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Dialogue Close Study Unit Plan

7th Grade
Day 1:
Objective: Students will participate in a close study of mentor texts to seek the answers to
the guiding questions:
What do you notice about how authors use dialogue? Look for patterns in usage (rules).
How do authors switch dialogue between characters in a way that is helpful for the
How do authors use dialogue in interesting ways?
Mentor texts (picture books with good examples of dialogue)
Writing notebooks
Teacher Activities:
Begin by asking questions of whole class: What is dialogue? Why do authors use
dialogue in their writing?
Draw a sample 3 column chart on the whiteboard for students to copy into their
writing notebooks. (book name/page # | noticing | example from text)
Model one example using a mentor text that will not be used by students
Divide students into groups of 3 and distribute mentor texts for students to
Walk around and monitor students and guide thinking
Student Activities:
Collaborate in small groups to explore guiding questions through close study of
mentor texts
Fill out chart with examples of how authors use dialogue and what they notice
about how dialogue is written
Assessment: Teacher will formatively observe students by conferencing with each group
during work time and through a short share out of findings at the end of class.

Day 2:
Objective: Each student group will share a noticing that they have determined is a rule
for writing dialogue, using an example from a mentor text.
Dialogue mentor texts (same as first day)
Mimio view

Laptop computer
Writing notebooks/dialogue charts
Student copies of Rules for Writing Dialogue

Teacher Activities:
Meet with each group to guide students in choosing a rule to share with the
class, making sure there is a variety of examples being shared
Facilitate student sharing by asking questions to engage students as necessary
Distribute a copies of Rules for Writing Dialogue
Student Activities:
Meet in small groups to select a rule for writing dialogue to share with the class
Share dialogue rule and example from mentor text, using Mimio view, with the
whole class
Consider guiding questions and ask for required clarification
Assessment: N/A

Day 3:
Objective: Students will use their new knowledge of how to correctly write dialogue to
correct a selection of text that is missing all quotation marks and paragraph formatting.
Copies of incorrect text selection
Plain white paper
Lists of dialogue rules
Teacher Activities:
Explain activity to students:
o Ask students what is wrong with the selection of text (mention that it
includes dialogue).
o Tell students that they will be correcting the text selection by cutting and
pasting it onto a blank sheet to make it look just like it would in a book.
o Tell students that they should use their rules for how to write dialogue to
assist them in completing the activity.
Break students into pairs and distribute materials
Circulate among pairs to offer guidance
Student Activities:

Mark incorrect copy with pencil to indicate where they will need to begin new
paragraphs and where they will need to add punctuation
Cut and paste or tape text onto a blank page correctly, using the rules for how to
write dialogue

Assessment: Teacher will formatively assess student understanding while circulating in

the classroom. Students will also self assess during the next class period when they
compare their completed activity to the correct version and reflect upon what rules they
used most frequently and what they did not complete correctly and why.

Day 4
Objective: Students will self-assess their understanding of the rules for writing dialogue
by comparing their completed dialogue scramble activities with the correct format as
well as with the results of other peers. Students will develop a class list of words other
than said for dialogue tags.
Purple Rules for Dialogue sheets
Completed dialogue scramble sheets (1 per pair/group)
Mimio View
Independent reading books
Teacher Activities:
Use projector to show correct organization of the dialogue scramble
Facilitate class discussion about why, according to the rules for writing dialogue,
the sample is correct and which parts could be subjective
Explain dialogue tag scavenger hunt Use independent reading books and any
other texts in the room to find as many alternative words for said as possible
(work in NEW partner groups)
Type class list of words for said (go around the room and have each pair list
one word until there are no new words left)
Student Activities:
Discuss success and mistakes for dialogue scramble (share with another partner
group AND share out in large group discussion)
Search for alternative words for said
Share out words from scavenger hunt with class
Assessment: Tomorrow, students will be writing a conversation, using at least four rules
for writing dialogue (without consulting the rules list), and will have to identify the

examples of the rules they used. The sheet that is will be completed and attached to the
dialogue the students write is shown below.

Dialogue Checkpoint