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Home » Blog » Literacy » Writing & Language » Teaching Commas in 2nd Grade

Teaching Commas in 2nd Grade

Grammar, Literacy, Writing & Language, Writing Instruction

Written by: Mary Kate Bolinder

I always get a chuckle out of the “Punctuation saves lives” memes and signs. They usually go something like this:

Let’s eat, Grandpa!

Let’s eat Grandpa.

It may seem silly, but it is a great example of why proper use of commas in a sentence can make all the difference! Put a comma in the wrong spot, or have no comma at all, and the meaning of the sentence is completely changed. Let’s take a closer look on how commas are used in 2nd grade grammar.

What is a comma?

A comma is a punctuation mark that separates words in a sentence. A comma indicates that the reader should take a pause.

An anchor chart to teach commas in dates, commas in friendly letters, commas in a series and commas in cities and states.

Teaching Comma Rules in 2nd Grade

The comma has many uses in English grammar. 2nd grade learners will focus on these uses of commas:

1. Separating words in a list

When there are three or more nouns in a list in a sentence, they should be separated with a comma.

Example: Grandpa wants to ride the Ferris Wheel, swings, and roller coaster.

2. In greetings and closings of a letter

A simple letter written on the board with commas highlighted red.

When writing a friendly letter, a comma should come after the greeting and the closing.

Example:

Dear Grandpa,

I had so much fun at the carnival.

Love,

Molly

3. When writing a date

Commas help separate important parts of a date. When writing a date, there should be a comma after the day of the week, and after the numerical date.

Example: Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

Review this skill with the Caterpillar Commas activity!

Download HERE

4. To separate a city and state

Separate a city and state in a sentence with a comma.

Example: We will travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Tactile ways to Teach Commas in 2nd Grade

Many learners love hands on, tactile activities to reinforce a new skill. When teaching commas, write a sentence on large sentence strips. Then have students use a piece of elbow macaroni to show where the comma belongs. Once students have practiced on several pre-written sentences, have them practice writing their own sentence. Glue down the elbow macaroni on their sentence strips, and hang the new sentence art around the room. You can also use play-doh or a fingertip dipped in paint to form commas in this activity, too.

1. Macaroni!

Macaroni noodles placed where commas belong in the sentence written on a sentence strip.

Or try our Mac and Cheese Comma center cards for this activity!

commas in dates grammar center for 2nd grade

More Resources for teaching commas in 2nd Grade:

2. Toothy Grammar Games

Toothy game to practice correct placement of commas.

Pick a sentence card, and rewrite the sentence with the correct commas. Teachers and students love this self-checking card game!

3. Comma Llama Grammar Center

Comma Llamas grammar center activity

Give a thumbs up or a thumbs down as you sort through examples of commas in sentences.

4. Spiral Grammar Review

Grammar Day By Day worksheets to practice correct placement of commas.

A 2nd grade grammar worksheet with 5 days of comma practice that can be used as a writing center, small group, and homework.


Comma Videos for 2nd Grade

The visual of the comma bird will be so helpful for some students!

These songs will be stuck in your head, and help students remember how and when to use a comma:

This song features some of the more complex uses for commas, but students will still bounce along to this catchy song!

Now that you know all about commas, it’s time to plan an awesome, amazing, and engaging lesson! You can check out all our comma resources in All Access here. Tell us your favorite resource to teach about commas in the comments below.


Tips for Teaching Kids Other Grammar Skills

Check out these links below for tips on teaching specific grammar skills.

Nouns

Verbs

Common & Proper Nouns

Types of sentences

Capitalization

Commas – YOU ARE HERE

Complete Sentences

Contractions

ABC order 

Verb tenses

Linking Verbs

Punctuation

Possessive Nouns

Abbreviations

Comparative Endings

Adjectives

Antonyms & Synonyms

Irregular plural nouns & verbs

Pronouns 

Subject-verb agreement 

Collective nouns

Articles

Demonstrative pronouns

Adverbs

Multiple-meaning words

Prepositional phrases

Shades of meaning – verbs & adjectives

Similes & metaphors

Homophones

Expanding Sentences

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Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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