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  • ekbray6

Dialogue: Let's Talk About It

Dialogue can be tricky for students. Some seem to inherently get it, and others, well, it's April and we still talk about it on a day to day basis.

The one thing, above all else, that seems to help students get it is reading! Reading exposes students to the structure and grammar associated with dialogue and makes it easier for their minds to translate that information into their own

The following slide deck has a lot to offer. It can be used as 2 days dedicated to dialogue. Complete with Do Nows, activities, and group work. The speaker notes give detailed ideas, extensions, and modifications. This work can also be split up into activities that can be used throughout the year.

You know your students best. You know what would be the most helpful for them. Continued practice does help.

Here are the hangups my students have often had:

  1. They struggle with when to create new paragraphs. I suggest having students use a mentor text to help them create their own guides to when. I have also created this worksheet to help them.

Paragraphs in Wirting
Download DOCX • 10KB

This worksheet has two parts. This could be split over multiple days or given at the same time. I have used this in the past as help for students who struggle with paragraphs and given other work to students who struggle with something else. It could also be used to have students create their own guides for when to create new paragraphs. Note: This worksheet does go beyond dialogue, but is mostly focused on dialogue.

2. Students often are over-formal with their dialogue. I suggest the following activities

A. Have them make noticings and wondering about different people in their lives talking

B. Have them transcribe a short scene of a movie or TV show

C. Interview a student (or have groups interview each other) and have students transcribe the answers.

3. Students are reluctant to use it. This generally boils down to 2 reasons.

  1. Student doesn't feel comfortable with the rules and so avoids it.

  2. Student's story is more of a summary (telling) then actively happening.

To solve this, I, A) require some dialogue in longer projects, B)explain how dialogue helps make page limits easier to reach, C) direct students to focus on dialogue in revisions.

Creative writing is an awesome class to teach because you can always come back and talk more about any skill. Feel free to separate out these ideas into as many different pieces as you would like.

Check back for more resources or let me know what kinds of resources you would like to see!

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