Tag: Writing Skills

Teaching Firsthand and Secondhand Accounts

Firsthand vs Secondhand

One important skill for fourth and fifth graders is to know the differences between firsthand and secondhand accounts. This skill is not difficult for students to understand with a little practice. Continue Reading

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Teaching Writer’s Voice

Writer's Voice

A writer’s voice is the combination of sentence structure, punctuation, word choice, and personality a person uses when writing. It is the way a writer expresses himself. The voice can be formal or informal. A writer’s voice may contain long elegant prose or short choppy sentences.

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Writing Hooks for Informative Writing

Writing Hooks for Informative Writing

Before students begin writing informative essays, it is important to teach them the steps in the process. Writing hooks for informative writing is one of the skills that students must learn. Good luck! Students can write amazing hooks with just a little practice.

Writing Hooks for Informative Writing – Step #1

Begin by teaching students to look at some exemplary texts. Ask questions about how the essays begin. List different ways students find in the essays. Next provide students with a list they can use. Here are some ways they can hook a reader. The anchor chart is a great reference for students to refer to as they begin writing. Continue Reading

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Six Activities to Teach Formal vs Informal Language

Formal vs. Informal


For some students, knowing when to use formal or informal language comes naturally. For others, it is a skill that must be taught in steps. This post offers six teaching ideas from recognizing what is formal and informal to creating formal and informal texts. Start by getting the handout Formal vs Informal Language using the link below.

Get the printable version of these activities. Continue Reading

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Writing a Thesis Statement

Free Lesson on 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

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 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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