Dialogue in First Grade

Mrs. Z. is pretty accustomed to seeing my face during her writing workshop.  Whenever I have a free moment, I pop into her room.  Mrs. Z. teaches first grade, and her writing workshop is full of joy and choice and writing.  I can’t seem to stay away.  Oftentimes an anchor chart catches my eye and I have to catch Mrs. Z. after school to ask her about it.  Such was the case the other day when I noticed this chart:


Many first grade teachers introduce dialogue with charts such as “Make Your Character Move and Speak.”  This chart caught my eye because it named the different ways to make characters speak.  The characters could be nice or yell or even be bossy.

I caught up with Mrs. Z. and asked her about it.

“Did any of the kids try it?” I asked her, knowing it was a choice left to the young writers.

“Some of them,” she replied with a smile.

The student below used yelling dialogue.  (Mom said I’m running as fast as I can!)

Dialogue 1

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This student wrote happy dialogue. (And he said “This is even better than popcorn.” And he was happy.)


Dialogue 2

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Whether dialogue is happy, yelling, funny, or bossy, it adds depth and voice to writing.  Kudos to these young writers and to Mrs. Z.