Word Choice Teacher Resources
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Revise a Draft by Focusing on Word Choice
W. W. Jacobs' short story "The Monkey's Paw" is the anchor text used in a series of short videos that detail the steps in the process a writer would use to craft an alternative narrative ending to a story. This video focuses on the revision process, specifically strategies that help the writer locate and revise awkward phrases and strengthen word choice. Because the videos model the entire writing process, learners would benefit from reading Jacobs' story and watching the entire series as they craft their own ending.
Poetic Word Choice
Groups or pairs choose ordinary objects from a bag and rename them based on traits, so that a stapler becomes a "paper cobra." Then they connect this exercise to the way authors use language to emphasize certain traits through word choice. They record and explain special or unfamiliar words while reading from the verse novel Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith. You can get the worksheets by registering for free with Readworks.org.
Does Word Choice Affect the Quality of a Piece of Writing?
Students discuss the importance of word choice in writing. In groups, they rank a list of words from one extreme to the other. After viewing an example, students apply their knowledge of word choice by writing a descriptive paragraph of their own.
Varied Word Choice
Fifth graders examine how to use a variety of word choices when writing. They discuss how using more descriptive words leads to a more varied word choice, watch a teacher-created PowerPoint presentation, and using a Thesaurus replace words in sentences.
Fourth graders practice writing with description. In this descriptive lesson, 4th graders see the results of a task when the directions are not clear. They come up with descriptive words and write their own instructions.
Word Choice in Writing
Sixth graders discover word choices to use when writing a conversation. They explore synonyms for "said." Students examine a thesaurus. They create a writing piece using the writing process. Students edit and revise their work.
Language Arts, Word Choice
Third graders practice replacing words in a sentence to make it more interesting. In this word choice activity, 3rd graders listen to the story The Hard-Times Jar by Ethel Smothers and discuss the author's word choice. Students then practice making sentences more interesting by changing a single word.
More Vivid Word Choices-Said Is Dead
Analyze the story Chicken Little by Stephen Kellogg to identify more detailed word choices to replace the word said. Writers list new words in a notebook, dramatically act out lines from they story to demonstrate the finer shading of each word, and write new sentences for some of the characters using their new vocabulary
Lesson One: Word Choice
In this word choice worksheet, students complete information relating to "The Witches" by Roald Dahl. Students practice using different adjectives, verbs, adverbs and descriptive words through writing activities. Students answer questions relating to the plot. Students answer fifty five short answer questions.
Strengthening Natural and Relevant Support
Improve word choice and descriptive details with one resource. Colorful slides take middle schoolers through the process of writing with their five senses, and choosing the best adjectives and verbs for their writing. Use the presentation in a narrative writing lesson plan or when studying poetry.
Connotation and Denotation: How Word Choice Affects a Paragraph
Review the terms denotation, connotation, diction, and mood in paragraph writing. After defining the terms, middle schoolers practice writing examples of both connotation and denotation. They complete a connotation and denotation graphic organizer and chart, and then they practice incorporating the elements using the paragraphs on the final worksheet.
Writing Original Adventures About Imaginary Sidekicks
Students explore storytelling by conceptualizing a story with classmates. In this publishing lesson plan, students identify the idea development process and discuss word choice when writing a story. Students utilize a graphic organizer to assist with their rough drafts and eventually "publish" a final draft in class.
The 6th Dimension
What are the six traits of writing anyway? Young writers focus on ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions to assess additions to their writing portfolio. They will create and add to a writing portfolio over a predetermined amount of time. There are ideas to help you focus on teaching each of the six writing conventions. Kids will love sharing their portfolios upon completion!
The Disappearing Alphabet
Students investigate the importance of word choice in writing. For this Traits of Writing lesson, students read The Disappearing Alphabet by Richard Wilbur noting the best words used in the story. Students then write stories about missing alphabet letters.
The Importance of Word Choice
Ninth graders examine the importance of word choice when writing. They discuss how to use a thesaurus, read a short scary story that has un-exciting words, and revise the scary story for word choice.
Developing an Essay: Word Choice
Grading essays after reading a novel written by a lyrical master (think Nabokov, Morrison, Chabon) is a deflating experience. Why can’t your student’s display the same skill in diction as your favorite writers? Because you did not use this activity before they submitted their final drafts. Implement this activity and make your writers aware that there is always a better word to use that can capture the correct tone, detail, or mood present in their writing constructions. The included worksheet displays diction examples with space for high schoolers to practice options of their own choice.
Puns and Punctuation
Explore the writing traits of word choice and conventions. Middle school writers use this Six-Traits Writing lesson to discuss the writing style of the Tom Swift Adventure Series by Victor Appleton. They examine "Tom Swiftie" puns, paying special attention to dialogue punctuation. First in groups and then as individuals, they create their own "Tom Swiftie" puns for their writer's notebooks or for a classroom collection.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
Imagine what it was like to be a slave in the United States in 1845. Eighth graders are given an opportunity to experience life from the point of view of Frederick Douglass as they read and discuss an annotated passage from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. Guided by a series of text-dependent questions, class members conduct a close reading of the passage, and consider how Douglass’ use of language creates the emotional impact of the excerpt. The carefully designed packet includes directions for teachers, guiding questions for students, suggested activities, and writing prompts that ask participants to craft an emotional response to the passage.
Does Art Imitate Life?
Write what you know, sound advice for any writer and something many famous authors are known to have done. Use these materials to explore how Shakespeare's life influenced his plays. This resource is packed with readings, video segments, and graphic organizers that will allow your class to gather and organize textual evidence on this subject, culminating in a written opinion piece. Although much of the resource focuses on Shakespeare and his play The Tempest, there is also a link to a website containing biographical information on a wide range of authors so you can adapt this instructional activity to the author and works of your choice. Note: See the Lesson Activities page for instructional activity procedure.
Memoir Writing Based on Jerry Spinelli's Milkweed
Using chapter 1 of Jerry Spinelli's Milkweed, middle schoolers write a personal memoir based on Spinelli's style and a Six Trait writing activity. The lesson suggests several ways to activate prior knowledge, including a picture book and a Kelly Clarkson song, but a teacher can choose what elements he or she thinks are necessary to the lesson. Word choice and idea development are the focus traits for this activity.