Punctuation to Punctuation (P2P)
Punctuation to Punctuation provides a low-risk way for participants to read and re-read, question, and respond to a complex text. Participants and the facilitator share in constructing their understanding of individual words, patterns in the text, and possible meanings of the full passage.
Gather group in a seated circle and provide a copy of the complex text being used for each participant. Explain the group will read and respond to the text over multiple rounds. (Round 1) A designated participant will begin to read the text aloud; they will stop when they arrive at a punctuation mark (-- : ; , . ! ?). Then, the next participant in the circle will read until they reach a punctuation mark. This may mean that a person reads only one word, e.g., car, or an entire sentence. Keep reading around the circle, punctuation to punctuation, until everyone gets an opportunity to read and the text has ended. Re-start the text again from the beginning if necessary. (Round 2) Next, the text is re-read from the beginning, changing readers at each punctuation, but this time participants also say “Stop!” if there is a word that is confusing or not understood. When stopped, the group works together to make meaning of the confusing word or phrase; continue until the full text has been read and all “Stops” are answered. (Round 3) All participants stand and begin to walk as they read the text out loud together from the beginning. At each punctuation mark, participants change the direction of their walking until the text is finished.
- What did you notice about the text and yourself during this activity?
- In Round 3, what points in the text were you turning and at what points were you walking straight? How might that inform our understanding of this text?
- How does our understanding of this text shape or shift our larger inquiry?
- In Round 3 walk slowly and be aware of others as you shift directions; we need to be respectful of other bodies in space.
- When re-reading the passage, allow participants to paraphrase and interpret their P2P section.
- READING: Before walking the text, invite all participants to read the text aloud together. At predetermined points, offer interpolated questions and comments (Example from Midsummer Night’s Dream: Facilitator: What shall I do? Participants (reading): Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires. Facilitator: What else? Participants (reading): Know of your youth, examine well your blood.)
- When walking the text, ask participants to change directions based upon the type of punctuation mark: (-- : ; ,) = 90° turn and the full stop (. ! ?) = 180°.
Cecily Berry, Rachel Gartside, Royal Shakespeare