Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Modeling the Six Traits of Writing (WORD CHOICE)

by S. Romero

As teachers, we know that it is essential that our students build a good vocabulary in order to enhance their speaking and writing skills. Many of us can attest to reviewing our students writing journals and come across what we would consider a “good writing paper” that contains good grammar, organization, ideas, and conventions. However, one thing that is missing that sets the paper apart from a good writing piece to a fantastic, descriptive and interesting one isWORD CHOICE!  Words are powerful! The words we choose to use when communicating, whether through speaking or writing can make a significant difference in how our audience perceives our message. Introducing new words daily in our student’s vocabulary will not only help them become better speakers but amazing writers!   


Modeling the trait “word choice” from the Six Traits of Writing is one of my favorite mini-lessons! I begin by writing a basic sentence describing a monster:

El monstruo es grande y feo.

I read the sentence aloud. My students seem disinterestedjust what I thought they would be.  I explain to them that the words we choose to use when speaking or writing makes a difference on how interesting our message is communicated. Therefore, we are going to turn to this sentence into a more INTERESTING sentence by choosing better words to describe the monster. I create a T-Chart titled on one side “Palabras Aburridas” (Drab Words) and “¡Palabras Fabulosas!” (Fabulous Words) on the other side. 




We then create a list of drab words that we ALWAYS use in our writingthe ones that are so drab. I exaggerate as I say this so that my students understand that the words that they are so accustomed to using might not be the best word choice. I begin by writing words such as the one below. You get the picture!




I discuss with them that we can turn these words from drab to fab by using the synonyms of these words and make them “Fabulous Words!”

NOTE: Discuss with students what the definition of the word synonym means. Write the word on chart paper with the meaning and example of words and its’ synonym.  Add to the chart throughout the year so that your students build their vocabulary. Soon enough, you will notice them using those “frase fabulosa” in both their speaking and writing.  It’s just fabulous! Once we create a list of words, we then are ready to rewrite the sentence using the new “fab words” (synonyms) we learned. 

Application: For practice, I give my students four basic sentences to rewrite and change from drab to fab! I remind my students that they cannot change the original message of the sentence. They are only replacing words for more fabulous words to make the sentence more interesting.


How do you keep your students from using palabras aburridas?  Share your favorite word choice activities that have helped enhance your students’ vocabulary!

1 comment:

  1. I like this post as believe it can help me to improve my writing and the way I express my thoughts and impressions. If you strive to improve your writing abilities as me, this source is indispensable for you to visit blog

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