Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quotation Marks, Narratives, and FREEBIES!!

It appears I can only manage posting once a week these days. I guess one long post is better than nothing!

I taught my second graders how to use quotation marks this week. I saw an idea on Pinterest from My Mommy Reads to use the Mo Willems Pigeon books and knew it would be a big hit.
First, I read Pigeon Wants a Puppy and I explained that the author used speech bubbles but that in most books we wouldn't have room to have a speech bubble every time a character talked. Instead, quotation marks take the place of the speech bubble.

I wrote one of the quotes from the book showing how the speech bubble would look using quotation marks. I had labels printed that I added to the anchor chart to point out the features they needed to remember. You can download those labels by clicking on the picture.
Then, I let students pick a different quote from the book they wanted we to write up on the anchor chart. We brainstormed different dialogue tags we could use as well. I had students take turns coming up to the chart to add the quotation marks, comma, and ending mark.

Last, I showed them how to draw their own Pigeon using the directions from Mo Willems himself. Click on the picture to download.

Of course, one Mo Willems book is never enough so we also read The Pigeon Wants a Cookie. You'll notice some of my students drew the ducking with no directions! I wanted the pigeon pics to be cut out so I could neatly arrange them around the anchor chart but some of the kids really, really, really, wanted to do a background or thought it looked just perfect in the middle of the chart, etc. UGH!  I forced my OCD side into submission and decided this wasn't that important so I'd let them have it their way since often it has to be my way! ;-) I cringe whenever I look at it but they LOVE it and draw pigeon pics in any spare moment they get.

I made a quick review for the Smartboard that I will use next week. It is a reminder of the rules followed by more Pigeon quotation sentences to correct. Click on the picture to download.
Both my first and second graders have been working on narratives. I explained that there are two types of narratives: personal or fictional. I then broke fiction down for them into realistic or fantasy. I made tree maps for the Smartboard and we sorted sample plots. Totally nothing fancy (I am new to this technology) but it worked. My students have difficulty moving items with their fingers. Anyone have any Smartboard tips for me? Click on the picture to download.
It is pretty easy to find picture book examples of fiction but personal narrative it tougher. Luckily I am a huge Patricia Polacco fan and know that most of her stories are true from her childhood so we read Some Birthday!
During Writer's Workshop, I let the students choose if they wanted to write a personal or fictional narrative. After they shared their writing, we discussed whether we thought it was a personal or fictional narrative. I also always have the audience share one positive comment about the author's writing.

This last girl sweetly wrote about her mom being so sick her grandma had to come over to help. In just a few weeks she has gone from saying she can't read or write anything without help to working so hard and completing an entire story all by herself!

Alright friends, I'd better start on my Weekend To-Do List. Hope you found something you can use.



  1. I have the students use a tennis ball to move things on the Smartboard. They can get a good grip on the ball and the texture seems to help "grab" onto whatever they need to move. It works very well!!

    Thanks for the awesome freebies, teaching dialogue might not be so painful this year!!!

  2. GREAT ideas!!! Thanks for sharing! How can one go wrong with Mo?

  3. A great smart board tip is to have students use the knuckle of their index finger to move things. Our music teacher also donated a drum stick with a felt tip that really helps the students move things smoothly & is great for reaching high places!

  4. Another teacher on my team uses Pigeon and I have her son in my room this year and I have used the pigeon books! The munchkins love it! I like the Narrative stories I'm using it in my room next week! Thanks you it's absolutely fabulous!!