Friday, July 20, 2012

Quirky Quotations

Hi, everyone! It's Farrah, from ThinkShareTeach and I am so excited to be a part of this great collaborative blog!

Do you need an exciting, fun way for your kids to practice correctly using quotation marks? Then this is the activity for you! This lesson is always a crowd pleaser and one the kids beg to do again and again. All you  need is some chart paper, markers, and this poster (or something similar):

Start by doing a quick mini-lesson on the proper use of quotation marks before the actual activity. I'm a huge whiteboard user, so I usually have my students practice a few lines of dialogue by writing it on their whiteboards (also great for formative assessment). Next comes the fun part. We start to brainstorm some things that we think famous people might say...We include politicians, singers, authors, and even game characters.  I then tell my kids that they're going to be taking part in a silent discussion. They can only talk with their talking out loud! While I'm explaining, I begin hanging up some pre-made charts like this one:

Each chart has four or five famous people, including fictional characters, and a conversation starter.
I divide the class into groups, place them at the charts and let them start writing! The only rules are

  1. No talking out loud.
  2. All dialogue must be punctuated correctly.
I usually give each group about 3-5 minutes, then call time and the groups move on to the next chart. This is such a great creative writing activity with lots of practice writing direct quotations. Plus, its always hilarious to wrap up the lesson by coming back together as a whole group to see how the conversations end up! Be prepared to do this activity several times because the kids will want to use different combinations of people. 

How about you? Have you taught a lesson similar to this or do you have another great way to practice writing quotations? I'd love to hear from you!



Kim Bowen said...

Love it!

Farrah Kilgo said...

Thanks, Kim!


YearntoLearn said...


Yearn to Learn Blog

Kim Collazo said...

Farrah, I LOVE this idea! My kids struggle so much with writing dialogue correctly, this would be such a fun way to practice! I also create and laminate quotation sentence strips that are missing the marks. My kids rotate around using various types of pasta to punctuate them correctly. Thanks so much for sharing!

Farrah Kilgo said...

Thanks, Kim! I'm so glad you can use it!

Michalene Mills said...

Wow! Great idea!

The Teacher in Me and YOU!

Melissa Fisher said...

Very creative, thinking of doing this. Quick questions:
1) how did the groups not talk to write the sentences? Wouldn't they have to discuss what the "character" would say?

James Kateron said...

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