Lesson idea: Kahoot! for capitalisation and punctuation

A few months ago I mentioned word stress games using Kahoot! This app has also come in handy recently for practising punctuation/capitalisation. I just display a sentence with various errors in it– learners judge how many mistakes there are in the sentence. That’s it really.

Why I like this Kahoot!

  • I use this as a primer before writing, rather than for error correction based on learners’ own writing. You could use it for both though. The reason I do it this way is to review punctuation rules that they usually know already
  • As the students are looking at the sentence on the board, you can see them going through the rules together (if working in pairs). This is a good way to establish features they are most/least familiar with
  • Of course, Kahoot! isn’t a necessity here, you could do a similar game on paper. It’s a pretty engaging start/stage of a lesson though…

Punctuation..? – Book Review

punctuation2Punctuation..? published by User Design Books is a short guide for using common punctuation marks. The blurb actually says it covers ’21 of the most used punctuation marks’, which I found a little embarrassing as I hadn’t heard of half of them! Pilcrow, interpunct, guillemets… I’m sure I’ve come across a couple of those in my Guide to the Birds of the British Isles…

Anyway, the book has been doing the rounds for a while and has been reviewed by a lot of ELT blogs. I find this a tad annoying as all the good punctuation-related puns have been taken, and I’m not going to sit here and think up something clever to say about colons.

So, to the book. Its 35 pages, each one has a short description (very concise in some places) for a particular punctuation mark, with half the page taken up by a quirky illustrations. Actually, quirky is an understatement – most of the people have cows hooves for arms, there are Pinocchio-like policemen, a football that looks like a plug socket, and the smallest mug of ‘Builder’s tea’ I’ve ever seen. (more…)