Tracy Rains
Elementary Education, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Upper Primary
4, 5
  • English Language Arts
  • Grammar
  • Narrative Writing
  • Story Delevopment
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Interactive, Text/HTML, Video

    Developing Dialogue

    Developing Dialogue


    In this seminar, you will learn how to use quotation marks, punctuation, and capitalization correctly to enhance story. Adding dialogue to a narrative writing piece helps you develop characters, move the plot along, and keeps the reader interested and invested in reading the story until the end which is a goal of all authors. During this seminar, you will learn how to use quotations marks and punctuation correctly by learning the grammatical rules for dialogue and analyzing the errors in examples of dialogue. You will be comparing and classifying both narratives with and without dialogue and different ways dialogue can be written within text. You will also create your own dialogues within your narrative writing.


    CC.1.4.4.M/ 1.4.5.M
    Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events.


    Introductory warm-up activity.

    You will first think about what you already know about dialogue by completing the first two columns of this K-W-L chart. In the “K” column, think about and list what you already know about using dialogue in your writing. In the middle “W” column,  think about and list what you want to know about using quotation marks correctly in writing. Then, watch this video of a “Quotation Marks Song.”  After watching the video, fill in the last “L” column with what you have learned from the song.   


    Read or watch the resources to learn about this concept, then do the practice activity.




    You will read this article about using dialogue in writing. As you read it, you can take notes here.  There are 4 headings in the article that discuss using dialogue in writing.  Summarize or find the main point in each heading and record it in one of the speech bubbles on the notes page.  

    Watch this video on using quotation marks correctly. Then watch this video on using quotation marks in your writing.  You can take notes here.  On this page, there is a table to record important information from the first video which discusses rules for properly using quotation marks, and there is a second table to record key ideas shared in the second video that focuses on why using dialogue improves writing. Use these tables to record your thoughts and key points taken from each video.  

    You will play this online game to practice identifying correct use of quotation marks.   Then go to this link and read the 3 rules about using dialogue found there. Finally, go to this slideshow and write an example sentence that shows your understanding of these rules. You can either be creative and come up with your own examples OR use a book that you are reading to find the dialogue examples to use in the slideshow.  



    Discuss your ideas / opinions / understandings.


    You will be showing how dialogue changes a story in this activity. You will create 2 pieces of a narrative. The only rule is one must contain dialogue and the other should not. You can create your narrative scenes and share them to the folder found below. Then you can look at another set of narratives done by someone else. Your job is to change the scenes created by another learner!  If the scene does not contain dialogue, you will rewrite the scene WITH dialogue. If the scene does have dialogue, you will rewrite the scene WITHOUT dialogue. You can do this using a Google Doc or a Google Slideshow.


    Now it is time to self-check how much you have learned about the this topic.  If you do not know as much as you thought, go back to the “Explore” section of this seminar and reread, rewatch, or redo the activities listed.  See your facilitator if you have questions.

    Click here to take the quiz online. You do not have to log into the quiz site in order to take this quiz. If a window pops up asking you to sign up for the quiz site, just close the sign-up window and start your quiz.


    This is a task or project where you can show what you know.


    You will now get to write a story that uses dialogue to show your understanding of the rules of correctly using quotation marks and punctuation/ capitalization and how the use of dialogue makes your narratives more interesting.  

    You can come up with your own prompt or choose one of the prompts found here.  To show mastery, your narrative will need to include all of the areas included on this Checklist.   You can also read other finished writings and leave comments about the dialogue use at the bottom of the document. You should read and comment on 2 other writings if possible.  


    Complete this wrap-up activity where you reflect on your learning. 

    Do you feel comfortable using dialogue in future narrative writings?  Why or why not?