Time: 20 minutes
Instruction: Whole class and pairs
1. Circle up the group.
Discuss the role of dialogue in writing and reading stories. Ask the students, “Why is dialogue important?” and “When should we use dialogue?” Discuss with students what happens if dialogue is overused. Teacher Note: Dialogue should be used sparingly and only to advance the story or reveal relevant information.
2. Review these punctuation marks and terms with the group before beginning the activity.
* Quotation marks (“ ”) are used around a character’s exact words.
* Speaker tags (he said, Carla responded, said the teacher) are used before, within, or after the direct character quotations. Speaker tags should include descriptive words and phrases that direct action.
* A comma is used in most instances to separate the speaker tag from the quote. Review the examples to determine its placement.
* Exclamation points, periods and question marks associated with a quote are placed inside the quotation marks.
* Every time the speaker changes, remember to indent each new line of dialogue.
3. Review this example, omitting punctuation, on chart paper.
Example (notice the indents for each new speaker):
Mitch said, “My favorite food is pizza.”
“I agree,” Jackie responded. “My favorite toppings are
sausage and mushrooms!”
“Not me,” disagreed Samantha. “I prefer Sicilian slices. What
about you, Christine?”
“Well,” Christine stated, “I don’t like many toppings. I really like
plain slices best!”
4. Read aloud the following Activity Challenge Box to the group.
Challenge: Students will punctuate dialogue by using the Toobeez Conversation Carwash.
5. Using the example sentences, “punctuate” them using the Conversation Carwash. Have one student read aloud each dialogue line. The student should read the written words, as well as the names of the punctuation marks as he or she comes across them. For example, the first line should be read as follows: Mitch said, comma, open quotes, ”My favorite food is pizza‘ period, close quotes.
6. As the student is reading the line of dialogue, another student is to “act out” what is being read. View the action that corresponds to each part being read below:
7. Refer to photos on the following page for additional information.
8. Have volunteers read each quotation line in the same manner, and have other volunteers act out exactly what is being read.
9. With a partner, have students select a unique quotation line from a classroom novel and record it on a piece of paper. Then have students act out their selected line for the class.
10. After the activity, move to the “Activity Discussion and Processing” section of the activity.
Step 3 (below)
Student B says “comma, open quotes”
Student A attaches the comma and open quotations to the Conversation Carwash then steps inside.
Student B says “My favorite food is pizza.”
Student A repeats this sentence inside the Carwash.
Student B says “exclamation point, close quotes”
Student A attaches the exclamation point and closing quotations and exits the Carwash.
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