Lesson Plan - Get It!
- Did you know there are 14 punctuation marks in the English language, and the colon is one of them?
- Did you know that the colon can be called the great organizer?
- Did you know that both dots in a colon are the same size?
Keep reading to learn how great writers use the colon to organize their writing!
This lesson will show you what a colon is as well as when and how to use it.
Understanding punctuation helps you comprehend what you read and write more clearly so that others can understand you!
- Do you remember what a colon looks like?
Those two little dots, one on top of the other, is a colon!
This punctuation mark can be used in five main ways to organize ideas and make ideas more clear.
- A colon can be used to introduce a list or a series of items.
As you look at these examples, spot the colon and how it starts a list:
For the beach trip, you will need to bring: a swimsuit, a towel, water, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
In order to make spaghetti, the ingredients needed are: pasta, marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese, and ground beef.
The bookstore had books separated by: home decor, gardening, baking, and sewing.
- A colon can be used to help show time more clearly.
For example, if you want to say it is one-thirty in the afternoon, you could write 1:30 PM. The colon goes between the hour and the minutes.
Look at these examples:
- A colon can be used to separate a title from a subtitle.
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
William Shakespeare: The Complete Works
- A colon can be used to separate independent clauses within a sentence.
Remember that an independent clause is a group of words with its own subject and action (verb) that creates a complete thought.
The clause after a colon gets the most emphasis, and it either completes the thought of the clause before it or explains that first clause further.
Look at these examples:
All the family members agreed: they wanted to get a new puppy.
A dolphin is not a fish: it is a warm-blooded mammal.
- Do you see how the second clause completes the first clause by providing the truly important information?
- A colon can be used to introduce a quote or direct speech.
Check out these examples:
He offered the following advice: "Take your time and try your best on the test."
My mom warned me: "Finish cleaning the kitchen before you go outside to play."
These are the five main uses for colons; however, there are a few other times when a colon is used to organize writing. Examples include Bible verses and in screenplays or interviews to show who is speaking.
Review all you just learned with Colon song from Grammaropolis - "The Colon: The Great Organizer" from Grammaropolis:
When you are ready, head over to the Got It? section for some colon practice!