Kevin Bader has a thing for punctuation. But the Grade 6/7 Ellison elementary school teacher has come up with a fun way of drilling the rules of writing into his students.
“We did a project this year that was pretty darn fun and who hasn’t wanted to be in a rock video, so that’s what we did,” said Bader, during a presentation to Vernon School District trustees with several of his students in attendance.
The reggae-themed song highlights, in a fun way, the importance of capitalization and punctuation, with lead vocals and guitar by Bader, and accompaniment from students.
“The idea came about because I’m a stickler for writing conventions: you need to capitalize, you need to punctuate,” he said. “It was just a typical writing lesson, and I remember being at the smart board and saying, ‘no it’s every sentence you have, every thought you have, you need to capitalize, you need to punctuate.’
“I kept repeating cap-punc and I said, ‘you need to ca-punc it,’ and we just made up a word on the spot. And it started of evolving from there and then they went to music class and while they were gone and I was supposed to be marking and prepping, I wrote the song.”
Bader recorded Ca-punc it! during spring break in his home recording studio, and when school resumed, his students got busy working on the music video, storyboarding and coming up with ideas, with many ideas finalized through the time-honoured tradition of rock, paper, scissors.
Bader’s son Jeremy edited the video at home and after securing permission from parents, Bader put the video on YouTube and posted it to his Facebook page.
“And a few of my friends are teachers and then things went pretty viral, and we had close to 1,000 hits, so that’s pretty cool and then one of the district’s senior management team sent it on an all-employees email, so that’s pretty cool for the kids to get that recognition.”