Jools and Vern and the Mystery of Loch MacNurk

Learning Intention:

I am learning about the differences between direct and indirect speech so that I can use it more effectively when writing dialogue.


Success Criteria:

  • I can identify and write in both direct and indirect speech
  • I can convert direct speech into indirect speech




After reading the text, write the following on the board:

Direct speech

“The clouds are rolling in over the ocean,” she said.

Indirect speech

She said the clouds were rolling in over the ocean.


Discuss the difference between the two types of speech. Ensure students understand that direct speech involves having the exact words that were spoken inside speech marks, while indirect speech is summarising what was said.

Based on this discussion and the example, ask students to identify which type of speech is used in Jools and Vern and the Mystery of Loch Macnurk (direct). Write the following quote from the text:

‘I am looking forward,’ Jools said, ‘to visiting Mrs Sayers again.’

Ask students how they can change this into indirect speech.

Answer: Jools said she was looking forward to visiting Mrs Sayers again.


Understanding text:


Have students independently scan the story to locate three more quotes and write them in their books. They should then work out how each would be written in the form of indirect speech and record these interpretations in their books.

Next, ask students to think of some questions they can ask their classmates. Give some examples, such as:

  • What is your favourite movie?
  • Are you reading any books at the moment?
  • What did you do on the weekend?
  • Do you like pizza?

Students should come up with ten questions to write in their books, leaving a few blank lines between each question. Once they have done this, students should move around the room asking their classmates questions from their books. They should aim to ask each question to three different students.

Creating text:

Answers should be recorded as direct speech, including the name of the person who answered it. For example, under the question ‘Do you like pizza?’ answers may be something like:

  • ‘Yes it’s my favourite!’ Annika said.
  • ‘Only ham and cheese,’ Dominic said.
  • ‘Not really, only sometimes,” Jacqueline said.

Once everyone has completed all of their questions, divide the class into small groups. Ask students to choose one of their questions and answers to read out to their group as indirect speech. For example:

  • I asked Annika if she likes pizza and she said it was her favourite.

Ensure each group member has a turn of reading their question and answer to their group.

Use these examples so that they can be used as a class display clearly demonstrating the difference between direct and indirect speech.


Assessment of learning:

Download and copy this quiz to share with your students and gauge how well they comprehend the concept of direct and indirect speech. Alternatively, you can go to the Digital learning tool website to create your own.