Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Yr 6 Punctuation - Learning the Comma Song

There are five main ways to use a comma, punctuation fans! Learn to use all five and you'll be a Kung-Fu Punctuation Grand Master, like this guy:

Warning: Being handy with a comma does not give you the power to punch through planks of wood with your bare hands!

The five main types of comma are:

1. The Listing Comma

This little fellow is the first comma you learn about. He seperates items in lists, like this: Mr Hitchen is handsome, charming, witty and brilliant. (Note: no comma before the 'and')

2. In Direct Speech

People always forget about this tricky one. You use it like this:

"Hello," said Bob.
"I see you have a comma there," replied Sally.
"Yes, you always use a comma just before you close direct speech," said Bob.
"Unless you are asking a question, no?" said Sally.
"Or an exclamation mark!" laughed Bob.

3. The Joining Comma

A conjunction - 'and', 'but', 'or' - joins clauses together. You should always use a comma before a connective, like this:

I like Shrewsbury Town, but Bob thinks they are rubbish.

4. After an adverbial start

An adverb is an 'ly' word. It is a description of an action that you add to a verbs, like 'slowly','extremely' and 'unexpectedly'. You use a comma when you start a sentence with an adverb, e.g. Slowly, Bob ate his plate of cabbage.

You are going to revise the first four uses of the comma by writing some music to accompany the Comma Song.

Learn the words
Write a tune to go with it (you can use any instruments you like, and base your song on one you already know)
You'll perform it next Tuesday - and we'll video them, too!

You also need to complete a revision exercise - the compound sentences questions.

And the fifth use of the comma? We'll save that till last - the bracketing comma!

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