Yes, punctuation is an important element in the English language and can even change the meaning of what our students are trying to say. So, why not teach them the importance with these fun quotes and activities.
Dictate to them the following letter and see where they put the punctuation marks. Once they are done, give them a handout with the letter written in these two versions:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy–will you let me be yours?
Unfortunately, John was far from pleased. In fact, he was heartbroken. You see, John was familiar with Jane’s peculiar ways of misusing punctuation marks. And so to decipher the true meaning of her email, he had to re-read it with the marks altered:
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
If you want to have fun some more fun, try this:
1. Have your students make memes misusing punctuation
2. Use all of the images in a Powerpoint presentation
3. Have the students identify the mistakes.