Introduction. Teachers Notes

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1 The Return of Captain Grammaticus Key Stage 2 Introduction This show has been developed to support the Literacy curriculum in schools at Key Stage 2 and the main focus of the play is on identifying and understanding the function of the various components of a sentence. The following pages provide a summary of the work covered and examples of how it is put into practice in the play. Teachers Notes Full Stop, Question Mark or Exclamation Mark Punctuating the end of a sentence correctly requires choosing the appropriate punctuation mark. A full stop finishes a statement, a question mark finishes a question and an exclamation mark is used for an exclamation or a sudden command. The audience is given a choice of the three: a full stop, an exclamation mark or a question mark to correctly finish this series of simple sentences. Watch out mummy, there s a crocodile in the bath! I like margarine on my sandwiches. Mummy, what are you doing with those scissors? The teacher put his head in his hands and cried. Stop hitting me with that big stick! Quick, your skirt is on fire! What s new pussycat? The appropriate punctuation is then added to each of the sentences. Verbs Eva Beaver, one of Captain Grammaticus s students, is writing a novel and keeps getting her tenses mixed up. Captain Grammaticus asks her if she knows

2 what a verb is. She tells him They do stuff and he replies that they do, or have already done it, and that verbs are the words for what someone or something is doing, like running or walking. Captain Grammaticus examines a section of Eva Beaver s novel and with the help of the audience he identifies each of the verbs in the prose. Each time the audience see a verb they make a buzzing sound and Captain Grammaticus underlines them in turn. Help! said Emily. But no-one went to her rescue because nobody could hear what she was saying. In desperation, Emily got her dressing-gown and went as fast as she could to the door, saying at the top of her voice; Fire! Fire! Colourful verbs: The verbs that Eva has used in her prose are not very dynamic and Captain Grammaticus decides to work through Eva s paragraph replacing each ordinary verb with a more dramatic counterpart suggested by the audience. Thus, instead of said we could use screamed or shouted, instead of went we could use rushed, instead of got we could use grabbed or snatched. In passing Captain Grammaticus points out Eva s use of three different tenses of verb: She has written She is writing She will write the greatest novel of all time Adverbs Adverbs are introduced as words that describe a verb: to shout loudly, to run quickly, to sing badly. Poor Dame Kitty Catkin s final book in her Cat O Nine Tails series has been stolen and a dastardly clue has been left at the scene of the crime. To solve it the audience must identify the adverbs in the series of book titles and, with the help of the audience, Captain Grammaticus sets about doing just that.

3 Firstly they pick out each verb in the book title, then they find the word that s describing it, ie. the adverb. The cat with the neatly folded paws. Verb: folded. Adverb: neatly. The pussy who occasionally caught a mouse. Verb: caught. Adverb: occasionally. The cat that moved mysteriously. Verb: moved. Adverb: mysteriously. The kitten that obstinately refused his cat flap. Verb: refused. Adverb: obstinately. The hungry cat that ate ravenously. Verb: ate. Adverb: ravenously The eagerly awaited kitten. Verb: awaited. Adverb: eagerly. The kitten that kipped cosily on the curtain. Verb: kipped. Adverb: cosily. The cat that looked angrily at the dog. Verb: looked. Adverb: angrily. The cat book that went tragically missing. Verb: went. Adverb: tragically A rule of thumb for spotting an adverb is to find the word ending in ly. Basic Punctuation: sentences A sentence is a set of words that makes complete sense in itself and requires a capital letter at the beginning with the correct punctuation at the end of it. Back at the Reid and Wright School of Proper English Miss Reid is busy working on her advert for the paper. Are you having problems with your grammar ladies gentlemen do you need help with your spelling and punctuation well look no further try Captain Grammaticus Using a full stop, an exclamation mark or a question mark, Miss Reid works through her text with the audience working out where each sentence ends and what the correct punctuation should be. Thus we punctuate the text as follows: Are you having problems with your grammar ladies? Gentlemen do you need help with your spelling and punctuation? Well look no further! Try Captain Grammaticus. Miss Reid is satisfied with the sentences, but decides the next job is to insert a few commas

4 Nouns Nouns are described as naming words. Common nouns are used to name things such as tables, telephones, windows. Proper nouns name someone or something, such as a river, a town or a school, and have a capital letter. Pronouns are used as a replacement for the noun, such as you, I me, it. Using the section of Eva s novel the audience is then asked to identify the common nouns, proper nouns and pronouns Help! screamed Emily. (proper) But no-one (pronoun) rushed to her (pronoun) rescue because nobody (pronoun) could hear what she (pronoun) was shouting. Emily (proper) grabbed her dressing-gown (common) and ran as fast as she (pronoun) could to the door (common) screaming at the top of her (pronoun) voice, (common) Fire! (common) Fire! (common) Using this new-found knowledge, Captain Grammaticus solves a clue with the audience where they have to pick out the pronouns in the following sentence: He that did the crime is he that laughs last and he will laugh longest. The solution is He he he Captain Grammaticus deduces that the villain is laughing at them! Adjectives An adjective is a word that describes a noun, such as strange book or amazing super-hero. Our hero, Captain Grammaticus, finding a passage of descriptive writing about rats, thinks there is something not quite right about the adjectives used to describe them so with the help of the audience he identifies all the adjectives in the following passage: The playful rat, cuddly and beautiful, sat on the lady s lap. His dainty, appealing, lovable face looked at her with kind eyes, the cutest,

5 friendliest rat you ever saw. It was difficult to imagine a more graceful, adorable and loyal companion as that fluffy rat. So the adjectives we ve got are playful, cuddly, beautiful, dainty, appealing, lovable, kind, cutest, friendliest, graceful, adorable, loyal and fluffy! These are not the adjectives usually used to describe a rat so Captain Grammaticus concludes that there is something fishy going on and takes a copy of the book The Adorable Little Rat to investigate later. Commas Commas indicate pauses in a sentence to help make a sentence easier to read, but they are also used in lists to separate the items and as a pause before an extra bit of information. They are also inserted after a name at the beginning of a sentence or before the name at the end of a sentence. Back at the Reid and Wright School of Proper English, Miss Reid is grappling with her advert once more. She now has to insert commas in the appropriate places and with the help of the audience and using the rules above she inserts them in the following places: Having problems with your grammar, ladies? Gentlemen, need help with your spelling and punctuation? Well, look no further! Try Captain Grammaticus, the literacy-based super-hero, for all your grammatical needs including commas, full stops, question marks and all other punctuation problems. The introduction of commas into the advert text means that it is now much easier for the reader to understand. Singular to plural: two spelling rules Most plurals are formed by adding an s, but for words ending in y and those already ending in an s or soft sounds such as ch or sh there are different spelling rules to form the plurals. Captain Grammaticus is taken aback by the spelling of certain plurals in the book The Adorable Little Rat and examines the following passage:

6 The babys were confused. What had happened to the wool? Just then, two ladys in long black dresss appeared in the hall. They worked for the Joness, the owners of the house, one was carrying dishs and the other a box of matchs. When they saw the rats, the lady carrying the box of matchs screamed causing the other lady who wasn t holding the dishs properly, to drop them In the confusion, Mrs Cuddles babys ran under the maids dresss. Using the plural spelling rules that a y changes to ies and that if a word ends in an s, ch or sh you add es Captain Grammaticus works his way through the passage correcting the spellings with the help of the audience. Thus ladys becomes ladies, babys becomes babies, Joness becomes Joneses, dishs becomes dishes, matchs become matches and dresss becomes dresses. Summary As a summary of work covered in the play the final scene requires the audience to identify an adverb, verb, adjective, noun, preposition and connective to form a sentence and save Captain Grammaticus. The resulting sentence tells him how to escape: Slowly push small button in and sharply turn large dial around then carefully switch red knob on and gradually pull long lever out. These are the topics covered in the play. At the end of the performance the actors will take questions on any aspect of the presentation, as well as asking the audience some mathematical questions of their own

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