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Punctuation Pizza

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This idea was inspired by the legendary Victor Borge's Phonetic Punctuation. It could be used to highlight the uses of all punctuation, especially that used with direct speech.

Depending on the level of the students and their prior knowledge of English punctuation, the activities can be varied. The teacher can use the recording and a transcipt of the text (with the appropriate aknowledgement of authorship)and have the students highlight the various punctuation marks. This can be useful to introduce them to punctuation in written texts whilst being exposed to the the aural.The students could complete a cloze activity with the transcript.

At a more advanced level, the teacher can read a text and have the students complete the transcript by adding the appropriate punctuation. Students will base their choice on their interpretation of the teacher's delivery and intonation and on their analysis of the structure of the text.The text can be related to any topic or unit and can be as interesting, stimulating and humourous as possible. The teacher should create a transcript that is visually stimulating eg. a text in a the form of a spiralling circle/pizza and give the students a choice of punctuation marks from a list of 'ingredients'.The students can then justify their choice of punctuation and the teacher can 'stand back' and allow the students to correct or support each other.
Hope that this can be of some help.

Davydd Marrie.
Student teacher Diploma of Education,
University of Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia.

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