On teaching the use of semicolons

Last week, in preparation for the first quarterly benchmark exam, I decided to teach my classes how to use semicolons and colons.  I thought I’d do kind of a mini-lesson on that topic, and then we’d read a short non-fiction piece.  Little did I know it would take the whole block to teach the semicolon lesson!  And I’m not sure how solid they are on it.  To me it is really very straight-forward.  I am still amazed that it could take so long to get this concept across.  I’m wondering about my delivery.  Lots of direct instruction, accompanied by one on one instruction.  I just want them to know when to use a semicolon and why.  Sounds simple enough, does’t it?  It did to me.  It’s funny, even though I’m not sure they got it, I felt in a good teaching zone when we were doing the lesson, like this was how it should be.  I wonder…


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