It was a soft re-entry into writing workshop after spring break since some folks are a bit behind in their essay writing — no worries! We started a multi-lesson review of the most dastardly piece of punctuation, the comma, as we focused on the comma’s role in joining independent clauses. This invited a review of coordinating conjunctions (FAN BOYS), which I provided through that vintage classic, “Conjunction Junction” Then, we reviewed a host of grammar problems: fused sentences, run ons, comma splices, and we fixed them using a logical coordinating conjunction and a comma. I kept the grammar lingo at a minimum since it can be a bit alienating, but we did make sure to identify independent clauses before applying the coordinating-conjunction-comma fix (e.g., being careful not to use a comma with a compound predicate).
Then, for fun, we wrote exquisite corpses (collaboratively written stories that reveal the first writer’s last sentence so that the next writer has a partial understanding of what came before), giving Eliza Schuyler Hamilton a more exciting backstory. I encouraged them to write two sentences and to use their exciting, new comma knowledge in the process. They wrote seven truly bizarre stories that were great fun to read.
Thanks so much, Ananda, for subbing and laughing at all my bad jokes. 🙂