Bob Books Set 2, Book 6 is not the first time the Bob Books use a comma, but it is the first time I talk about it with my students. This is because it is the first time Bob Books includes a list that uses commas, and so the comma, which many students have ignored until this point, sticks out and draws attention to itself.
This means it’s a good time to teach it.
I start by showing my student the binder card. I have him try to read the two sentences. He does well with the first, but he stumbles on the second. The reason is that while the comma is supposed to make it easier, his unfamiliarity with it causes him to stumble.
“Do you know what this is called?” I ask, pointing to the comma at the top of my Binder Card (pictured below).
“No,” he says.
“It’s a comma. When you see it in a sentence, it’s telling you to slow down, to pause a little. You don’t stop the way you do at a period, but you slow a little.”
I don’t really get into the idea that this particular example is a list, because when I tried this before, the student ended up thinking that commas were only for lists. So, instead, I just focus on what he should do when he encounters a comma: slow down and pay more attention.
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