Direct vs. Indirect Speech Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What are the differences between direct and indirect speech? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to outline key facts for students. A game tests understanding.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define direct speech and indirect speech
  • distinguish between direct and indirect speech
  • list the rules for converting direct speech to indirect speech and indirect speech to direct speech


45 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.*


Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.



  • Begin by writing the following sentences on the board for the class:
    • Mom said, ''Get down from there!''
    • Mom said she wanted us to get down.
  • Read the sentences aloud for the class.
    • What is different about the two sentences?
  • Pass out the copies of the Direct vs. Indirect Speech: Definition, Rules & Examples lesson or display the video lesson for the class to watch together
  • Tell the class to read or watch the introduction and 'Background on Communication' section of the lesson.
    • Based upon what we just watched, which of the sentences on the board do you think represents direct speech? Why?
    • Which of the sentences is indirect speech? Why?
  • Have the class read or watch the 'Direct Speech' section of the lesson.
    • How can we tell if words are direct speech?
    • Let's take turns sharing some examples of direct speech.
  • Instruct the class to read or watch the 'Indirect Speech' section of the lesson.
    • What should we look for in identifying indirect speech?
    • Let's take turns sharing examples of indirect speech.
  • Ask students to read or watch the remainder of the lesson at this time.
    • Why is it important to change tense from present to past when converting speech from direct to indirect?
    • What should we remove when converting direct speech to indirect speech?
    • What do we do if the speech is already written in the past tense?
    • How can we convert questions from direct to indirect speech?
    • How can we easily convert requests from direct to indirect speech?
  • Review key points about direct and indirect speech with the class before continuing.
    • Pass out the worksheet and tell the students to use what they learned in the text lesson about direct and indirect speech to complete the worksheet.
  • When all students have finished the worksheet, review each question and answer as a class in an open discussion format.

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