Friday, July 20, 2012

Quirky Quotations

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. (I'm not sure where I got the frame--if it is yours please let me know so I can give you credit :)

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. I 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:
Frame from 

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!

Have you heard of Common Core Classroom yet? It's an amazing new blog with great ideas for teaching the new Common Core Standards. I'm honored and excited to be an author there! You'll find this post and many others that I'm sure will be a great help as we all try to learn and implement the new standards:

Common Core Classrooms


  1. I love this idea! I can imagine my kids following the no talking rule, but don't think they'll be able to be silent- it'll be too funny! I can't wait to do this next year and hopefully the rules about quotations will stick with them!

  2. I think this is such a great idea! As a first year teacher, I'm excited to follow your blog!



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