Category: Writing

Teaching Students about Varying Sentences

Grab these foldable organizers and PowerPoint to help your sentences learn to write better sentences.
The Common Core State Standards includes at least one standard on sentence writing across all elementary grade levels. Most of these deal with recognizing types and varying sentences. Here is the progression of skills.
  1. In first grade, students learn to recognize the four types of sentences (L.1.1.J):
    • Declarative sentence
    • Imperative sentence
    • Interrogative sentence
    • Exclamatory sentence
  2. By second grade, students are combining simple sentences to form compound sentences (L.2.1.F).
  3. In third grade, students produce simple and compound as well as complex sentences (L.3.1.I).
  4. Fourth-grade students learn to recognize and correct inappropriate fragments and run-ons (L.4.1.F). They are also learning to correctly punctuate compound sentences (L.4.2.C).
  5. Fifth-graders are adding introductory elements to sentences (L.5.2.B).
  6. By sixth grade, students are using a variety of sentence patterns to add interest and meaning to their text (L.6.3.A).

Before you get started, grab the free materials to teach this lesson. This download includes all the organizers and a link to the PowerPoint.

Activity #1 ~ Types of Sentence Problems

To help students better understand these problems, they complete a foldable style graphic organizer that goes over the rules and examples of three common mistakes. This organizer is provided in six versions. You can select the one-sided printable or the two-sided printable. The organizer also comes in a variety of levels from students writing their own rules to students completing cloze rules to rules that are already completed. Continue Reading

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When to Start a New Paragraph in a Story

When to Start New Paragraphs in a Story

Have you ever read a student narrative that was written as one long paragraph? Knowing when to make new paragraphs comes naturally to some students, but not others. This article goes over five rules to teach. Begin by downloading the teaching materials for this lesson.

Get teaching materials for this lesson here. Continue Reading

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10 Things to Remember When Writing a Narrative

10 Things to Remember When Writing a Narrative

Teaching students to write a good narrative is an ongoing process. Begin by teaching character traits, point of view/perspective, setting, theme, plot development, and so on. Students need a basic understanding of story elements before they begin writing. I have created a series of blog posts that cover these topics. Links to these posts are at the bottom of the page.

After students understand story elements, writing a good story can begin. This post is a general overview of ten things to remember when writing a narrative. You’ll find links scattered throughout this article that go to posts that zero in on specifics.  Continue Reading

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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 a Specific Audience - Free Mini Lesson

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

Using Transition Words to Improve Writing

Transition words and phrases improve the flow of writing by linking ideas, sentences, and paragraphs. They show relationships that help 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. Go over the examples. Have students look through their writing to see if they have clouded the meaning they wish to convey with unneeded words. Continue Reading

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