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Kung Fu Punctuation

Get students thinking about punctuation and show their understanding of / test each other on how to punctuate a text.
by

Vernon Fowler

on 18 August 2011

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Transcript of Kung Fu Punctuation

Kung Fu Punctuation 1st step Finished 2nd step Last Start (cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr Introduce kung fu punctuation via web clip Everybody up, ready to move around and be silly. Go through some basic punctuation marks, check their understanding of how we use them & drill their respective kung fu moves. Now that we know all the moves, we do some easy practice similar to a Mallet's Mallet drill:
2 students compete with 1 student as judge
Judge: "Capital Letter"
Competitors bow to each other
Judge says one punctuation mark (easy version) or 3 in a row (hard version)
Competitors make the called for kung fu moves
When a competitor fails to meet the challenge s/he switches places with the judge Now that we have the basics, some more contextualised practice:

In pairs/ threes, students practice saying sentences while also making the corresponding kung fu moves wherever there's punctuation.
Drill down to the best kung fu punctuators!
Upping the challenge: instead of stand-alone sentences, now we give them a block of text. We used an excerpt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In pairs/ threes, students make the kung fu moves while reading out the text.
Ultimate challenge! Show students the same text, but without the punctuation. Now, they have to remember what goes where... Good Challenges Different approach to what can be a rather dull part of writing practice.
Physical revision of writing techniques
A fun way to energize evening students at the end of the week when they'd rather be at the pub
And specifically thinking about our heavily South American classes: raising awareness of how often we use full stops when they want to use commas again and again and again This has to get to the stage of asking students to punctuate a text quickly, so that it's not really about drilling moves so much as practicing punctuation styles.
Some students needed a bit of extra support because they didn't want to look 'silly' (and it's almost impossible not to).
We were very clear about explaining what we were practicing, why and how this would help them write better, but even still one or two students thought it was too child-like.
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