Season 3 Episode 7: Punctuation
This episode begins with the two youtube clips:
There are a number of things you can use with students in this episode.
As a warmer to punctuation lesson, you could discuss the idea of oral punctuation and refer students to the Victor Borges video we played a clip of.
Lindsay’s description of the semi-colon is from wikipedia
You can find out more about it Eats, shoots and leaves here
The criticism we referred to was here.
There are several texts on ‘bad punctuation’ we used, this might be of interest to your students:
The voxpop quiz can be done with students, we’ll post the answers in a few days.
What’s the difference between a cat and a comma?
One has its claws at the end of its paws, and one is a pause at the end of a clause.
Finally the end of pod activity:
As your commute is coming to an end, here’s another idea that you can use in class. In the episode we mentioned the ‘let’s eat grandma’ sentence. Go into class and tell them they are going to look at some famous example of sentences where punctuation makes a great difference to meaning.
Write ‘Let’s eat Grandma’ on the board making sure you do not include a comma. Then ask the students to work together to decide where to add a comma to change the meaning.
The comma should be added after ‘eat’ and turns the grandma from a meal into a suggestion for her.
This time the students should consider all types of punctuation and decide how to punctuate the sentence so it makes some sense.
We’ll post the answer on our website. For a final challenge give the students the following: Woman without her man is nothing.
This time using any punctuation they like, the students should come up with at least two different meanings for the sentence dependent on the punctuation. Again we’ll post the answers on our website.
You can follow up these sentences by asking your students to use their mobile devices to search the Internet for other examples of bad or missing punctuation.