Square brackets, curly brackets [braces - seen above] and parentheses are all considered brackets in the punctuation world. Their job is to help the writer include additional information within a sentence. That can range from clarifying words [see the first line of this paragraph] to additional phrases [see the brackets earlier in this sentence] to pertinent opinion and anecdotes [I was really hoping I’d come up with clever examples to show the different uses of brackets – I hope I succeeded!].
While the three types of brackets listed above are the most commonly used, there are a couple more members of the family: the chevron and angled bracket. All family members are seen in the photo below:
Build a Bracket!
If you want to start introducing brackets to your wee ones sooner rather than later, why not build some brackets? If you have building blocks, square ones will probably be the easiest to make. Once you have at least two brackets that look like this “[“ you can really get to work! If you use flash cards or have them, make a word or use a photo of an object your child knows and then spell out a clarifying word within your newly built brackets! For example, find a picture of a “tulip” and spell out [flower] in flashcards within brackets. Or if you have a pet, use a photo of your pet and then spell out your pet’s name or the kind of animal it is within your brackets. So here you are doubling your educational potential! You’re using letters and spelling words AND incorporating punctuation into conversations with your kiddos. Have fun!
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