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Punctuation

Discussion in 'English' started by madsteph, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm currently amending a creative writing scheme of work which focuses on all of the AFs (with the exception of spelling). One lesson in particular focuses on punctuation - semi-colons, commas etc are introduced followed by a little quiz where they have to identify the punctuation that is missing. So far, so good. My next task was for students to 'pimp a script' (like pimp my ride if anyone has seen the programme!) - they would be given a piece of text from a well known book - all punctuation and exciting use of vocab is removed and they have to amend it to make it less boring. In theory, this doesn't seem like a bad task but I found in reality it didn't work as well as I would have liked. I feel like they have to do much as they are trying to add all punctuation in and then trying to add in exciting words - it doesn't work.

    Can anyone think of anything blindingly obvious that I can do to make this a much better task? I like the idea of them making something better - should I create my own little pieces of text or maybe get rid of trying to add in vocabulary?

    It is rather annoying that I can't think of anything!

    Any ideas?
     
  2. I'm not sure what year group this is for, but here are a couple of ideas you could try:

    1. Be clear about your learning objective for the task - are you solely wanting your students to learn to add punctuation to writing, or are you wanting them to learn how punctuation and vocabulary can be used to impact the reader? Or is there something else you were hoping to achieve with the task? Perhaps you could divide your class into groups and give them the same or similar task, but with a particular focus, based on their needs. For example - group 1 could concentrate on adding commas and semicolons to a passage, while group 2 could be focusing on using relevant and imaginative synonyms to embellish the passage. This would keep the task focused, and you would be targeting specific areas for development. You could then jigsaw the groups and give them a new passage to work on - each member of the group would then act as an 'expert' to help 'pimp' the text as you suggested.

    2. Another thing you could do is highlight or underline the sentences/lines that need punctuation added to them, or words replaced. This might help to support students that would benefit from a more structued approach to that task.

    3. A punctuation activity that my students love is the "Save the Sentence Structure" game. (Not my original idea - many similar activities used in schools). I have lots and lost of A5 cards with high frequency words, grammatical function words and punctuation marks printed onto them. (One word or punctuation mark per card). Groups of students then practice ordering themselves to make sentences. The way I do it with Year 7, is to put them into teams, with each student holding a card. They then have to race to put themselves into the correct order, and then explain how they know their sentence is grammatically sound. There are LOADS of other games you can make out of this.

    Hope that's of SOME help.
     
  3. Love the "Pimp a Script" idea! How about setting it as a homework project - give them 2/3 weeks to complete it and then get pupils to peer assess against a set of agreed WILFs e.g., WOW words, semi-colons, adverbs etc.
    Not much I know, but I've spent all day writing an intervention proposal! Yawn!
    Lily x

     

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