Punctuation Takes a Vacation (Written by: Robin Pulver; Illustrated by: Lynn Rowe Reed)
May 4, 2009 in Art activities, Elementary Educators, Picture Book, Pulver, Robin, Reed, Lynn Rowe, six traits of writing Tags: conventions, correct punctuation, Lynn Rowe Reed, Punctuation Takes a Vacation, Robin Pulver, using punctuation correctly
Reviewed by Margo Dill, www.margodill.com, email@example.com
*Picture book for preschoolers through second graders (because of the subject–you could use this with up to fifth graders!)
*Our loveable punctuation marks as main characters
*Rating: Punctuation Takes a Vacation is a great way to teach students how to use punctuation correctly and why punctuation is important!
Short, short summary: In Robin Pulver’s masterpiece, Mr. Wright is teaching his students about punctuation marks, but it is so hot and sticky that he says, “Let’s give punctuation a vacation.” The kids cheer, of course, and run outside, leaving the punctuation marks alone and feeling a little hurt. They decide to take a vacation, too! “Is this the thanks we get?” the question mark asks. When the kids come back from the playground to listen to their favorite book, Mr. Wright finds that all the punctuation marks are gone! Luckily, the question marks, commas, apostrophes, and more marks send postcards while they enjoy themselves on the beach. Mr. Wright’s class wants to write back, but how can they without their beloved punctuation marks? So, they have to borrow some from Mr. Rongo’s class–and I don’t have to tell you what a disaster those punctuation marks are, do I? Read Punctuation Takes a Vacation to your students or your child to see just how much fun punctuation can be!
So, what do I do with this book?
1. One of the best parts of this book is that activities are built right into the book. Your students can help you put in the missing punctuation marks on the page where Mr. Wright tries to read to his students with no punctuation marks. Your students or your child can also correct the punctuation placed wrongly in the letter the children write back to the punctuation marks. When the marks send postcards, your students can guess which mark sent which postcard. They can also finish the address on the envelope from the children to the punctuation.
2. At the end of Punctuation Takes a Vacation, Robin Pulver provides a guide to punctuation rules, which is clear and concise. Assign a punctuation mark to each of your students or your child (or you could do this activitiy in small groups or pairs.) Each student or group of students should make a poster with these rules for their assigned mark. They should try to use the same fun style as Lynn Rowe Reed uses in her illustrations for this book. These “correct punctuation” posters should be fun and informative–in the same spirit as the book. Post them around the room, so your students can use them while editing.
3. Conventions is one of the 6+1 traits of writing. Have a discussion with your students on why conventions (in this case punctuation) is as important when writing as voice or sentence fluency. Lead the discussion to make the point that without correct punctuation, the voice and/or good sentence fluency might not come across as the author wanted in a piece of writing. Show students how this can happen with the examples that Robin Pulver provides in the book. Ask students to read those pages with no punctuation–which means they should read them fast and with no breaks–and then with punctuation put in. Can they see the difference? (Hopefully!)
If you have used Punctuation Takes a Vacation with your class or your children, please let us know. For more information on books for you or your child, check out Puss Reboots.