Words not used in writing.......

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by bigcat, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. bigcat

    bigcat Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2007

    Hi...I'm trying to remember something. I either read this on a forum or a teacher website. It has to do with writing. I beleive that you have an area on the board where you write words that the students can't use when they are doing writing. Does this ring a bell with anyone? It sounded like a really good idea...so that the students will use more creative ways to express what they are trying to say. If you have any ideas or strategies please pass them on.
    Thanks.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 7, 2007

    You can post the overused words on the wall or BB and have an envelope or pocket underneath. Brainstorm with the kids about more interesting words which can substitute for the overused words. Write them on cards and put in the envelope. It's like a wall thesaurus.
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jul 7, 2007

    One third grade teacher I know puts one word on each of her cabinet doors. At the top it says "Instead of ______ use:" and the class puts a list together. She also allows them to add new words that fit the theme. One of her big ones is "said", so it says "Instead of SAID use: mentioned, spoke, mumbled, yelled, cried, uttered". This one is usually the biggest and the list goes on and on :)
     
  5. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 7, 2007

    I post a list of the "really bad words." I stole that idea from a book... can't remember which one. Maybe Nancy Atwell? Anyway, it's a list of several overused words. It is helpful; the gets catch themselves using them all of the time, and that's the first step! LOL!
     
  6. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jul 7, 2007

    I have a cemetery called "Dead Word Hill" I have tombstones in neat rows and every time I catch words being overused I write it on a tombstone. If it is on a tombstone they may not use it in their writing or need permission to use it. It varies with my classes, but last year the first two to go up were "Beginning a sentence with the word 'and' " and "Beginning a sentence with the word 'Then' more than once". We added words such as 'good', 'bad', 'very', etc.

    One of the things we do when we are peer editing is to highlight "boring" words. That keeps the cemetery population down.
     
  7. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 7, 2007

    oh wow. this is all great stuff. as a beginning teacher of Language Arts I'm totally going to use this. Thanks guys!
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 8, 2007

    First, let me make clear that "said" is not necessarily a bad word, but students simply overuse it. It definitely has it's place in writing. That said...

    I have a "Said is Dead" event, and it was probably my favorite day of my first year teaching. I had a funeral for Said...obituary, candles, casket, poem - the whole bit. Said was a scroll tied with a black ribbon which we burried. The students really got into it and we had so much fun. I also have a "dead word wall", but on this said is a ghost opposed to a tombstone. This is because I want to students to know said is not off-limits, but a word to be careful not to overuse. *Anytime something weird happened for the rest of the year - something fell without reason, for example - the students remarked that it was must be the ghost of Said. :)
     
  9. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jul 9, 2007

    . . . thesaurus?
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 9, 2007

    I certainly direct my students to the thesaurus, although it is clear it is a new experience for many.
     
  11. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jul 10, 2007

    Teaching students the wonders of the thesaurus is one of my favorite things to do!
     
  12. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I feel the same way. I have sixth graders and they have little experience with one when I get them. One of my favorite things to do is to write a very bland paragraph. Then we identify and highlight the boring words and then they replace them with words from the thesaurus. They love sharing the paragraphs with the class. This exercise also helps them identify boring words when they peer edit.
     

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