Eats, Shoots and Leaves :: The importance of the comma

I read aloud Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! this week in lieu of our usual grammar lesson (First Language Lessons). We really enjoyed the story and the silly illustrations that clarified the meaning of the sentences. We chuckled at many of them.

When we finished I asked the kids to think of another example, a sentence of their own or a slight variation of one found in the book. At first, they were perplexed and even frustrated. “This is too hard.” “I can’t think of anything.” The easiest part was the context or character, they knew immediately what they eanted to draw. Sweetie wanted a wise owl and Buddy insisted on Minecraft Steve and a Creeper.

 “Watch out Creeper!”  /  “Watch out, Creeper!”
(I’m not entirely confidant that this one is grammatically accurate – can anyone help?
The first is meant to illustrate a warning to Steve that a creeper is approaching;
the second is meant to illustrate a warning to the creeper that an arrow is about to fall on its head.)

The most challenging part was thinking of a sentence that was identical … the only difference being the placement of a comma. They could come up with numerous sentences but kept trying to add words or tweak it slightly for the opposing illustration. It took a while but after a few minutes of brainstorming, they were both able to come up with an example.

“A wise owl reads about mice.” / “A wise owl reads, about mice.”

I love what they came up with. I shared with them that there are several other books by the same author and they were enthusiastic to read them. The book also has short explanations at the back of the book in case you’re not, as am I, an expert at punctuation rules and grammar.

About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥

1 comment on “Eats, Shoots and Leaves :: The importance of the comma

  1. Great choice of read and introduction to the kids. It’s one of my all-time favorites. The kiddos’ art work are as always fabulous. I want to be in your class 😀

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