When I was a little girl I used to read the dictionary in bed with a torch because words were magical. Powerful. Slippery. Fun to say and even more fun to use.
I also loved punctuation. I guess I was a word geek. A punctuation geek. I used to like doing punctuation exercises at home. I had lots of grammar exercise books.
The thing about poems though is you need WORDS but you don’t need PUNCTUATION. You can write a poem with zero punctuation. Or you can use heaps. You can punctuate a poem like a story. You just need to stick to a punctuation pattern and keep it the same or the READER’S head will spin until he or she faints. Readers will be so confused.
Scholastic have published a new book by Belinda Ellis called Punctuation Mark. Mark is just like me. He loved punctuation. He thinks punctuation is like traffic lights which is a bit like how I see it. He dreams it. He leaps it. He star jumps it.
I really like Punctuation Mark. It is a zippy zesty story, and it teaches you about punctuation in a fun way. Every class should have this book! It is glorious.
When I get you to read your poem to me and you stumble it is like a sound check. Sometimes it is because you need to use a punctuation mark to tell the reader what to do. Stop and have a big rest (full stop). Pause and have a little rest (comma). Read your poems out loud and see if you can tell if a line needs a punctuation mark. Some poets like to leave it up to the reader.
To celebrate this book I have a challenge or two for you:
1. Write about a poem your own punctuation character.
2. Write a poem about a punctuation mark.
2. Write a poem using different sorts of punctuation.
DEADLINE for your Punctuation Poem Challenge: Wednesday August 20th
Send to email@example.com. Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email. PLEASE say it’s for the Punctuation-Poem challenge.
I will post my favourites from all the challenges and have a book prize for a poet (Year 0 to Year 8).