Category: Writing

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

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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Teaching Reading using the Animated Short The Box

Teaching Reading and Writing with Animated Short Films - FREE Activities

The animated short film The Box is based on real events that are taking place in Syria. The film is meant to educate the world about the struggles the Syrians are facing.  Continue Reading

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Research Paper Project for Elementary Students

Teaching Elementary Students How to Write a Research Paper using an Animal Theme

All third graders and up in our school create a research paper each year. One year students may write about famous people from their social studies text. The next year they write about topics from science. The school year is just too short not to cover multiple skills with the research project. 

Sources and the Bibliography

We have the best school librarian. She takes on the task of helping the students with their research. Students must use a minimum of three references: a book, an encyclopedia, and a website.  Continue Reading

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