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Commas In Action! {Eats, Shoots, & Leaves}

Teaching commas can be pretty difficult.  Whether you're 
putting them in a series, in a date, or any other reason...
it's a concept that is super confusing for the kids.  

Thanks to the book "Eats, Shoots, & Leaves"
the kids were able to commas in action!

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Here's the first example from the book:

My kiddos were like, "Haha!  We're not slow!"
I said, "See!  It's really important to use commas correctly!"

Here's the example that had us rolling on the floor laughing:

They LOST it when they saw "the gas" coming out of
both ends of the kiddo in the illustration.  Once again, 
the placement of your comma(s) are crucial.  :)

And then I pulled out the age old comma joke:

When asked which sentence was correct, they yelled "We don't
want to eat Grandma!  We want to eat WITH Grandma!"

This book was the PERFECT way to show how commas are important
and how we can use them when we write.  How do you and your
kiddos learn and discuss commas?

Author's Purpose: Trying to Make a REAL Connection

When the firsties and I have author's purpose lessons, I try to make 
a real connection that helps them better understand the concept.

I want them to think about why authors write books.
What's the reason we're reading them?

We started to by breaking down the reasons and 
making sure we understood them.

- Persuade - changing the reader's opinion
- Inform - trying to teach the reader something
- Entertain - hoping the reader has fun reading the book

The kids wrote some awesome opinion pieces a couple
months back.  One of them was about their favorite holiday.
We talked about how they were authors of that story and 
were trying to persuade others to like their particular holiday.
That really helped seal the connection for persuading others!

We looked at a few books and we came up 
with some Author's Purpose tips:

- read the title
- look at the cover picture
- read the text
- look at the illustrations

One student mentioned that covers with cartoons had to be 
"just for fun."  Another student quickly spoke up, "No way!  That 
safety book has cartoons, but it's teaching me something!"

My teacher heart FLUTTERED at the sound of that!
It also led into an amazing conversation.  :)  

I've charged the kiddos with trying to figure out why the authors of 
their selected books wrote them.  They constantly come up to me (even 
when it's not our Guided Reading block) and say, "This author's trying 
to make me have fun!  And it's working!" 

How do you and your kiddos practice author's purpose?

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