Category: Writing

Writing a Thesis Statement

Writing a Thesis Statement

Writing a thesis statement is an extremely difficult skill for some students. This post provides step-by-step instructions. Student-friendly language helps students understand the concepts. To learn the rules, students watch a Google Slide presentation. While watching, they complete organizers. The printable organizers may be placed in an interactive notebook. Digital organizers are also provided. They may be housed on Google Drive. Students may use these organizers as reference tools any time they write essays.

So where to begin…. Continue Reading

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Writing for an Audience

Writing for an Audience

Most students can grasp the concept of changing the way they write or speak depending on whom they are addressing in just a small mini lesson. This post offers free materials to teach the lesson. Included is a PowerPoint, card activity, Boom Learning Deck. You will also find foldable organizer. In no time your students will be able to write and speak to a specific audience. This includes using both formal and informal speech.

Teaching this lesson is super important as it is addressed in a large number of Common Core State Standards. Continue Reading

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Using Transition Words to Improve Writing

FREE Teaching Ideas & Activities for Using Transition Words to Improve Writing from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

Transition words and phrases improve the flow of writing by linking ideas, sentences, and paragraphs. They show relationships which helps readers understand thoughts and concepts. Transitions may connect, contrast, show cause/effect, indicate order, and a number of other relationships. Using transitions helps writing flow. Disconnected ideas are turned into a unified whole. They prepare readers for what is coming next.

Common Core

Common Core addresses transitional words in the writing standards. Continue Reading

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How to Eliminate Wordiness

Teaching Students How to Improve Student Essays from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

Have you ever wondered how to teach students to eliminate wordiness in their essays? Professional writers edit and rewrite texts repeatedly. This post contains four areas to look for when revising for conciseness. Do not have students memorize these lists. Instead teach the concept of eliminating wordiness by going over these examples. Have students look through their writing to see if they have clouded the meaning they wish to convey with unneeded words.

Have students look for redundant pairs, explaining the obvious, using unnecessary modifiers, and repeating thoughts. Teaching students to be aware of, finding, and eliminating unneeded words will greatly improve their writing. Here is an organizer that will help. Continue Reading

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Teaching Students about Double Negatives

Teaching Students about Double Negatives from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

People frequently use double negatives in song lyrics and informal speech. Due to this, many students have a difficult time realizing that double negatives are incorrect grammar.

Take advantage of students’ love for music and teach double negative rules using song lyrics. Continue Reading

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One Small Step – Teaching with Animated Shorts

Teaching Reading and Writing with Animated Short Films - FREE Activities

The animated short film One Small Step follows  a young Chinese American girl from age six when she first witnesses a rocket launching to her success in finally walking on the moon. Continue Reading

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When to Use Parentheses, Commas, and Dashes

Teaching when to use commas, parentheses, dashes to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

Common Core L.6.2.A states students should use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements. So, is there a difference in the three? Some resources say no. Others say yes. This post will list the rules pointing out the differences in the three, so you can decide.

Nonrestrictive vs. Restrictive Elements

First you need to understand the meanings of nonrestrictive and restrictive elements Continue Reading

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