Grade 6 Punctuation

Discover Grade 6 punctuation standards

Now that your child has reached sixth grade, they'll have a good understanding of all the basic punctuation rules. For example, they’ll be able to correctly structure and punctuate a simple sentence, write a well formed question, and properly punctuate dialogue in their stories. They'll also be ready for new challenges and to explore more interesting forms of punctuation and sentence structure.

This guide will take you through a variety of different ways to use punctuation (commas, parentheses, and dashes) to vary sentence structure. Let's get started!

Nonrestrictive Clauses

Sometimes we may want to add extra information into our sentences. This little bit extra is named a nonrestrictive clause. The sentence will make sense if the extra information is taken out.

We can use three different types of punctuation when adding extra information to our sentence:


We use commas to punctuate a nonrestrictive clause when we want the sentence to flow with little interruption.


Sentence: The Professor makes the best hot chocolate.

Nonrestrictive clause: who lives in Igloo City

Combined: The Professor, who lives in Igloo City, makes the best hot chocolate.

N.B. Include a comma before and after the nonrestrictive clause.


Use parentheses when your nonrestrictive clause is an interruption to your original sentence or thought.


Sentence: Eek the mouse leads the Igloo City Resistance.

Nonrestrictive clause: a plucky, brightly dressed fellow

Combined: Eek the mouse (a plucky, brightly dressed fellow) leads the Igloo City Resistance.

N.B. Use parentheses around your nonrestrictive clause


Use dashes to punctuate your nonrestrictive clause when the extra information you are adding is a big interruption to your original sentence or thought.


Sentence: Will’s injury caused him to crumple to the floor.

Nonrestrictive clause: a deep gash

Combined: Will’s injurya deep gashcaused him to crumple to the floor.

N.B. Use dashes before and after your nonrestrictive clause

Practice Tip

Challenge your sixth grader to unscramble sentences that include dashes to punctuate a nonrestrictive clause. Just like the challenge below that can be found on Night Zookeeper:

Sentence rearrange activity on, displayed on laptop screen.

How Night Zookeeper can help

Night Zookeeper logo, displayed on tablet screen.

Night Zookeeper is a language arts program created by experts to make reading & writing fantastically fun for children. Our wide range of gamified educational content targets all ELA topics, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, reading, and writing!

Whether you use Night Zookeeper as a supplemental resource, or as your homeschool language arts curriculum, you can expect to see an improvement in your child’s skills in just a few weeks!

Here are some of the thousands of resources available on our program right now:

  • Punctuation games
  • Pre-made lesson plans to take the work off your shoulders
  • Interactive lesson series
  • Printable worksheets for offline learning
  • Grade-appropriate vocabulary word games

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