Friday, June 14, 2013

Proofreading with DIY Punctuation Stamps

What is it about stamps? I've known for years that the most mundane learning activities seem less of a chore when there's an ink pad involved (for evidence, check out our Missing Letters Mystery). Don't ask me why.

To practice punctuation, we reviewed seven punctuation marks: apostrophe, comma, exclamation point, period, colon, and semicolon.

In order to do this, we read Punctuation Takes a Vacation, a clever book about a classroom of students that get a taste of life without any punctuation. This is my favorite kind of children's book - non-fiction disguised as fiction with playful graphics and a creative storyline. I enjoyed it as much as my son did.

And just as importantly, it was the perfect complement to this activity.

I printed two pages of sentences with missing punctuation. Download them here.

Then I made some punctuation stamps.

These were surprisingly easy. I used six wine corks that I'd been saving for ages (a friend mailed me a gift and used them as packaging), six 1-inch wooden discs, 3mm craft foam, and a low-temp glue gun.

I cut the punctuation marks out of the foam, using a hole punch when possible to get perfect circles, and glued them to the wooden discs. Then, I glued each disc to a cork. NOTES: Make sure your stamps are the mirror image of your punctuation marks. Also, you only need one stamp for the comma and apostrophe.

When it came time to fix the missing punctuation on the sentences I'd prepared, my son was ready. He moved through them quickly, only stopping a few times to ask questions for help.

He happily stamped and stamped and stamped.