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4.4a Year 4: using and punctuating direct speech KS2 (speech verbs)

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This resource is part of our grammar curriculum
Real Grammar
  • Covers every objective for years 1-6
  • Five-step sequence ensures deep understanding
  • Includes asssessment and revision tools

This Real Grammar Key Stage 2 resources pack provides everything that you need to explore speech verbs, also known as reporting verbs, to pupils in Year 4. Pupils will learn how to use synonyms for the word ‘said’ to widen their vocabulary choices when writing direct speech. Teaching slides, worksheets, games and an opportunity to apply the new learning in a writing task are all included to teach how speech verbs are used in direct speech to pupils in Year 4 or to revisit this area of learning.

Inverted commas are first introduced in Year 3 with other speech punctuation introduced in Year 4. Pupils should have a secure understanding how direct speech is punctuated before completing the activities in this resource pack. A Real Grammar resource pack on inverted commas is available in Year 3 and punctuating direct speech in Year 4.

What are speech verbs (reporting verbs)?

A speech verb shows how words are spoken when writing direct speech. The most common speech verb is ‘said’ but there are many more examples. The speech verbs are used in the reporting clause when writing direct speech to show who is speaking.

Examples of speech verbs include said, explained, asked, told, whispered, shouted etc.

What is direct speech?

Direct speech is when the exact words that someone says is written.

  • “We are going on an adventure,” said Travis.
  • “The choir performed brilliantly at the church,” said Mrs Smith.

What is the reporting clause?

The reporting clause is the short clause that can come before or after the direct speech that states who was talking. It can also show how the speech was said.

  • “We are going on an adventure,” announced Travis.
  • “The choir performed brilliantly at the church,” beamed Mrs Smith.

What is included in this resource pack?

This pack is divided into five parts:


This section includes PowerPoint teaching slides and teaching notes with an optional script to introduce speech verbs. It can also be used to revisit this aspect of grammar with pupils.


An independent activity for pupils to practise using what they have been taught, allowing teachers to assess understanding.


A series of short, 10-minute activities that can be used following the TEACH session to revisit and rehearse what has been taught. These may be short writing tasks, grammar games or editing/proofreading activities.


A short writing task where pupils can use the grammar skills taught in context to produce independent writing.


Five SATs style test questions, including cloze activities and multiple choice quiz questions, based on the grammar that has been taught.

Teachers can choose which section of the resource pack to use according to their pupils’ needs and could use the activities over a series of lessons or weeks

Teacher notes are provided to show how these quality resources could be used with pupils.

How is this resource pack differentiated?

The PRACTISE and REVISE sections include three activities differentiated for three levels of ability:

  • Worksheet 1 for pupils who may need support. Questions will have a lower cognitive domain (what is being asked of pupils) and/or vocabulary used may be simplified where possible.
  • Worksheet 2 for pupils working at age related expectations.
  • Worksheet 3 for pupils who may need an additional challenge and may be working at a greater depth in this area. Questions will have a higher cognitive domain with more challenging vocabulary.

SUPPORT and CHALLENGE ideas are also included in the teacher notes of each section where relevant, with ideas of how to support pupils working towards the expected standard or at greater depth in this area.

What pupil-facing resources are included?


    PPT slides; model text ‘A new home for Pepper’; ‘synonyms for ‘said’’ word mat


    Practise 1, Practise 2 and Practise 3 worksheets


    Game 1, game 2, game 3


    Planning sheet, images


    PPT slides; Revise 1, Revise 2 and Revise 3 worksheets

Answer sheets for all worksheets are provided, where appropriate.

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