What it is: I’ve long been a fan of the BBC’s Bitesize games and activities. They continue to grow and continue to impress me. I recently ran across the BBC Bitesize Trapped! Punctuation game. It couldn’t be a more perfect way to practice punctuation in October. It has all the elements that students will enjoy: a challenge in the form of a story, spooky characters and setting (but not too spooky), a built in extra game challenge to get from one level to the next. The game begins with a short animation explaining how students got trapped in a tower and how they will solve punctuation puzzles to get free. Students have to choose the correct punctuation to complete each puzzle. After they have chosen the punctuation, they have to use some physics/experimentation to get an apple into a hole to move on to the next level. This is FUN punctuation practice!
How to integrate Trapped! Punctuation into the classroom: Trapped! Punctuation is a fun way for students to practice placement of punctuation in writing. This beats worksheet practice hands down. I like that the site puts students in the middle of a story and challenge. Students will have to consider why a punctuation mark is appropriate in each place. After students choose the punctuation to complete the puzzle, students have an additional challenge of getting an apple into a hole. There are some very basic physic principles introduced here. Students have to use the mouse to choose the angle and speed to shoot the apple to get to their goal. The puzzles get increasingly difficult and add the additional challenge of extra twists and turns to get the apple through. The second challenge asks students to choose the correct form of punctuation by “herding” crates with the mouse.
I like that these games are not your typical drill and kill. They aren’t simply choose the right answer and move on. There is an additional problem solving component built into each game. Can’t beat that!
Trapped Punctuation would be a great challenge for kids in a one to one computer setting. Don’t have that luxury? The games are quick enough to be used as a center activity in the one or two computer classroom. Set up Trapped! Punctuation as one of the centers in the classroom for students to visit as part of their rotation.
Tips: This practice is fun and challenging enough that students may want to continue practice at home. Be sure to share this link with parents, they are always looking for good uses of home computer time!
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Trapped! Punctuation in your classroom.