THIS MINI LESSON WILL FOCUS ON DIALOGUE. Teach the following ideas to prevent too much dialogue in a narrative story.
1. Start off with a song. I love love love playing the song, You Talk Too Much. You can find it here- My students giggle every time I play it and they look around the room wondering what it has to do with writing! He He: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L33DMVWfS8g
2. How should dialogue be used?
Dialogue should be chose carefully. Readers don’t need to know everything the characters are saying. Too much dialogue can be ver confusing.
a. Never say the obvious.
Ex. Joi said, “I was at the park too. There were slides, swings, and monkey bars.”
b. Skip the meet and greet.
Ex. “Hi James, ” he said James replied, “Hello there!”
c. When characters speak, something should be happening and the plot should be progressing. Conflict between characters is a great place to add dialogue, but balance it with action!
Ex. Tim screamed, “You stole the purple pens!” As he marched over to Lucy, she folded her arms.
d. Use dialogue to reveal a character’s personality.
Ex. Lisa criticized, “Did you see that girl’s ugly dress? I would never wear that.”
*** I like this idea from Janet Fitch: Find a section in the story where the characters have a whole conversation, and then cross out the dialogue that is commonplace. Because, as Fitch says, “A line anybody could say is a line nobody should say.” BRILLIANT!!!!!
3. Mentor Texts show the appropriate amount of dialogue. I am sure you have one of these sitting on your library shelf!
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood
If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky
My Teacher for President by Kay Winters
To Bathe a Boe by Kudrna
4. Taking notes on how to write dialogue will help students remember the lesson as well as give them a resource to refer back to when writing.
5. Practice writing dialogue with a partner!!!!
6. Go back as a whole group and share student examples.
I HOPE YOU FOUND THIS USEFUL AND YOUR STUDENTS ARE USING DIALOGUE IN A WAY THAT WON’T MAKE YOU PULL YOUR HAIR OUT!