Author Topic: Fun Lesson on Teaching Commas  (Read 28981 times)

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Offline RíkaHaro

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Fun Lesson on Teaching Commas
« on: February 07, 2012, 01:01:09 PM »
Commas, are a pretty useful tool in Grammar to teach students about natural pauses and breaks between sequences. I became very curious about this topic when I read another teacher's post on teaching comma uses in fun ways. In my group, we found many fun activities that can be used in the classroom to teach commas.

One activity, involved the teacher creating cut-out sentences, without the proper punctuation, for the students.The students were then placed into groups of 3-4. She would then give each group a handful of macaroni noodles to represent the commas. The students then would glue the macaroni strips onto their sentence strips, wherever they felt a comma should be placed. This can not only be used within grammar, but in other environments such as place values in math.
If macaroni is not readily available, the activity can be displayed on the board. The instructor would instead write various examples of sentences that require commas and that do not require commas. Each student group would have a few comma circles to then tape on the board where they feel, the commas should go. The purpose is so that students can understand this concept of punctuation and why it is necessary in written language, and how we use it in oral language.

Another teacher, even mentioned a rap song that they employed in their classrooms to teach punctuation. I found it to be pretty fun.
What’s the deal with these dots and dashes?
Well, let’s slow it down like cold molasses.
You’ve got colons, parentheses, commas, apostrophes;
punctuation, it can help you a lot, you see?

Verse I
Whether you’re writing for school or just to correspond
you need punctuation, or else your sentence goes on, and on,
and on, and on, and on, and never stops…
so we can help you use punctuation in the right spots.

A period occurs at the end of a sentence,
and if you’re using initials, periods must be present.
For instance: “I went to the store.”
“I bought some milk, some O. J., and nothing more.”

A question mark goes right after—guess what—a question.
“Do you know what that means?” (Yeah, that’s the lesson.)
An exclamation point shows surprise, pain, or anger:
“Ow! I just pinched my finger!”

An apostrophe replaces the letters that get denied
in a contraction, that’s when you get two words combined.
Apostrophes also show possession: “That isn’t Mary’s pen.”
There are two apostrophes in that expression.


Verse II
Think of a comma like you think of a pause,
when a conjunction connects an independent clause.
A comma’s like a breath expressed in written form:
“I like the sound of thunder, so I love thunderstorms.”

Let’s say you got a list, maybe 3 or more things.
You better use that comma and place it in between, like:
“My favorite colors are red, green, and blue.”
You know there’s gonna be drama if that comma is never used.

Use a comma in a sentence with a contrasting phrase:
“I’m awake, I’m just a little bit dazed.”
You can also use a comma to set off some dialogue, like,
“The princess said, ‘I liked you better as a frog!’”


Verse III
If you’ve got conjunctive adverbs, like “therefore” or “however,”
or you’ve got two separate sentences you want to join together,
a semi-colon’s gonna become your mediator:
“I gotta get home; I’ll see you later.”

A colon is used in a few situations:
before a list, an example, or sometimes a quotation.
And speaking of quotations, don’t forget quotation marks,
and add a capital letter for any word at the start.

Ofcourse, the rap can be modified to fit your preference or the need of the class.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 01:05:37 PM by RíkaHaro »

Offline Randall Sadler

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Re: Fun Lesson on Teaching Commas
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 08:00:26 AM »
Great idea!  Commas are definitely a challenge even, for native, speakers, of English!!!   ;)
Randall Sadler, Site Owner
Asst. Prof, Linguistics, U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Offline karenmin

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Re: Fun Lesson on Teaching Commas
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 12:42:31 PM »
Wow, it's a great way to make students use comma in sentences.
I always find it difficult to find sentences that contain a lot of commas that are used in different ways, but this rap seems impressive!
I think I'm going to try this in my class :)