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Year 3 and 4 Grammar Games: Using Speech Marks for Direct Speech Sentence Builder

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Use Plazoom’s Sentence Builder Game to develop Year 3 and Year 4 pupils’ understanding of the use of speech marks when writing direct speech. They will do this by learning how to write direct speech using inverted commas and other speech punctuation, varying the position of the reporting clause. Pupils will use the direct speech and reporting clause cards to create sentences, rehearsing them orally before writing. The grammar game will also give pupils the opportunity to use and understand grammar terminology in English appendix 2 when discussing their sentences.

This sentence game for KS2 can be played as a whole class as a fun English lesson starter activity or as the main focus of the lesson. It could also be used as a writing intervention in KS2 for pupils who may need support to use direct speech in KS2.

What is direct speech?

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

  • “We are going on an adventure,” said Travis.

How do we punctuate direct speech?

Inverted commas, or speech marks, are used when writing direct speech. The inverted commas go around what is said within a sentence. Other speech punctuation is also needed. Punctuation is needed at the end of the direct speech before the inverted comma, and a comma is used after the reporting clause if this comes before the direct speech.

  • “We are going on an adventure,” said Travis.
  • Travis said, “We are going on an adventure.”

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.

National Curriculum English programme of study links

  • Pupils should compose and rehearse sentences orally, progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.
  • Pupils should be taught to use and punctuate direct speech.
  • Pupils should be taught to use and understand the grammatical terminology in English appendix 2 accurately and appropriately when discussing their writing.

  • Teacher notes
  • Direct speech cards
  • Reporting clause cards
  • Game board
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