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Alternate Activity 4: Punctuation Debate

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Optional: Timepiece that shows seconds
  • Optional: A coin

Description of Activity

This activity extends the conversation about answering and questioning religions (Activity 3) by asking youth to debate the relative importance of exclamation points and question marks. It should be popular with verbal youth.

Form two teams to debate this issue: Which is the more important punctuation mark, the question mark or the exclamation point? Set up any rules you like, but consider these: Let a representative from each side toss a coin to see who begins. The first speaker on the first side is allowed one minute to talk. The first speaker on the second side then gets one minute to talk. Then the second speaker on the first side gets a minute, and so forth until time runs out or everybody has spoken at least once. Everybody on each side must have a chance to speak, but anybody who wants to can pass. If one team has more members who wish to speak than the other, then the members of that team can speak more than once.

If the group is small (eight or fewer) consider asking one volunteer to play the role of question mark and the other to play the role of exclamation point and debate each other. The rest of the group can ask questions, offer ideas of their own and judge the contest-which is likely to end in a tie.

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