dialgoue · writing workshop

Where’s The Dialogue: Part Two

Last week I wrote a post about a writing exercise where students create their own dialogue to improve a lackluster story. Then I received a few comments that got me thinking:

          Kristen P.  said, “Did you write your own story that lacked dialogue or did you use one that was previously published? I just did a similar lesson with students using a student mentor text, but would love to have other examples, too.”

          Alethea said, “This is a great idea, and I’d love to try this with my 6th graders. Do you have a link to any resources so that I don’t have to spend countless hours typing up stories?”

I decided to take the story I used and add a couple more for teachers. These sample stories could be used for multiple purposes. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Of course, the original idea, find places to add dialogue. Have students cut and paste the story leaving places to add conversations between the characters.
  2. You could also use these as peer revision pieces or conversation starters. Before partnering students up to peer revise, use one of these stories to talk about what students would suggest and compliment.
  3. Each of these stories is somewhat of a blank canvas. A start on an idea that could use more elaboration and detail.
  4. These stories offer an opportunity to have conversations about intros, conclusions, and character development. Each has a start on these elements of a story but students could have fun making the stories a bit messy revising these areas.

Keep in mind this is just an exercise to illustrate a message to your students. Ask students to reflect and think about how they can relate this learning to their own stories and writing process. What techniques and strategies would they use to fix up these stories that could be used on their own work?

Here are the sample stories. I hope you find them useful!

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Click on the image to find the link to the printable documents.

3 thoughts on “Where’s The Dialogue: Part Two

  1. Thanks so much for following up for your readers! I was inspired by your last post, so aside from using student mentor texts, I decided to add another component to our dialogue discussions. The first chapter of Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, is almost all dialogue. I rewrote that chapter without the dialogue and had the students compare the two and really analyze the impact that the dialogue had on the story. We discussed how more or less dialogue might contribute to or hinder that action in that chapter. We had some really great discussions! Thank you!


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