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Classroom Transformation - Italian Restaurant (Punctuano's Ristorante Italiano) for Commas and Periods




Classroom transformations have been so successful in my classroom, that I have recently done two in just about a month and a half. They are a great way to engage students. 

The idea for this classroom transformation was inspired by Kim Bearden from the Ron Clark Academy. 

My students had just learned six different uses for commas (appositives, words in a series, conjunctions, introductory words, nouns of direct address, and quotation marks) using the resource found HERE. I then wanted to assess their knowledge using an engaging authentic assessment. Once I saw Kim's idea, I knew I had to created something with this theme for my own students. 


At the nearest Party City and Dollar Tree, where I spent less that $20 for all the materials. (Of course you could always have parents donate these items and set it up for free.)

I purchased: 

  • plastic cups
  • plastic plates
  • pasta
  • plaid plastic table clothes
  • LED light "candles" 


I also set up glue bottles and a pink flower at the end of the table next to a sign that read, "Today's Specials: Commas and Periods."







The best part was it took just about 15 minutes to set up. 

Students first edited the restaurant's "Reviews." This is where students added missing periods and commas used with quotation mark.  Next, they read a text titled "All About Pizza," and added the missing commas and periods using pasta pieces that they would "dip" in the "alfredo sauce," also known as glue to adhere to their paper. 

The last step was to create their own dish. Here, students had to write their own sentences using the directions given. For example, one task was to write a sentence that includes a comma to set off an introductory word.  

To add to the ambiance, I had a large welcome sign displayed on the projection board and Italian music playing in the background. 







Finally, we came together at the end and went over the results. Students had to state what punctuation marks they added in each sentence and state the reasons why.  Students thoroughly enjoyed the transformation and were engage for well over an hour with this activity

     


This theme could be easily adapted for other skills and age groups. 

Examples:

  • Quotation Marks
  • Apostrophes
  • Contractions
  • Possessive Nouns

Have you tried any classroom transformations in your classroom? If so, I'd love to hear about it below.

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