Category: Writing

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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Writing Using a Dog Theme

Great Dog Writing Projects for the Classroom

Most students love dogs. According to American Pet Products Association (APPA) approximately 44% of all households in the United States are dog owners. This is approximately 89.7 million dogs.

More Interesting Facts

  • Seventy-seven percent of dog owners allow their pet to roam anywhere in the house. Only seven percent of people keep their dogs outside.
  • Forty-two percent of dog owners sleep with their dogs.
  • The United States has the largest dog population. It more than doubles the second highest dog population country, China.

Get more statistical information about pets at Statista. Continue Reading

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