School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 4

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 7. Identify and describe the author's use of language

Objective a. Identify and explain how the use of dialogue contributes to a story


The teacher should place students in small groups. Each group should be given a folder which contains portions of literary texts which feature dialogue. Students within the group should read the texts and categorize them by determining whether the dialogue reveals information about the character, reveals information about another character, reveals information about the setting, or reveals information about and advances the plot. As each group finishes the task, the teacher should check the accuracy of the categorizing and settle any inaccuracies.


After students have read a literary text, place students with a partner and have them complete the type of chart that follows where students will draw conclusions from multiple examples of dialogue.


Dialogue My Conclusion
"It's too dangerous," he said. "The water is still flowing underneath, and the ice is thin. We might fall through." He held out a mittened hand. "I'll help you." The character Cory cares about his sister and is aware of his surroundings.

Dialogue from "The River" by Yetti Frenkel

Once students have completed their charts, they will share their findings with the rest of the class, discuss alternate answers, and determine correct responses.