Welcome to HIT—How I Teach….In this episode, I teach a skill that many writing teachers shy away from: quotation marks. If we want students to write well, they need to learn how to put quotes in their papers—and how to properly punctuate with quotation marks and capitalization. Quotations are not for the faint of heart. Thus, many teachers will skip them as often as possible—and students will skip them altogether if they can get away with not using quotations.

So how do we teach quotation use well? One word: incrementally. We don’t make assumptions about what they already know. We KNOW what they know. And we build on that—and we go backwards when needed. And we go slowly. And we give them all the tools. All the tools!

And that is what this episode is all about. How to…

  • Give expectations for quotation use in an essay
  • Teach beginning speech tags and ending speech tags
  • Direct them in learning the correct punctuation in typical quotes
  • Instruct them in how to understand the difference between “people quotes” (already have quotation marks around the quotes) and “lifted text” (words you lift and put quotation marks around—and “make into a quote”)
  • Use incrementality to teach quotes so that they’re not so overwhelming
  • Teach paragraph breaks with three paragraph essays
  • Show students the power of quotations—and why we choose them carefully
  • Display empathy and give lots of help in the quotation-learning-process
  • Teach them the two grammar rules that never change (in the U.S.!)
  • Instill in older students the importance of choosing quotes during the “thinking stage” rather than the “writing stage”
  • Show students how to include quotes within their outlines so they know right where they fall and have them at their fingertips
  • Use quotation use in essays as a springboard for dialogue writing
  • Much more! 😉

(You will get a quotation lesson this week—so you can use the Teacher’s Notebook(TN)  over and over again to teach any quotation project for eighth through twelfth grade students!)

Of course, just like every lesson in my one-month downloadable books and my one-semester Meaningful Composition books, this one also has the invaluable sample essay (with the aforementioned quotes).

 It’s all here in this week’s HIT—where each week, I bring you tips, tricks, and techniques for teaching writing, language arts, grammar, and more (to grades two through twelve) drawing upon my 100+ curriculum books totaling over 50,000 pages.

And for your convenience, How I Teach…. is available as a podcast (follow along in your TN sheets for that week) and a YouTube video (with Power Point containing the same as the TN)! 

Find everything you need here!

Weekly broadcast episodes with Teacher’s Notebook downloads (and links to listen or watch!) at the Language Arts Lady blog

Master (continually updated) Teacher’s Notebook downloadable booklet

Free writing books and videos of me teaching your students for you for a couple of weeks!

All of my digital books

How I Teach YouTube Channel

How I Teach Podcast