Monday, February 1, 2016

Lesson Plan: Colon Minilesson

Subject/Grade: Grammar, 6th Grade (can be adapted for other grade levels)


• Students will be able to determine when it is appropriate to use a colon.

• Students will be able to write three sentences properly using colons for each way that a colon is used.


• CC.1.4.6.F: Demonstrate a grade appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and spelling.

• E07.D.1.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

• E07.D.1.2.4: Use punctuation to separate items in a series. 

Anticipatory Set: Show the following graphic:

Ask the class, “what are some other ways we use colons?”


I do: Explain the situations that colons are used in. Provide examples. 

• To signal that a list or series is coming. 
  • Example: I packed everything I needed for a night away from home: pajamas, toothbrush, a good novel, and warm socks. 
• To signal that a long quotation is coming. (7+ word for quote “rule.”)
  • Example: The aliens repeatedly insisted: "We come in peace. Take me to your
• To signal that an explanation is coming.
  • Example: Garlic is used in Italian cooking: It greatly enhances the flavor of pasta dishes 
• Salutation in a letter.
  • Example: Dear Mrs. Smith: 

We do: Create examples as a class. Start by having two sentences, then have the students combine the sentences using colons. Have them come up to the chalkboard and correct the sentences using a colon.

• List: I went to the grocery and bought four items. I bought... (students select items they bought).

• Quotation: Students will make a sentence with this Dr. Suess quote, using a colon: “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

• Explanation: The students agreed. They agreed on/that... (students finish the sentence)

You do: Have students write their own sentences, one for each way that colons are used. Students will create their sentences with a partner. They will be given a worksheet to guide them through the sentences. The sentences will be collected at the end of class.

Ask students to share their sentences to the class. Have one student share for each example (list, quotation, explanation). Have them write their sentences on the board. (For time sake, have them verbally read their sentences and state where they put the colon.)

Differentiation: Students may draw their sentences first before writing them out if it helps them. Students will also receive a handout on how colons are used in the different situations.

Closure: Create groups of four. Students will share the sentences they wrote within their group. They will assess if their peers used colons successfully. They will hand in their sentences as a ticket out the door.

Formative/Summative Assessment: Students will be formatively assessed through the sentences they are required to write with a partner. They will hand in the worksheet with their sentences.


Sentences worksheet (Available on Teachers Pay Teachers)

• Chalkboard/chalk

• Poster board with chart for anticipatory set

Technology: Not needed, but sentences could be projected on a screen as an additional option.

Reflection on Planning:

When planning this lesson, I wanted to make sure I incorporated the “I do, we do, you do” method. During this method, the teacher models first, then goes into guided practice with the whole class, then students work independently or in small groups. I wanted to incorporate group work, so I chose the “you do” to be in a small group.

A struggle was time constraints. This lesson will be taught in ten minutes, so I have a lot of material to fit in a short amount of time.

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