Word choice
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Word Choice PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Word Choice. “Beware, then, of the long word that’s no better than the short word.” - W. Zinsser “Notice the decisions that other writers make in their choice of words and be finicky about the ones you select from the vast supply. The race in writing is not to the swift but to the original.”

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Word Choice

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Word choice

Word Choice

“Beware, then, of the long word that’s no better than the short word.”

- W. Zinsser

“Notice the decisions that other writers make in their choice of words and be finicky about the ones you select from the vast supply. The race in writing is not to the swift but to the original.”

- W. Zinsser

“Choose the just right word, and a simple image creates a world of meaning – and feeling.”

- V. Spandel

“Word choice and fluency are first cousins of voice.”

- V. Spandel

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

- W. Shakespeare


Lesson goals

Lesson Goals

  • Students will build a larger working vocabulary.

  • SWBAT change the tone of a piece through deliberate word choice.

    • Writing EALR 2 The student writes in a variety of forms for different audiences and purposes.

  • Students will understand how word choice affects writing.

    • Writing EALR 4 The student analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness of written work.


What you need for class

What you need for class

  • Mad Libs activity

  • Enough thesauruses for the class

  • Enough dictionaries for the class

  • Magazines (optional)

  • Paper and art supplies

  • Butcher/poster paper


What to do 6 th 12 th grade

What to do (6th – 12th grade)

  • Day 1

    • Admit slip – Have the students write a list of the things they did yesterday.

    • Brainstorm – Ask students:

      • What is word choice?

      • Why is it important?

    • Fill out the Mad Libs activity as a class.

      • Read the original and the new version.

      • Ask students how their feelings and impressions of the poem changed with word choice.

  • Group activity – Have students create a list of “dead” (overused) adjectives and verbs (divide class in half).

    • Each group should generate 5 words per group member.


What to do cont

What to do (cont.)

  • Day 1 (cont.)

    • Direct Instruction – Teach students to use a thesaurus.

      • Using a doc camera, put a thesaurus under the camera.

      • Demonstrate how to find synonyms for words (exquisite, pretty, walk).

    • Homework

      • Each student takes 5 words from the list their group created.

      • They must find 2 synonyms and the definitions for each word.


What to do cont1

What to do (cont.)

  • Day 2

    • Admit slip – Have students write directions for how to cook something/create something/do their favorite activity.

    • Review what word choice is.

    • Group work:

      • Have students share their synonyms with their groups.

      • They must create a visual of their original words and the synonyms.

      • Share the visual.


What to do cont2

What to do (cont.)

  • Day 2 (cont.)

    • Activity

      • Have students either draw or look in magazines for a picture of a person.

      • Once they have a picture, they must create a written description of the picture.

      • Save the picture and description for tomorrow.

      • Anything not done is homework.


What to do cont3

What to do (cont.)

  • Day 3

    • Activity

      • Check every student has their picture and description.

      • Pair the students up.

      • Taking turns, each student reads his/her description.

      • The listener must draw the person according to what he/she hears.

      • The reader cannot elaborate or give any additional information that is not in the description.

      • Have students compare and see how close the listener came to the original picture.


What to do cont4

What to do (cont.)

  • Day 3 (cont.)

    • Homework:

      • Using the admit slip from the previous class, students are to rewrite the directions in two ways (something suitable for a six year old and something suitable for an adult).

        • First, highlight all the verbs and adjectives in two different colors.

        • Second, find synonyms that a six year old and adult will understand.

        • Third, rewrite the directions.


Changes

Changes

  • Kindergarten

    • “Mother May I?”

      • Ask students if they know another word for a common verb.

      • Teach one or two a week.

      • Then, when playing “Mother May I?”, have the students practice using the new vocabulary words.


Changes cont

Changes (cont.)

  • Grades 1-3

    • Adapting the weekly spelling list

      • Every week, have students pick 3 words off the previous week’s spelling test.

      • Have them go home and ask 2-3 people for 1 synonym for each word, the meanings, and the correct spelling.

      • They must use each synonym in a sentence (6-9 sentences total)


Changes cont1

Changes (cont.)

  • Grades 4-5

    • Adapting the weekly spelling list

      • Have students look at each week’s spelling list and pick 5 words

      • They must use the thesaurus to find 2 synonyms for each word and the dictionary to find the definition for each word (which they should put into their own words).

      • Students should then use each synonym in a sentence (10 sentences total).


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