Word Choice

Word choice is a trait that shows the power of language.  Sometimes students seem so caught up in their ideas, organization, and grammar that word choice may take a backseat.   Showing students the use of good word choice will open their eyes to a whole new world of writing.








Word Choice Picture Books


Amos and Boris  by William Steig

Chrysanthemem  by Kevin Henkes

Kites Sail High  by Ruth Heller

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse  by Kevin Henkes

Many Luscious Lollipops  by Ruth Heller

The Dog Who Cried Woof  by Nancy Coffelt

Water  by Frank Asch

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  • Create a class book that will aid students in boosting their word choice skills.  On one page write a word like, good in boring grey print.  On the following page have students write substitutes for the words good.  Use other boring words to find substitutes for like cool, bad, sad, mad, happy, fun, etc.  Students will surprise you with their list of tired boring words.
  • Have a tired word funeral.  Put one tired word per slip of paper.  Invite each student to place one tired word in a small cardboard box.  Have a small tired word funeral by burring these words to never be used again.
  • Use simple tired word in short sentences.  Have students replace words or rewrite the sentence using specific nouns, colorful verbs and snappy adjectives and adverbs.
  • Use a big book full of excellent word choices.  Cover up some of the colorful words with sticky notes and as you read the book to the class have them guess what the covered word may be.  Often times they will guess words that would go well in that place write them down and talk about how many words can be substituted in its place.  If they are unfamiliar with the covered word direct them to the list of optional words to find their own meaning.  This is an excellent skill that can help students during test taking time.
  • Create a class alphabet book using fresh, exciting, colorful words.  Put this book in the library for students to reference when having trouble finding just the right word.
  • Challenge students to write a description of something simple like the smell of spaghetti, feel of their bed, or the sunset.  Have them review their writing once they have finished and concentrate on using word choice to show not tell.

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