Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This is a creative story about
an exclamation mark who
feels out of place around
all the periods. He wants
desperately to fit in. He
meets a question mark and
soon discovers how exciting it can be to be different.

Discussion questions:

  1. How was Exclamation Mark different from all the periods? How did he
    try to fit in? What did he do when nothing he tried worked?
  2. Have you ever felt different from your friends? What did you do?
  3. What happened when he met Question Mark?


  1. Brainstorm with the class ways in which having a positive attitude
    (making their mark) can affect their school year, friendships, classroom
    community, etc. Make a list on chart paper to use as a reference if
    needed for the next activity.
  2. “Make Your Mark” Bulletin Board: Using black and white construction
    paper, let class make exaggerated exclamation marks (big, black shapes
    for the line, round white shapes for the dot). Make sure the white dot
    part is large enough to write words or draw small pictures to illustrate/
    label strengths each child wishes to show to the world. Typical answers
    may be along the lines of making new friends, getting better grades,
    being a good listener, being respectful of others, being a good sport,
    etc. These can be shared, then put on a bulletin board. Students could
    write their names with white crayon or chalk on the black part.