Updated: Apr 8
An introduction to quotation marks and how they are used.
Quotation marks are used to show that someone is speaking within a text. There are other uses for them, but that is the main one and the one that is being focused upon here.
Quatation marks can be introduced at anytime after a student is cognizant of print; that words have meaning. However, in the classroom, it is usually after punctuation has been generally introduced, so after periods, exclamation marks, and question marks. Typically, between the second and fifth grades.
If your child is writing stories where characters are talking, your child is reading, or has asked what those marks are are all optimal times to introduce quotation marks.
Read About Quotation Marks
Watch About Quotation Marks
Practice Using Quotation Marks
Grasping the concept of when quotation marks are used isn't difficult. The challenge is remembering where the little quote marks, the comma, and the end mark belongs. That requires plenty of actual practice. If you have a child who enjoys writing, this will be relatively easy. You can remind and reinforce through their free, creative, and/or journal writings as needed. You can also challenge them to write stories that include speaking characters.
On the other hand, if you have a child who writing is a challenge, simply familiarizing them with this material, especially the activities below, will set the stage for when they are ready to write.
Print out some comics and add quotation marks around statements where characters are speaking.... so like, it's a comic book, so virtually ALL the lines require quotation marks. Below are two resources for printable comics.
Go on a Quotation Mark hunt
While you are reading aloud, challenge your child to be on the lookout for quotation marks in the text. Picture books are suggested for this activity. To add a bit of fun, if you have a magnifying glass, your child can use that to help them sleuth those pesky quotation marks out. Either way, this is a super simple, but highly effective way to reinforce the recognition and use of quotation marks in text.
Don't forget copywork and narration! Both are ideal for practicing inputing quotation marks since so much copywork is actually made up of quotes. Recommended: Jane Goodall Copywork
Want to learn more about quotes? Need a refresher? Try the Perdue Online Writing Lab.