Although many students believe that learning punctuation in dialogue is a tedious task, a number of online games make learning proper punctuation fun and easy. Insert Speech Marks, Don't Use Said, and Speech Marks at School help students learn when and where to add punctuation in dialogue to create a proper sentence. See "Resources" for links to each game.
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Insert Speech Marks
One game to help students learn proper punctuation in dialogue is Insert Speech Marks, a free online game that requires students to insert commas and quotation marks into pre-made sentences. The sentences also form a story, so that students are engaged in the learning process. After successfully inserting punctuation into the sentences, students are asked to write several of their own sentences, using quotation marks, commas, question marks and periods correctly to ensure they have learnt the proper rules for punctuating dialogue.
Don't Use Said
Another interactive online game that can be used to teach children how to properly punctuate dialogue is Don't Use Said. This free game uses animated graphics and speech bubbles to teach students which words in a sentence are spoken aloud and which identify a speaker. Students are shown sentences of dialogue and asked to identify which parts are said and which are not. Students may also insert quotation marks and commas. Colourful buttons on the side of the screen help students who may be stuck on a difficult sentence, and sentences can also be read aloud to help students identify which words should be said in dialogue.
Speech Marks at School
A final game that encourages students to place quotation marks and commas in pre-made sentences is Speech Marks at School, available after you register at atschool.co.uk. This game utilises colourful graphics of two boys, along with speech bubbles that indicate the nature of their conversation. Students are asked to read the sentence in the speech bubble and rewrite the quote in a text box below, adding commas, quotation marks and periods where necessary. Upon completion, the game calculates the proper punctuation of the sentences.
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