Ideas For Teaching Writing

Parts of Speech Lesson Plans

Here are some fun ways to reinforce Parts of Speech skills in your classroom:

1. Do the Verb Tense Shuffle Dance!

2. Verb and Adjective Pictionary.

3. How many, what kind, or which Adjective Bingo.

4. Adjective or Adverb Lightening Cards.

5. Everyone loves Mad Libs.

6. Parts of Speech Scavenger Hunt.

7. Use our Grammar Wheel Lesson.

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Tips For Teaching Handwriting

1. Work on hand-eye coordination with craft projects.

2. Work on skills one at a time. Letter Height, Spacing, Slants, and Line Alignment.

3. Once all skills are mastered begin to group skills together.

4. Use high-frequency words and words that have meaning to students.

5. Provide parents with a handwriting guide. Handwriting Tips for Lefties:

6. Position the paper to the extreme left of the child's mid-line.

7. Angle the paper so that it is parallel with the child's forearm

8. Put masking tape on their desks to help them align the paper.

Teaching Idea

"Creating Photo Essays"
Kim L., High School Language Arts: Hackensack, NJ

"Photo essays are a special type of writing; they tell stories with a group of photographs that are connected to a theme. One activity using photo essays as a type of writing includes having students pick a topic (in any content area) that they would like to "write" about. Tell them that they have to collect photographs or pictures that represent the topic. Once they have their collections and you gave them a chance to discuss the relevance of the photos to the topic, ask them to arrange the photos in such a way (sequentially, etc.) that tell a story or relay the message related to the topic they chose. Students love to express their thoughts about topics using this medium. If you have technology to complete this activity, you can have students cut and paste their story using photos or images that they find on the Internet. This is a great activity for group work."

Teaching Idea

"How to Make a Big Book"
Sean, Primary Grade Teacher: Pittsburgh, PA

"Pick a book with illustration, short story, rhyme, song, or poem to enlarge. Have materials like large pieces of paper or posterboard, plenty of crayons, markers, paints, or other art materials. Divide the text of the writing leaving half of the page for the illustrations (can be copied or done freehand by the children). Include an author page, illustrations, and copyright information (date, year, etc.). Have the children design a cover; put the pages in sequence; bind the book together with metal or plastic rings, yarn, or other binding materials."

Teaching Idea

"Creating A Story In Sequential Order"
Barbara Lawrence, Senior Teacher

"The teacher gives the students a paragraph to get the story started and pupils add their sentences alternately. It's great fun building a short story with students. After story building, students can create illustrations based on the short story."

Teaching Idea

"Daily Journal Writing"
Sandy Scarborough: Teacher, Grade 2

"My kids write in their journals the first thing each morning. After a few weeks of teacher-selected topics, I began to solicit ideas from my students. This has generated a lot of enthusiasm for writing. I gave each of my 22 students a plain index card and told them to think of a topic and write it on the card. The cards are placed in a small pocket chart in a stack. Each morning when we come in, I pick a card from the stack and write the journal topic of the day on the board. Students write about the topic (if they want, they also have the option of choosing a different topic, especially if they aren't familiar with the idea.) My students share their writing in class, with the child who submitted the day's topic going first. They have really enjoyed doing this, and have learned how to pick appropriate kinds of topics for writing. They've also learned about lots of different concepts from the various topics. Students are asked to choose a topic about once a month, and they look forward to thinking of something that nobody else had thought of."

Teaching Idea

"Spelling Twist"
Lynda O'Brien, Educator/Administrator

"Looking for a fun, new twist for studying spelling words. This one worked for me. Each child will say each spelling word, spell it then say it again while doing the twist. This process is repeated 3 times for each word. Some of the boys preferred to do Karate moves instead of the Twist. This sets a rhythm to the words as well as makes for a fun and exercising way to study the words. The class had so much fun it was no suprise that spelling test grades increased. We had a class vote on this being included in our weekly spelling curriculum, 100% voted in favor"

Teaching Idea

"Marble Words"
Miss Erica Flores, 3rd Grade Teacher

"We all try getting our students to use "bigger words," but I found this idea that really worked with my class this year. Students are allowed to take dictionaries home if they check them out from me. They can look up words, find their definition, try to find examples or pictures, etc., and then come and teach our class these new words. They have to be able to use it in a sentence too. Each time they share a new word, I place a big marble in a big jar. Students are allowed to make posters or explain the word in any way. I help them out at times and use the overhead, or students grab their own dictionaries. As they creatively use their new words correctly in their writing, I add a small marble into the jar. We often find synonyms and antonyms to everyday words. Once the class fills the jar with "marble words," we have an all-day reading campout, where we make smores, etc., and write how-to essays on what we make that day. They really enjoy it!"

Teaching Idea

"A Class Newspaper: Using PrintShop Premier 5 to Promote Creative Writing"
Miriam Grech, Teacher

Nearly every teacher finds it hard to encourage children to write creatively. The idea of creating a class newspaper with their own creative writings helped children not only to write creatively but to engage fully in the writing process (drafting, editing etc.) and to learn more about newspapers.

The children did create themselves a class newspaper.

Teaching Idea

"How does it end?"
Janine T., 5th Grade Teacher

"If I find that I finish my lessons early, I always do a creative writing activity with my students. When in doubt, I also do a finish the story activity. I have a few books of interesting short stories. I read a story aloud to the class until I reach the climax portion of the story. I then have students complete the stories on their own. Every student shares their story and we pick a winner. The winner receive a reward. This activity makes for a great deal of fun and really gets them thinking. It's wonderful to see all of that creativity!"

Teaching Idea

"Creating A Story In Sequential Order"
Barbara Lawrence, Senior Teacher

"The teacher gives the students a paragraph to get the story started and pupils add their sentences alternately. It's great fun building a short story with students. After story building, students can create illustrations based on the short story."

Teaching Idea

"Create An Author's Corner"
Lydia, Inclusion Teacher: Newark, NJ

"Set up a table that becomes the 'Author's Corner' in your room. This table should be filled with different colored paper with lines, without lines. Construction paper should be available, colored pencils or washable markers. There could be pieces of material, string, feathers, anything that will provoke creativity in the students. This is the place where the students become "authors" and write books. For the younger student, a form paper can be displayed with Title, Author, Illustrator. They can fill in the blanks. A dedication page can be prepared. Again, the students can fill in the blanks. There can be an idea box to motivate students. Maybe some starter sentences. Anything that encourages children to write. The book can be 2 pages or 5 pages. The length is not important. A love for writing is the reason for this corner. Ask the students what else should be on the table. They have great ideas!"

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