An Introduction to Quotation Marks in Direct Quotations

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This lesson was originally designed for 4th graders to use towards the beginning of the year.

  • Read Everywhere the Cow Says "Moo!" by Ellen Slusky Weinstein to the class
  • Pass out the worksheet to the class with the text of the story.
  • Have students highlight all of the words, and just the words, that the animals say
  • Ask students to talk to a partner and notice as many patterns as they can for what special punctuation is used around the highlighted words.
  • On the board, compile a list of patterns they noticed (the words are surounded by quoatation marks, there is a comma before the opening quotation marks, there is an exclamation mark before the closing quotation mark) Some patterns may not be correct (there is always a said before the qotation) but we'll get to that in a minute.
  • Look at each pattern you've listed on the board, and one-by-one have students open up any book they are reading and try to find an exception to the rule.
  • If you have a document camera, carry on this discussion by having students bring their book up to display
  • Once you have discovered an accurate collection of rules, have the students copy the rules down onto their worksheet.
  • On the back of the worksheet, have students add the missing punctuation to the text.
  • If the students have recently written something that uses direct quotations, have them go back and edit their work, being sure that they have followed the rules they have just established.

originally submitted by Carolyn Grumm

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