Remind students that the purpose of all conventions, including punctuation marks, is to aid the reader in understanding the writer’s message.

  • Nancie Atwell researched the history of punctuation marks in her resource Lessons That Change Writers. Look at these marks and then see how they evolved. This would help students better understand the purpose that punctuation servers for readers.
  • After sharing the background of quotation marks, practice applying them using air quotes. Access the mentor text passages to share with your students.
  • Then have students practice translating comic strips, punctuating the dialogue correctly.
  • Creating messages with candy conversation hearts is also great fun.
  • K-1 students dabble with dialogue when they are creating speech bubbles for the characters in their pictorial writing. Compare these first attempts to Kevin Henkes’ illustrations in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Then encourage students to weave dialogue into their own pictorial writing using the speech bubble template.
Punctuating Dialogue Practice SheetPunctuating Dialogue Comic Strip TranscriptionPunctuating Dialogue Candy-Heart Conversations

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