Punctuation marks may seem random and headache-producing, but they are important in helping writers and readers communicate with each other. If they were absent or haphazard, reading would become a horrible chore. I think my first "sentence" proves that, but if you--or your students--need a little more convincing, read Robin Pulver's fun book Punctuation Takes a Vacation and see both extremes.
Possible activities for students to do with this book:
- Read it! (That's a good start.)
- After the punctuation marks are left in disbelief, they respond. Read their comments and observe the role each mark plays in the sentences. What other roles do these marks have?
- Read aloud the letter in the blue box. Punctuate it. Read it aloud again. How do the two readings compare?
- Look at the postcards the punctuation marks send from Take-a-Break Lake. Who wrote each of them?
- Read the letter from Mr. Wright's class to Punctuation. Do the poor class a favor and put the punctuation marks where they belong.
- Choose several punctuation marks and write postcards from each of them.
- Write a brief piece three times, one with no punctuation, one with misplaced punctuation, and one with correct punctuation. (Better yet, type it. It will be easier to copy, paste, and manipulate.)