Saturday, November 17, 2012

Adding Dialogue to Personal Narratives

One of the kids favorite personal narrative lessons (and therefore, one of my favorites, too, haha) is adding dialogue.  This skill used to be difficult for a lot of kids.  It's hard know where to put quotation marks.

That is, it was until I started teaching dialogue using comics!

I give the kids a template with the boxes, and I model the kind of drawing I expect (no color, stick figures, just faces are okay).  I also require that every panel must have at least one character talking.

Once the comic is complete and the kids have had some time to share them with each other and enjoy them, that's when they're ready to learn the mechanics.  And it's really very simple.  Instead of the bubble drawn around the character's words, the start and end of their speech just goes instead quotation marks.  There's no "He said" in a comic, and there's no "My mom told me" in a comic.  Kids seem to understand speech bubbles a lot more naturally than quotation marks, so the transfer process is easy once they have the visual. 

This is one of the lessons I have included in my personal narratives unit, available for purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Have you used comics in narrative writing lessons?





P.S., I'm linking up with Jivey for more Writer's Workshop mini-lessons.  Check it out here:


9 comments :

  1. Thanks for linking up! :)
    Jivey

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    1. Thanks for hosting this linky! I love teaching Writer's Workshop. :)

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  2. This is a great idea. I blogged about narratives also. My kids had a tough time knowing where to put the quotation marks, but I think this idea would help them!

    Sarah
    MissKinBK

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    1. Thanks for commenting. :) Yes, for those of us who love to draw (which includes 90% of fourth graders) it's a motivating lesson and it really helps them know where speech starts and where it ends.

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  3. This is a great idea. I'm going to use this with our next narrative piece.
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

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    1. Thanks, Bethany! I hope your kiddos have fun with it. :)

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  4. Amber,
    This is great. I've got a lot of reluctant writers and readers...and they only like comics.

    matt
    Digital: Divide & Conquer

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    1. Thanks, Matt! I bet they love this activity :)

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  5. Hmm, that's good idea. I wonder why didn't I use it? Will definitely implement this writing strategy.

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