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Colons and Semicolons Year 6 Story Starters Tricky Grammar Worksheets Lesson Pack 1

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This teaching sequence has been designed to help children revisit and recall a key grammatical concept from the National Curriculum programme of study for Year 6.

The session provides a motivating and memorable image to stimulate discussion, before introducing the grammar element, which is ‘colons and semicolons’ (pt 1).

Children have time to practise using this feature, before undertaking a short writing task to apply what they have learnt in the context of creative writing.

This primary resource includes:

  • Colons and semicolons grammar challenge
    Finish the sentences that include colons or semicolons
  • Colons and semicolons writing challenge
    Write the rest of the conversation, and try to use a semicolon and a colon in your writing
  • Teacher’s notes

What is a colon?

A punctuation mark that is typically used to introduce a list of items, a direct quotation or some form of explanation.

Colon examples

  • Mrs Jones said: “This was not supposed to happen.”
  • They talked about three things: the weather, what they’d had for lunch and how noisy it was.
  • The pain was bad enough to make one thing clear: he’d really hurt himself.

What is a semicolon?

A punctuation mark that indicates a pause, typically between two closely related clauses, that is more pronounced a comma but less pronounced than a full stop.

Semicolon examples

  • I had a huge meal; however, I am already hungry again.
  • I saw a large bird; it was eating a worm.
  • Let’s go to the library; there is a book I need to borrow.
  • I know you don’t like muesli; nevertheless, it is healthier than sugary cereals.

National Curriculum English programme of study links

Pupils should be taught to indicate grammatical and other features by using semicolons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between independent clauses [and] using a colon to introduce a list.

  • teacher notes
  • activity sheets
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