A Pilgrim Conversation

Grade Levels: 3 - 5


  • Students will review the correct placement of quotation marks in a dialogue.
  • Students will write an imaginary conversation between a group of Pilgrims at the time they landed at Plymouth.


Copies of Pilgrim Conversation Rubric


  1. Review with students the correct placement of quotation marks in a dialogue by writing these sentences on the board:
    The Pilgrims said they will carry the supplies to the ship. The Pilgrims said, we will carry the supplies to the ship.

  2. Ask a volunteer to read the first sentence aloud and tell whether there is a need for quotation marks in the sentence. Discuss with the class that there is no need for quotation marks as it does not give the specific words the Pilgrims spoke.

  3. Ask another volunteer to read the second sentence aloud and tell whether it gives the actual words that were said.

  4. Since it does, have the student insert quotation marks around those words: The Pilgrims said, "We will carry the supplies to the ship." Explain that quotation marks go around the actual words being said and that the punctuation marks at the end of a sentence (i.e., question mark, period, exclamation mark) go inside the quotation marks as they are part of what is being said.

  5. Reinforce this skill by writing these sentences on the board and having students copy them down. Direct them to add quotation marks, if applicable, or to just leave the sentence if it is correct.

      He told the crew they'd be at Plymouth soon. (correct)
      He told the crew we'll be at Plymouth soon. (He told the crew, "We'll be at Plymouth soon.")
      She said she was thankful for the food. (correct)
      Dinner looks great he said to the others at his table. ("Dinner looks great!" he said to the others at his table.)

  6. Now have students discuss how the Pilgrims must have felt when they landed at Plymouth, writing their ideas on the board: excited, relieved, thankful, happy.

  7. Working in pairs, direct the students to view the second picture on this page of the Pilgrim Hall Museum site: http://www.pilgrimhall.org/whopilg.htm.  Discuss their reactions to the picture, encourage students to think of some of the things that the Pilgrims might have been doing and thinking at that moment.

  8. Direct students to write an imaginary dialogue between the people in the picture. They must use at least five quotes in the dialogue, and each sentence must be correctly punctuated. In order to find names for the characters in their dialogue, they can refer to the Passenger List of the Mayflower at:  http://www.pilgrimhall.org/mayfpass.htm.

  9. Invite students to take turns reading their completed conversations to the class.


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