Mechanics Activities

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Dramatically depicting punctuation marks.
After students have studied the function of various punctuation marks, have them consider how they would portray these marks. How would a question mark or an exclamation point or a comma behave? What would an ellipsis do? These could be pantomimes and might well last only a few seconds. Students should think about the function of each punctuation mark and should avoid simply putting their bodies into the shapes of the marks. Other students could guess which punctuation marks their classmates are depicting.

Writing and responding to classified ads.
Have students write classified ads looking for punctuation marks to fill particular jobs. Unlike parts of speech, each of which has a very specific function, some punctuation marks, such as commas, parentheses, or dashes, can be used almost interchangeably. Students (or the teacher) might want to give a specific sentence for which punctuation marks would "apply." This would provide an opportunity for students to debate the merits of different punctuation marks in the same situation.