Teaching Direct Speech with Memes

After seeing what @inspiredmind5 did to teach speech this week -

I wanted to share something I did which was similar using blank internet memes. A "meme" is a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea. Usually they are an image with text above or below like these examples -

These were made using the app Mematic, which is featured in my new book '50+ iPad lessons for Exciting Sentences.' Within the book the app is used to help children generate and share exciting sentences. 

Using the idea of a meme, I used it as a way to help children practise direct speech. In the past I have used iPhone text messaging to teach direct speech which has worked brilliantly. 

After searching the internet, I found some blank memes like this - 

We started by discussing how to punctuate direct speech, we highlighted three different parts - What has been said directly in the "", the reporting clause and extra detail/description. 
I demonstrated examples of how the reporting clause and extra description can be at the start, in the middle or at the end of the sentence. 

I then set the challenge of creating some dialogue for the blank memes. Straight away the children were hooked, they recognised the images from their favourite films/cartoons. The children could be as imaginative with the dialogue they created but then have the visual images to help develop the reporting clause and extra detail. 

I initially asked the children to type out the dialogue onto the image using the app Book Creator, just to help colour code each part so they could demonstrate their understanding of the different elements. They then wrote the dialogue into their books. Here are some examples - 

This idea can easily be used to develop children's understanding of reported speech and even changing direct to reported speech. 

 Would be really interested to see what others do with this idea so please send a link in the comments and I will add examples to this post.


  1. Love this idea. Doing direct speech for the firs time with my year 3s. Using Inside Out memes, just starting with simple speech bubbles and then the next lesson will be highlighting the reporting clause and extra description.


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