Colon and Semicolon: Peer Response Huddle

TITLE: Colon and semicolon

GRADE: 4-9

TIME/MATERIALS:  create your own examples (or contact us if you want some!), 20 minutes

PROVIDE FOR INCLUSION – A You Question, Energizer, or Linking Strategy:

Introduce students to the strategy of Peer Response Huddle using current (celebrity) events. Examples: Who has been in the news recently because of their new baby? ( It is important to ask questions that some, but not necessarily ALL students know; it is also appropriate to ask questions to which there is more than one correct answer). Three to five questions is sufficient for this part of the learning experience.


Content Standard: Use a semicolon between items in a series containing internal punctuation. Use a semicolon between closely related independent clauses not joined by a coordinating conjunction. Use a colon to introduce a list.

Collaborative: Work on tasks together, participate fully, listen attentively

Personal: Share knowledge and understanding of others

IDENTIFY THE STRATEGY: Peer Response Huddle p. 306 Tribes… p. 322 Discovering Gifts… p. 407 Engaging All…High School…

Have students in groups of four or five. Each student chooses a number (1 through 4 or 5 – however many group members there are)

Pose a question

Example:  Colon or Semicolon:

I don’t watch much television lately it is more negative news than positive news andI enjoy reading a book instead.

After each question is presented, students quickly talk in their groups, so that everyone/anyone is capable of answering correctly. After 10 – 20 seconds or student/group discussion, call a number and only that numbered student stands for each group, prepared to answer. (Use of whiteboards is also a good way for student to respond – the numbered student is the one to hold up the whiteboard). Discuss/answer questions if necessary before moving on to the next question/slide.

NOTE: If you already have a strong cooperative culture, you can add a competitive element and keep score among groups. Beware; with certain age groups the competition becomes the focus, rather than the learning!


Content: What is a function of a colon? A semicolon? What do you know now that you didn’t know before? What is the easiest thing for you to remember about colon/semicolons?

Collaborative: Were you more of a listener or a talker? What agreement was most adhered to in your group? What might you do differently, next time?

Personal: How helpful were you to your group? What role did you play in your group? What might you have done more of/less of to help your group?

PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR APPRECIATION: Ask students to name those who were most helpful/knowledgeable/considerate…

AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT: Have students each write a sentence using either a colon or a semicolon correctly (or one sentence for each). Collect, or have students exchange and evaluate.


· Group Development Process

· Cognitive Theory

· Multiple Intelligences

►Cooperative Learning

· Constructivism

►Reflective Practice

· Authentic Assessment