Twenty-Odd Ducks: Why, every punctuation mark counts! by Lynne Truss

March Theme:  Six Traits Mentor Texts

This month, my focus will be on books that can be used as mentor texts when teaching the Six Traits of Writing.

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Six Traits:  Conventions

Twenty-Odd Ducks: Why, every punctuation mark counts! is a fantastic resource to teach students how the placement of a punctuation mark can alter the meaning of a sentence. The author demonstrates this by modeling two different sentences and color coding the different punctuation.  The illustrations aid the reader in understanding the difference between the two sentences.

Additional books in this series:

The Girl’s Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can’t Manage without Apostrophes!

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference!

Lesson idea: Read aloud this book and/or the additional books in the series.  Point out how the punctuation changes the meaning of the sentence.  Discuss the pictures and how the pictures show different meaning as well.  When children are familiar with specific punctuation marks and their uses, have each student write two sentences that use the same punctuation marks differently and illustrate each sentence.  Bind each child’s work together into a class punctuation resource book.

If you are looking for additional resources and ways to teach conventions to students, please read the post I wrote about Punctuation Celebration or the post I wrote on The web files.

**Note** I provide these lesson ideas under the assumption that you are familiar with The Six Traits of Writing.  If you are not, and would like more information about teaching students about conventions or any other six traits component, please feel free to contact me at Dlittle[at]linkstoliteracy[dot]com.  I am happy to provide more specific lessons or resources if necessary.

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