365 Days in my shoes Day 11


Punctuation! Love it or hate it!


How do you teach the use of correct punctuation to children?


Identifying the incorrect use of punctuation is often the best way to ensure use and apply accurately.

I am a huge fan of Victor Borge. If you have never come across him before, this video clip is a MUST see!

Phonetic Punctuation – Victor Borge


There are so many punctuation errors in our everyday lives. Even in the gym last night I was sorely tempted to return with a marker pen and add two apostrophes to the sign saying, ‘Its tough and thats why it works.’

Let’s take the humble apostrophe! Its misuse is a complete catastrophe.


Misplacing an apostrophe can seriously affect your health!


I am sure we all share in the annoyance when it’s and its are used incorrectly. Equally the same goes for you’re and your.

How about the comma?

The misplaced comma can alter the sense of a passage significantly.

The Oxford comma! With and without, it can make a great difference!


The humble comma does not complete a sentence like the full stop.


However, it has many more uses, places and positions that our complete finisher.


The colon and use of comma often find themselves in hot water.

Interesting interpretation of a sentence by the sexes.


The SPAG test for KS2 pupils will no doubt give Michael Gove even more to prattle on about.

I always thought that subordinate clauses were Santa’s elves!
The grammar side will be another blog post for another day on my high heeled horse.

Let’s get back to supporting children in using and applying punctuation correctly.

Through the vehicle of Big Writing, many schools have adopted the VCOP approach and the punctuation pyramid.


We, like many primary schools, have adopted and adapted VCOP to suit our needs.
V – vocabulary
C – Connectives
O – Openers
P – Punctuation

Often children work with a simple sentence and are asked to uplevel the sentence by changing the structure, language and the punctuation. Punctuation pyramids support children in understanding the next steps. Some staff have these on table mats, wall displayed or even in a 3D pyramid on the desks.


I love how Victor Borge invites the punctuation into the writing.

I came across a fabulous resource on http://www.tes.co.uk a few years ago called Kung Fu Punctuation. We have adopted it throughout the school and children have even invented their own version of it for more complex punctuation marks.
It is a great resource for supporting the varying learning styles of children.


If we are asking children to use and apply correct punctuation, first they must understand its use before applying it. Kung Fu Punctuation supports in the retelling of stories, particularly linked with Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing.

Time to make punctuation fun and engage the children practically through lots of speaking and listening.


In music, the punctuation is absolutely strict, the bars and rests are absolutely defined. But our punctuation cannot be quite strict, because we have to relate it to the audience. In other words we are continually changing the score.
Ralph Richardson

“A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

“Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife annual and tosses it over his shoulder.

“I’m a panda,” he says, at the door. “Look it up.”

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”
― Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Off to the gym now with marker pen hidden in my knickers!!!!

2 thoughts on “365 Days in my shoes Day 11

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