Games are an ideal way to teach children new concepts and ideas. When children are presented with information in a fun and interactive way that they can relate to, they have a greater likelihood of comprehending and retaining what they are taught. If you are an educator or a parent teaching punctuation, you can use a variety of games to make learning fun.
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Name the Mark
Children will have fun making correct sentences to correspond to punctuation marks in this game. On individual index cards, write different punctuation marks--periods, question marks, exclamation marks and so forth. Children place the cards face down in the centre of a table. One at a time, they pick up a card and have to say a sentence correctly using the punctuation mark on the card. For example, if the child picks a card with a punctuation mark on it, she must say a sentence that would illustrate the mark and say it with the proper inflection in her voice. If she correctly uses the punctuation mark, she earns a point. If she cannot, she does not earn a point. The game continues until all cards have been used. The child with the most points at the end of the game wins. This game is ideal for two to four children.
Punctuate the Sentence
For this game, you will need an overhead projector and an overhead projector marker. Divide students into pairs. On the overhead projector, write a sentence that does not contain any punctuation marks. Children assess the sentence and decide how to punctuate it. When a pair has decided how the sentence should be punctuated, one member of the pair raises his hand and shares the information. If the pair is correct, they earn a point. If they are not, give the remaining students an opportunity to correctly punctuate the sentence. Keep track of scores on the blackboard. The pair with the most points at the end of the game wins.
In this game, teams race to punctuate a sentence that you say aloud. Split the class into two teams. Say a sentence without any inflection in your voice. Each team selects a scribe who will write the sentence on the board. Teams work together to correctly punctuate the sentence and the scribe inserts the punctuation marks. The team to correctly punctuate the sentence first earns a point. Begin with simple sentences and move to more difficult sentences as the game progresses, including semicolons, colons and quotation marks. The team with the most points wins.
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