Quotation Marks

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This lesson was originally designed to use with 3rd graders

  • Ask the children if they know the song The Wheels on the Bus. If you're really brave sing a bit of it with them.
  • Read the book The Wheels on the School Bus by Mary-Alice Moore.
  • For a bit of fun, put the book under your document camera and sing a couple of your favorite verses from the book together.
  • Pass out the worksheet and look at the first page. Look at the verse about the kids together. As a class, highlight the words that the kids are actually saying. Then have students look at the other verses, and independently highlight all of the words that are actually being said.
  • Ask students to talk with each other and see what they notice about all of the words that are being said, the ones that are highlighted. How are they punctuated?
  • Come together as a class and discuss what they noticed. List key points on the board. Be sure that the kids discovered that they are surrounded by quotation marks. There is always a comma before the first quotation mark (and you might want to point out that sometimes it is a period, or questions mark etc) There is always an exclamation mark before the closing quotation mark (and you may want to point out that sometimes it will be a period or a comma etc)
  • Look at the back of the paper (the second page of the worksheet). Look at the first verse together, and using the rules that they have just discovered, add the missing punctuation in. Then have students add the missing punctuation to the other verses on their own.
  • Have students trade papers with a partner and check each other's work. If they see a mistake on their partner's work they can politely point it out and let the student decide if they would like to change it or not.
  • For some practice in application, have students write their own verses to the story. You may want to write one together as a class first. Think of other people who could be on the bus such as the principal, crossing guard, secretary or proctor. Follow the pattern of the verses, think of something appropriate for that person to say and write your verse! Being sure, of course, to use quotation marks correctly.
  • Students may then write a verse or two on their own. When they are finished let them have a partner check their work. Then share some of their ideas together as a class. You can even show their work under a document camera and sing some of them as a class.
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