Blanche DuBois, a character in Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, is most famous for her line, “All my life I have depended upon the kindness of strangers.”
Yes, the worst of times can often bring out the best in humanity.
During this time of isolation, I would like to share some kindness in the form of comma exercises for those of you who may be struggling with homeschooling your kids. When a friend asked me for help with her son’s essay, I decided that others might need some help as well.
Below you will find printable PDF files for comma rules and comma worksheets for elementary, middle school, and high school students.
Since the comma is the most misused mark of punctuation, I think students should know why they are used. According to Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition, the last and most important rule, not to use unnecessary commas, requires knowledge of why they are necessary.
In the file labeled “Comma Rules,” you will find fifteen rules with examples. For the parent who hasn’t studied grammar in perhaps fifteen to twenty years, I have also included explanations of terms such as participial phrases, adverb clauses, etc.
In addition to the rules, you will find a worksheet for three different grade levels.
In the My Weird School worksheet, your elementary child can identify comma uses while learning more about Dan Gutman and his awesome books. I have also provided an answer key if you need help. My nieces and nephew love A.J. and his weird school antics!
In The Hobbit worksheet, your middle school child can learn about Tolkien and his world of Middle Earth. I would encourage you to watch The Hobbit movies if you haven’t already seen them.
Finally, the high school worksheet contains information about Shakespeare and his three famous plays Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth. I encourage you to engage in conversation with your child about his or her knowledge of this great playwright.
I think my students enjoyed their quests to be “Comma Conquerors” and “Knights of Commalot” when we were studying literature with a good vs. evil theme. However, they tackled these comma rules after several months of studying the underlying principles of grammar.
With that in mind, don’t be too concerned as a parent if your child doesn’t fully understand “two independent clauses with a conjunction” or a “nonessential adjective clause.” Take time not only to analyze the comma usage but also to learn about these authors and their literary works. Look up unfamiliar words, find places on Google Earth, or try to write a sonnet together. Just make a connection, and be kind with one another.
If you have any questions, feel free to follow this blog by entering your email address. You will then see a comments section where you can address your concerns. I will do my best to respond.
“The level of our success is limited only by our imagination; and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” –Aesop
Psalm 31:21; Proverbs 31:26