Tamara Hughson
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Homework/Assignment, Lesson, Lesson Plan
Middle School
  • ELA
  • Grammar
  • NE ELA
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Writing
  • ela
  • grammar
  • writing
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    The Hobbit: Writing and Punctuating Dialogue

    The Hobbit: Writing and Punctuating Dialogue



    This Remote Learning Plan was created by Tami Hughson in collaboration with Dorann Avey as part of the 2020 ESU-NDE Remote Learning Plan Project. Educators worked with coaches to create Remote Learning Plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The attached Remote Learning Plan is designed for Grade 7 English Language Arts students. Students will explore and identify rules for correct punctuation of dialogue. They will write a short dialogue and apply the rules for correct formatting.This Remote Learning Plan addresses the following NDE Standard: NE LA 7.2.1 H

    It is expected that this Remote Learning Plan will take students 60-90 minutes to complete.

    The Hobbit: Writing and Punctuating Dialogue: Warm Up

    The notice/wonder routine is best done as a whole class or small group activity. If this is not possible, try an online discussion using a thread in your LMS. This way students have the benefit of hearing each other's thinking and ideas. Remember, in notice/wonder, there are no noticings or wonderings that are wrong. It's time to allow the students to explore in a safe environment. 


    Dialogue Formatting Notice/Wonder

    Read the interaction between Bilbo and Gandalf when they first meet in Chapter 1 of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. (This is found in attached excerpt from the last full paragraph on page 14 to the first full paragraph on page 18.)

    1. As you read, notice where Tolkien places quotation marks. Where does he place them? 


    1. What do you notice about different punctuation marks such as commas, periods, exclamation and question marks?


    1. What do you notice about when words are, or are not capitalized?


    1. When does Tolkien indent new paragraphs? 


    What do you wonder about? What questions do you have?

    The Hobbit: Writing and Punctuating Dialogue: Learn

    The author of this video doesn't place quotation marks on the inside of her sentences when she puts the speaker tag in the middle. This is not correct. See if students can catch her error. It will be a great fix it conversation!


    Watch this video. Fill in the blanks as you watch to help you process the important ideas. 

    *The author makes a mistake in this video with quotation mark placement. Can you find it?

    How to Format Dialogue

    Rules for Punctuating Dialogue


    1. Place ___________________ marks around a character’s _____________ words.

    2. Use ________________tags to help the reader keep track of which _____________ is ______________. 

    3. Put a _______________ between speaker ________ and ______________________. 

    4. Punctuation should be placed _________________ quotation marks.

    5. Capitalize the ________ letter of a quotation if it is the ______________ of a sentence.

    6. Begin a new __________________with each ___________ speaker.



    1. You do  /do not have to use a speaker tag every time.

            (circle one)

    1. Be ________________ with your speaker tags!


    Examples instead of “said”

     Repeated, exclaimed, complained, yelled, hinted.


    Can you think of a few more? 




    The Hobbit: Writing and Punctuating Dialogue: Study Model and Write

    Here is the link to the Google File with the docs you can make copies of and then assign in your LMS or Google Classroom. Please make copies from and do not edit on these original files. 

    The Hobbit Files

    Watch and study the puncuation being modeled in this video. See if you can guess what she will do before she does it. 

    Punctuate Dialogue


    Writing Dialogue 


    Your Turn!


    What if Gandalf visited your house? What would he find you doing first thing in the morning? What might he say to you, and you to him? 


    Write/type a dialogue exchange between you and Gandalf below or in your notebook. Make sure to use the rules and tips learned in today’s lesson! 


    Turn in your dialogue as per your teacher’s hand in procedures.