English KS2 & KS3: Confusing sentences - using commas and hyphens

Learn how to make sentences easier to understand by using commas or hyphens.

Radzi and some children visit a shopping arcade, where they look at a series of boards with confusing messages and insert commas or hyphens to make them easier to understand.

They visit a shopping arcade where there are a series of boards with messages written on.

There is a mini-tutorial explaining the use of a hyphen in 'man eating shark' or 'man-eating shark'.

One of the children is tasked with inserting comma(s) or hyphen(s) to clarify the meaning.

After the task, Radzi reviews each board and explains if the child is correct or not.

There is a detailed explanation of using commas in a list and also an explanation of how the word ‘and’ is used in a list sentence.

This short film is from the BBC series, Punctuation Rules.

Teacher Notes

Using commas in ambiguous list sentences is a tricky area of grammar to teach.

Pupils will benefit from the explanation about the comma before ‘and’.

Pupils could create their own boards on black paper to demonstrate their understanding of this.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is relevant for teaching English language and literacy at KS2 and KS3 in England, Wales and Northern and 2nd Level in Scotland.

More from Punctuation Rules:

Using punctuation in advertising - brackets, commas and dashes
Verbs, adverbs and fronted adverbials in sports journalism
Why is punctuation important in news?
Punctuation in story-writing - inverted commas, full stops and question marks
Using punctuation in presentations - colons, semi-colons and bullet points