K–6 Outcome

WS3.10: Uses correct punctuation

KLA Outcomes

English 4.4.2: Students maintain coherence of medium, form and content through specific language conventions and vocabulary appropriate to particular subject matter or contexts

English 4.6.12: Students learn about textual and visual conventions for composing dialogue

ESL Outcomes

4.7.10: Follows direct and indirect speech

5.7.6: Shows an understanding of the meaning of noun phrases following verbs of saying and thinking

6.11.6: Incorporates direct and indirect speech appropriately in a text

3.10: Uses correct punctuation

4.4.2: Students learn to use coherence of medium, form and content through specific language convention

Item & Stimulus

Writing task criterion 9

Language Conventions
Year 7 Q: 40

Item Descriptor

Students uses the correct and appropriate punctuation to aid the reading of a text

Statements of Learning for English

p. 9

Quality Teaching Framework

Intellectual quality: Metalanguage


STAGE 3-4: Supporting ESL Students

Skills Focus: Identifying and using direct and indirect speech


Building the foundation with lower-order thinking activities (introduce concept, respond and evaluate) followed by higher-order activities that require students to analyse texts and separate information into categories

Activities to support the strategy

These activities are designed to complement an author study on Morris Gleitzman.

The implementation of prior modelled reading sessions, deconstruction and reconstruction of parts of the text is advised before using these lessons. This ensures students have an understanding of the vocabulary used, the story line, the text structures, the targeted audience, characters and settings.

Focus text: Misery Guts by Morris Gleitzman



The teacher explains that the purpose of the activity is to help students to identify the difference between direct speech and indirect speech.


Exploring metalanguage (QTF)

Photocopy the focus text excerpts, enlarging them onto A3 paper.

Guide students to identify:

  • the speech marks in direct speech
  • the use of first person: I'm just trying to cheer you both up, he said (text two).

In this example, third person would be used to show the speakers involvement in indirect speech He said that he was just trying to cheer them both up.

  • The use of second person, 'How do you mean?' (text one) to refer to the recipient of the speech. Translated to indirect speech, it may read Mr Crouch asked him what he meant.
  • The use of past tense in indirect speech. For example, Mr Crouch told him to go back to his seat and finish boiling his tap water (text one).
  • the use of present tense in direct speech, Sir, said Keith, you know all those science magazines you read (text one)

Students colour-code the sentences according to whether the speech is direct or indirect. Students write the examples into the charts.


Sorting Activity

Create laminated text cards using resource and A3 sheets for sorting text cards.

punc_table_08 punc_table_09

Arrange students into groups of three.

Issue students with the sorting proforma.

Students read the text to their group and then sort (categorise) into direct and indirect speech.

For example:


Ask students to circle the first verb after the saying verb in the direct speech examples.


  • What happens to this verb when you convert direct speech to indirect speech?
  • Why does the tense change?