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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Starting the Year off the Write Way! Day 9

I suppose writing dialogue could one could fall under the trait of conventions, sentence fluency, or even organization, but I don't worry about tying it to a trait. Most third graders are ready to learn the conventions of dialogue. I start by pointing it out frequently during guided reading. When we're ready to tackle it in writing, I ask a couple of kids to have a short conversation in front of the class (they might talk about what they had for lunch, did over the weekend, a movie they want to see, etc. I ask them to keep the exchange brief, if both of them talk twice that's enough). While they are talking I script what is said on the board. When they are done, I explain that when we write a conversation in a story the words said are not enough. We need to tell, not only who is talking, but what is going on. I then add those parts to the scripted conversation on the board.  

So this sentence:
"Amanda, were you playing soccer at lunch?" 
Steven approached the girl in the corner of their classroom and asked quietly, "Amanda, were you playing soccer at lunch?"

The next day after reviewing, I show them how to take a cartoon cut out of the newspaper and turn the speech bubbles into dialogue. I pass out cartoons to pairs and they work work together to narrate the conversation. When they are done, they share their conversations with the class under the document camera.

I'd like some new ideas for teaching dialogue. Anyone willing to share?

Happy Writing!


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