Enjoy teaching dialogue! There’s no need for boring worksheets. Connect the skills to a unit of study or even a set of cartoons.
Focus on a Specific Skill Set
Writing dialogue requires a specific set of skills. Focus on each skill and provide plenty of practice. That way, you’ll enjoy teaching dialogue – – – because your students will easily grasp it.
What Is Dialogue? When characters talk in narrative writing, it is called dialogue.
Direct and Indirect Quotes – A direct quote tells the speaker’s exact words, and quotation marks surround the quote. An indirect quote paraphrases the speaker’s words. No quotation marks are used.
Dialogue Tags – Dialogue tags are used with direct quotes. They tell who’s speaking and the action.
Dialogue Tags at the Beginning of the Sentence – The dialogue tag is set off by a comma. The speaker’s exact words are placed in quotation marks. The quoted sentence keeps its original capitalization and punctuation marks.
Dialogue Tags at the End of the Sentence – The dialogue tag is set off by a comma, which comes before the quotation mark to replace the period in the quote.
Dialogue Tags in the Middle of the Sentence – Commas separate the dialogue tag from the quoted sentence; each comes before the quotation mark. The sentence keeps its original capitalization and punctuation.
Connect Skills to a Unit of Study
The PowerPoint slides shown above come from my Writing Fables unit. Fables are simple to read and write. That makes them the perfect choice for the beginning of the year. After reading and summarizing some fables, we learn about dialogue. Then students are ready to use their new skills to write. I love the way dialogue connects to this specific unit of study.
Use Cartoons to Enjoy Teaching Dialogue
As the year progresses, it’s time to review and refine. What better way than with cartoons? First, choose your favorite comic strip. Use single panes or the entire strip for practice. Here are some free samples to get you going.
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Enjoy teaching dialogue!