hat, coat, and tie.

Practice Tip

Get your child to learn all about commas with Sam's Story Writing lesson series on Night Zookeeper!

Lesson on the use of commas, displayed on tablet screen.

How Night Zookeeper can help

Night Zookeeper logo, displayed on tablet screen.

Whether used as a supplemental resource or as your homeschool language arts curriculum, Night Zookeeper will make ELA fantastically fun for your child!

Our language arts program covers the key punctuation rules your first grader needs to learn to move on to second grade and beyond. It includes thousands of first grade punctuation resources, including games, lesson series on punctuation, printable worksheets, and much more!

Sign up today to access first grade punctuation activities and get a FREE 7-day trial!

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