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‘How to use a Dash’ Year 5 SPaG Worksheets

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These bright, appealing grammar worksheets are a great help for practising and revising the use of dashes in Y5. There are three worksheets in total, covering the following five sections – ‘understand’, ‘challenge’, ‘test’, ‘explain’ and ‘apply’.

  • Understand
    Looking at a series of sentences, students come up with their own text additions that are suitable for placing either between or after pre-placed dashes.
  • Challenge
    Guided by an image prompt, students write a sentence that uses a dash to create emphasis.
  • Test
    Students tick which of five sentences make correct use of a dash, and decide where dashes should be inserted into five existing sentences
  • Explain
    ‘Using your own words, explain how you can use dashes for effect in your writing. Give examples.’
  • Apply
    Students are tasked with composing a letter of complain that employs dashes in two sentences.

What is a dash?

A punctuation mark (–) that can be used in place of brackets or a colon to indicate a clause that provides additional or clarifying information. The shorter hyphen (-) is used to join words together so that they produce a combined meaning.

Dash examples

  • The teacher – who had only just started at the school – was not happy.
  • My father speaks with a strong accent – he’s from Germany.
  • A friend of mine – I have many friends – was able to help me.

National Curriculum English programme of study links

Pupils should be taught to indicate grammatical and other features by using brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis.

  • Worksheets featuring five sections: understand challenge test explain and apply. Activities include SATs style questions and opportunities for creative writing responses with eye-catching images as prompts
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