Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Speech Mark Sandwich

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 5-11
Contributor:
Kelly Ryan

To help children remember what and where to put the punctuation when using speech marks (or quotation marks / inverted commas), I use The Speech Mark Sandwich.

I have a big, colourful paper sandwich, and we take it apart (and later put it on display). The two pieces of bread are the speech marks, the filling (ham, cheese..etc.) is the speech, and the sauce is the punctuation. These are labelled on the sandwich parts. I explain to them that if we do not put BOTH “pieces of bread” around the filling, then it is not a complete sandwich. Then explain that the “sauce” has to be in the sandwich. You don’t put the sauce outside, do you?

This clears up many misconceptions and mistakes about where the punctuation is put after the last speech mark, and always remember to include both speech marks – like you would a sandwich.

Every class I have taught have absolutely loved the idea of their work being a sandwich, and they learn the rules a lot quicker than the usual style of teaching. This has been such a success that I have conducted a staff meeting about it, that now all staff are incorporating. I am now teaching this in New Zealand, and it has proved a success over here too!

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