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Telephone Talking/Taking Sides by Gary Soto

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Keywords: English, recording, headsets, dialogue, Photo Story
Subject(s): Spelling, Grammar, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 4 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Princess Anne Middle School, Virginia Bch, VA
Planned By: Debra Williams
Original Author: Debra Williams, Virginia Bch
After students have finished reading the novel, Taking Sides, they will continue the telephone conversation that still goes on after the end of the story between Linc and Monica, where the rest of the conversation is cut off by the author.

1. I will read the last chapter of the novel, Taking Sides, aloud.
2. We will discuss the ending of the novel.
3. I will go over their Photo Story assignment.
4. We will discuss rules to follow when writing dialogue. Stress how important
the rule that each time the speaker changes, you must indent.
5. I will show them an example of a written out conversation between two
people so that they can see the format as it appears typed.
6. I will call out the couples that will be working in the lab together.
7. They will write their phone conversations or begin them today.
8. I will check chapter 13 summary and phone conversations.
9. We will discuss that those who need more time to go at the tables in the
middle of the computer lab.
10. We will go to the lab and students will sit with their partner.
11. The couples that are ready for photo story may begin finding pictures; one
to represent Monika and one to represent Linc.
12. Then they will proceed to photo story and import their pictures and record
their conversations using headsets with microphones.

A copy of an example of written dialog between two people:

Conversation between a Speeder and a Policeman

“Maam, do you know what the speed limit is on this street?”

“I think it is 45”

“Think again Maam.”

“Ahhhhh, let’s see, is it 40?”

“Ahhhhh, NO! The actual speed limit is 35 mph.”

“Oh my, I had no idea!” Am I going to get a ticket?”

“Yes Maam, you are indeed going to get a speeding ticket.”

“But Mr. Policeman my husband will kill me when he finds out about

this!” “Please can I just get a warning? My husband will kill me!"

“Maam, I am not interested in the problems you will have with your husband

about this ticket."

“Now, wait here and I will back with your ticket.”

“Adios amigos!”

This is the rubric I use:

Name ______________________________________

Name of your partner __(____________________________________)___

Rubric For Dialogue (Phone Conversation)

Each time speaker changes, did you indent? 35pts. ___________

Did you use quotation marks correctly? 25 pts. ___________

Was proper capitalization/punctuation used? 25 pts. ___________ __________

Was there closure for Linc and Monica’s 15 pts. __________
relationship? (either positive or negative)

Total pts. _____________________

Photo Story Presentation Rubric

Voice quality 40 pts. _________

Conversation sounds believable 30 pts. _________

Pictures are age appropriate to
The main characters 20 pts._________

Voices match the correct images 10 pts._________

Total pts. _____________________

The students really get a kick out of pretending they are boyfriend and girlfriend and have to have a recorded conversation with each other.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Could be used in an inclusion class
Students will present their recordings to the class for a two grades. When they present, we will be able to see the two pictures they have chosen because when Photo Story begins to play the pictures will change with each voice, depending on who's talking.
Materials: Microphones, Flash/USB Drives
Other Items: 35 Stereo Headsets/Microphones, $14.99 each, total of $524.65
35 Lexar-Jump Drives USB, $16.99 each, total of $594.65