Before I start, know that it isn't me but my colleague and fab team member Luke who is to thank for this. He is an excellent practitioner, and often comes up with imaginative tasks just at the right time!
We are always doing all we can to increase the amount of speaking that our students do in each lesson. Group Talk is very important to us, but it always great to find new ideas.
The idea is very simple, but my goodness it is great fun. Students have actions and gestures to follow when they come across particular elements of a written text. They also have to work as a team to carry out the task together:
Capital letter - Mexican wave
Comma - Finger flick
Full stop - Two claps
Apostrophe - Finger click
Exclamation mark - Panic expression
Question mark - Shoulder shrug
Accent - One clap
Below is an example of a PPT slide with the text and instructions for the students. This was for a Year 9 lesson for The Apprentice project. And while the students were worried about looking silly at the start, they were reading out the sentences and having fun (dare I suggest it). The group takes seeing to believing, as it is normally an hour of peace-keeping and social work every time I see them.
I then used the idea for Year 11s in accessing a text from the GCSE Higher paper. They were not in the slightest bit self-conscious about the task, and were so funny doing it. So animated, so much fun.
Why do it? It helps the students be aware of all the punctuation. It helps the students access the text without being overwhelmed. It allows the students to have fun. FUN, I tell you! And when you are still trying to improve the image and ethos of your subject, every second of laughter and enjoyment counts.
So try it. Whatever your subject.
And so to a song with gestures. There can be only one. But I didn't fancy YMCA....