Teaching quotation marks may sometimes need a little spice. When teaching quotation marks, I had my students look through picture books that I selected and had them try to figure out what the quotation marks rules are. They brainstormed what they through were the rules of quotation marks based on the writing in the books they perused. Then we went over the rules.
I read to the students, If You Were Quotation Marks by Molly Blaisdell. It is a cute, very short picture book that shows students the various ways to correctly use quotation marks. It is definitely for a younger audience than 8th grade, but it still works. As their writing spark for the day that I read the quotation mark book I had them write a short dialogue about their topic of choice.
I wanted my students to write something using quotation marks, and I wanted them to be into it… enter comic strips on the computer! I realize that comic strips don’t have quotation marks, but they do have talking so I thought it would work ( I did explain my realization to the kids too!) At the beginning of the unit, I showed them a sample comic strip I made and showed them the various characters and scenes they can select. I then gave them some ideas to write a comic strip and had them write their draft on paper. Then we went to the lab to create their comics. I felt this was a quick, fun way to practice quotation marks.
Comic Strip Sites:
I used: www.bitstrips.com