Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Let's Just Dialogue!

Dianne Parks


After reviewing the use of conventions through teacher directed experiences, students complete a cartoon drawing containing dialogue that shows an understanding of the conventions used in dialogue by using the bubble form.


The student generally follows the conventions of punctuation, capitalization, and spelling appropriate at fourth-grade or higher level.

The student uses conventions of punctuation (including but not limited to commas in a series, dates, and addresses; beginning and ending quotation marks).


- Copy of book titled THE DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH by Neil Gaiman, White Wolf, 1997.
- Transparencies from book pages
- Examples of cartoon dialogue bubbles (your local paper cartoon section is a great source)
- Drawing paper
- Pencils
- Crayons or markers


1. Obtain a copy of the book titled THE DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH, Neil Gaiman, White Wolf, 1997.
2. Make transparencies of several pages of the book.
3. Provide examples of cartoon dialogue bubbles from the newspaper.
4. Get samples of other books with dialogue.


1. Ask students, -What am I doing?- Then proceed to have a one sided conversation with yourself.
(Students will think you're nuts, but some students will say you are having a conversation.)
2. Let students respond, and list answers on the board.
3. Explain to students what conversation is by saying it is dialogue between two or more people. Review punctuation and capitalization skills to help students draw on their prior knowledge of these skills for this lesson.
4. Ask students, -Why are conventions important in dialogue?- Wait for responses.
5. Show examples of cartoon dialogue bubbles. Discuss why they are used and their purpose and what punctuation is used in the dialogue such as periods, commas, question marks, exclamation marks, etc..
6. Tell students that the class is going to read a book titled THE DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH. Their task is to listen and follow along by watching the overhead display.
7. Put the example pages on the overhead as you read the story aloud and point to the conversation as you read it.
8. Discuss the way the author chooses which words are in the bubble and which are not.
9. Tell students that they are now going to create their own cartoon. They are to use the bubble format. color their illustrations, and their cartoon must make sense.
10. After the students have finished their cartoons, have them turn the cartoon bubbles (on a separate sheet of paper) into standard dialogue complete with quotation marks and other punctuation as appropriate.


Each student will create a cartoon with dialogue showing the correct use of conventions. Each student will also write out their cartoon bubbles in standard dialogue complete with quotation marks and other punctuation. A rubric will be used as a formative assessment of the student's learning. (see Associated File)

Attached Files

A rubric to be used as a formative assessment.     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.