Quotation Marks Activities & Games

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Students who can read and write dialogue sensibly and grammatically can develop more communicative and creative writing pieces. This lesson teaches activities and games that will help students learn to use quotation marks.

Put It In Quotes!

Have you been trying to get your students to understand what quotation marks are and how they work? Quotation marks can be an important part of reading and writing for many reasons. First of all, learning to use them helps children understand how dialogue works and how to incorporate it into their own writing. Quotation marks can also be important when children are learning particular kinds of writing formalities or how to cite articles. Teaching children about quotation marks does not have to be dull. This lesson helps give you some ideas for how to teach children quotation marks in fun and engaging ways, using activities and games.

Games for Quotation Marks

Sometimes, it is most helpful for students if you can make learning into pure fun. These games will help them enjoy quotation marks with energy and engagement.

Put Them In

This is a game that will require your students to think quickly. Break your students into teams. Give each team a set of twenty note cards, each of which should have a set of quotation marks on them. Color code the students' cards, so that each team only has quotation marks in one, defining color. Then, display a passage or story on butcher paper that is long and stretches across your room. You can take this passage from a book, with quotation marks removed, or you can write it yourself. The passage should contain no quotation marks but many opportunities for inserting them. When you say, 'Go,' each team should try to insert as many quotation marks as are accurate, following these rules:

  • Everyone on the team must believe that quotation marks belong in a place in order to put them there.
  • Once another team has put quotation marks in a place, you may not place a second pair there.

When all teams are finished, the team who has accurately placed the most quotation marks is the winner.

Simon Says Quotation Marks

This game is a spin-off from Simon Says, which most students are already familiar with. Begin by taking on the role of Simon. After you say Simon Says, you should say a sentence that either does or does not contain an opportunity for inserting quotation marks. Students who think quotes belong somewhere in the sentence should make air quotes with their fingers, while others should not do anything. If students are either wrong, or make a motion when you have not said Simon Says, they must sit down. Once you have played for several rounds, you can give a student a chance to play the part of Simon. Make sure to use examples that involve quotation marks in dialogue, but also in article titles and idioms.

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