28 October 2010

adding some zing!

If you are a regular reader of my posts, you would know that I am an avid exclaimer.
By this I mean, you will find exclamation marks regularly peppered throughout my writing.

This is one of my favourite punctuation marks because it truly helps the writer to communicate to the reader that what comes before this '!' is to be read with expression, enthusiasm, energy and vim.

When teaching young children and introducing this mark into their expressive reading and writing repertoire it is not unusual to see this symbol popping up at the end of almost every sentence that they write, eg:

Today we ate breakfast!
I had some vegemite on toast!
My brother spilt his juice!

At this time, I love having kids read their writing back to me or reading along with them putting huge amounts of expression and excitement into my voice... they sometimes look at you like you've completely lost the plot but you know that they really love it!

A fun strategy to help early writers learn that correct use of the punctuation marks '?', '.', and '!' is to have three students wear a sandwiche board with one symbol on each...

You can do so much with this, but my favourite is the following.

You read a sentence out and have them decide if it is a question, statement or exclamation. 
If they think that it's their symbol that belongs at the end of the sentence then they jump up.
I love reading out something like

"What were you thinking?!?"

and seeing two of them jump up at the same time and then look at each other as if to say 'Hang on a minute, that was my gig!'.
So, next time that you're reading through one of my posts and you see one of these !  [or perhaps a few clustered together], know that it was added deliberately because I wanted to share a bit of extra zing with you....I won't ask you to jump up....well, not unless you really want to!

Throughout the month of October I am participating in Blogtoberfest by posting-my-way-through-the-alphabet.  To find out more and to see who else is participating, click this icon in my sidebar...


  1. I would like to participate in this game sounds like fun. Charmaine

  2. Great post!! I still volunteer to do reading at school (my 4th is in year 1 so i have staying power) & i dread the robots who can read perfectly but without any inflection, excitement or drama. I like the ones with a bit of style about their reading. Love Posie

  3. I really love this one too. Have a wonderful day my dear

    Ps: I am hosting a ban.do headband GIVEAWAY today! Please, join in!

  4. what a wonderful post! as a mother who listens to a lot of readers at home, it sure does make a difference when kids know how to read with expression. I love, love that you have taken the alphabet posting to a new level - you are brilliant :)

  5. I like an exclamation mark! I don't like this many!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's too many! One or two okay; but three is my maximum.
    :)Will the semicolon be making an appearance? I'm a fan of those too.

  6. Squeal! Yep, see, I needed to use one there. Oh, please keep this series going, sweet Felicity. I am a hobby grammarian so this is heaven on a stick for me. J x

  7. Thanks girls!
    There are only three more posts left for Blogtober and then I'm moving on to a new project.
    So, any guesses on what the final three will be?

    x! Felicity

  8. Felicity I loved this post & am so disapointed to have missed your epic Blogtober wow!! I wish you had been my English teacher i know you would have made it more exciting :) I bet you have had fun, I have been terrible lately with my blog & am hoping November will be when I blog away with all you truly inspiring bloggers!

  9. Superb & incredible, as usual!
    thanks again and again!!!!!!

  10. Genius idea for the classroom! Wait, it deserves two!! I'm going to be telling this to everyone. Making me think of having words on the boards and rearranging them to form different sentences. Wonderful.

  11. I love the part where the kids use the exclamation point! So adorable! Enjoy your day! Kellie xx

  12. That's a great game for the kids.
    I LOVE exclamation marks too!!!


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Each new comment is a gift - unexpected and lovely.
Although I'd love to reply to each and every one, this isn't always possible, but know that I read and appreciate them all.

Felicity x