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Year 6 SATs Practice - SPaG questions - Semi-colons, colons, dashes and bullet points

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At the end of Key Stage 2, children in Year 6 complete the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test (GPS). Are your pupils ready?

This Year 6 SPaG Questions pack will support the practise of test style questions that pupils will face in paper 1 of the end of Key Stage 2 English Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling test.

These resources can be used alongside our Year 6 Revision Blaster worksheets to support revision in your classroom, in this case, of semi-colons, colons, dashes and bullet points.

All our SPAG Questions and Revision Blaster resource packs focus on the content domains from the Key Stage 2 grammar, punctuation and spelling test framework (National Curriculum tests from 2016).

Content domains covered in this resource:

  • G5.10 colons
  • G5. 11 semi-colons
  • G5.12 single dashes
  • G5.14 bullet points

This pack includes:

  • SPaG Questions PPT slides: Colons, semi-colons, dashes and bullet points
  • Let’s Practise! 1 and 2 PDF worksheets, (also shown on PPT slides 5 and 6)

Marking boundaries between independent clauses

Semi-colons, colons and dashes can all be used to mark boundaries between independent clauses.

Colons

A colon is used when the second independent clause is an explanation or offers an example linked to the first.

Tigers have thick orange and black striped fur: these stripes provide the tigers with camouflage in their habitat.

Semi-colons

A semi-colon should be used to punctuate two independent clauses that are closely linked and give information that is of equal importance.

Tigers are solitary animals; unlike lions, who live and hunt in groups called prides.

Dashes

A dash can be used to link two independent clauses. It is usually used in writing that is less formal.

The tiger’s fur is covered in orange and black stripes – it looks magnificent!

Colons and semi-colons in lists

A colon can be used to introduce a list following an independent clause.

Tigers can be found in four countries: Russia, North Korea, China and India.

A semi-colon is used in a list to separate longer phrases.

Tigers face three threats in the wild: their habitats are being destroyed; poachers hunt and kill the animal for medicines; and tigers are killed or captured if they come too close to communities as their habitat shrinks.

Bullet points

Bullet points are used to list information. This draws attention to important information. Colons are usually used to introduce bullet points. If the information after the bullet point is not a complete sentence, the bullet points do not need to be punctuated.

Tigers are found in the following countries:
• Russia
• North Korea
• China
• India

If the information after the bullet point is a complete sentence, it should be punctuated with a capital letter and full stop.

In the wild, tigers face many threats:
• Their habitats are being destroyed.
• Poachers hunt and kill tigers so that parts of its body can be used for medicine.
• Tigers are killed or captured if they come too close to communities in the hunt for food.

  • SPaG Questions PPT slides: Colons, semi-colons, dashes and bullet points
  • Let’s Practise! 1 and 2 PDF worksheets, (also shown on PPT slides 5 and 6)
  • Teacher notes
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