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The following is a sample lesson plan from Thinking On Your Feet.
Action Punctuation (Creative Group Cooperation, Integrated Game)
Sometimes the best learning is by acting out the learning. Students practice punctuation by creating actions and sounds that anchor their knowledge of basic punctuation.
Creativity is a higher order thinking skill that promotes better learning.
- 6X7 cards with a punctuation mark written on each one (comma, period, question mark, apostrophe, quotation marks, and exclamation mark)
- A book of poems or rhymes (e.g. Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham
Divide the students into 6 equal groups spread out throughout the play area. Give each group a card with a punctuation mark on it.
“If you’re writing a story and you want the reader to know to stop at the end of a sentence, what punctuation mark would you use? Do you ever get confused about where the punctuation mark goes? Wouldn’t it be funny if punctuation marks could show you and tell you which one to use when? Today that’s exactly wants going to happen!”
“Your mission is for your group to make up a really good action and a really cool sound to show us what your punctuation mark is. Then we will read a funny story and when we come to your punctuation mark you will act it out and sound it out for the rest of us. Try to use big motions and be sure everyone in your group is involved.”
Give the groups time to create. Read the story and say the punctuation mark to help them know its their turn. Try to find a passage that uses each mark several times. Some examples of actions and sounds may be:
- Capital letter: jump up and say. “Go”
- Period: Put your fist on your nose and say, “Whoa”
- Comma: Hands on hips and circle hips around and say, “Slow down”
- Question Mark: Shrug shoulders with hands up in air and say, “Huh?”
- Exclamation Mark: Grab the air with the right fist and bring down forcefully and say, “Yes”
- Quotation Marks: Pretend to make quotation marks in the air with fingers and say,”Ching, ching”
- Apostrophe: Use the elbow to make an apostrophe in the air and say, “Not”
Closure Teacher’s Quote
“You did a great job of acting out and sounding out punctuation. Point to other group that was the comma. Show me what they did.” Repeat for each punctuation mark.”