Jensen's Punctuation combines two books that were previously published separately, General Punctuation and Major Punctuation, into a single consumable worktext for students junior high level and older. Students should be able to work through the exercises independently for the most part. I'll begin with a review of Major Punctuation.
Major Punctuation focuses on five basic rules that Jensen says account for 75-90% of punctuation errors commonly committed by students. The rules deal with such issues as combining independent clauses, the use of semi-colons, and coordinating and adverbial conjunctions. Jensen uses symbols and patterns for sentence types, teaches with examples, then provides plenty of practice in the worktext. Practice exercises use material drawn from classical literature.
In General Punctuation, students learn more than 60 punctuation rules and practice applying them in exercises drawn from the Lewis and Clark expedition. The rules cover everything from commas and periods through brackets, hyphens, and dashes, as well as capitalization and the use of italics. The exercises are numerous lengthy paragraphs which students correct, noting the rule that applies in each instance. A reference chart of rules with their numbers should be photocopied and kept close at hand while students complete the exercises.
This approach is probably most appealing to Competent Carls and Perfect Paulas, but Sociable Sues and Wiggly Willys should appreciate getting their punctuation lessons in a condensed form which means less time spent doing things they'd rather skip.
Jensen's Punctuation can be used for initial learning, practice, or reinforcement. It supplements writing-based, whole language approaches very well by systematically covering punctuation skills. I also prefer the efficiency of this method over graded language arts texts that repeat the same material year after year. Everything you need, including a test and answer key is included in the one book. You might use it along with Jensen's Grammar to cover other areas of grammar.