Punctuation is a killer!

Book Week is fast approaching!

Yesterday, I was discussing some of the CBCA shortlisted books with Stage 2 classes, and we turned our attention to “Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie letter” (Black Dog Books), which is edited by Carole Wilkinson.

Now, the Stage 3 students became very aware of the Kelly Gang last term, thanks to their “Gold!” unit in HSIE, and our library focus on bushrangers. I wasn’t expecting Stage 2 students to have much of an awareness about Ned.

A student in one class was asked what he knew about Ned Kelly the bushranger. I was fully expecting something to do with metal helmets, or robbing people, or maybe a connection to the late Heath Ledger (whose “Ned Kelly” movie was mentioned in recent obituaries for the Australian actor.)

“Ned Kelly had a lot of headaches. I saw him on the Nurofen ads on TV.” (Sure enough, I saw the commercial myself last night! Nurofen is a prominent pain medication.)

I read Carole Wilkinson’s introduction to “Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie letter” to another class and we discussed her mention of Ned’s rambling style as he narrated the long letter to gang member, Joe Byrne, and how Wilkinson had to correct Byrne’s spelling errors and missing punctuation.

“What is wrong with having no punctuation?” I asked.

“Full stops tell you when to take a breath,” someone suggested.

“Is that how Ned Kelly killed people?” another student piped up.


“Is that how he killed people? By making people read all those sentences without taking a breath?

2 thoughts on “Punctuation is a killer!

  1. Hi Ian

    I do enjoy reading your blog entries and couldn’t resist drawing your attention to the latest rap – with blog, of course – the Beijing Olympic Games & Book Week 2008 rap for Stage 2 and Stage 3. Doesn’t the title just roll off the tongue!

    I’m hoping to add some podcasts/vodcasts this time – let’s hope. If I get stuck setting up a PBWiki, I’ll just call on the expert…YOU.

    Cath Keane aka rapcoordinator according to edublogs

  2. Hi Cath,

    Actually, I was just adding a Blogroll link for the new rap blog! I have at least six class groups lined up to blog, starting this week, and we even have furry animal “reporters” to represent each group, just like in “The Shaggy Gully Times”.

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