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 Writing with Wow Words
and Building Vocabulary
National Behaviour Support Service
[email protected]
National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS)
Navan Education Centre
Athlumney
Navan
Co. Meath
Telephone: +353 46 9093355
Fax: +353 46 9093354
Email: [email protected]
Compiled and written by Fiona Richardson, Literacy Development Officer, National
Behaviour Support Service, 2009.
The National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) was established by the Department of
Education & Skills in 2006 in response to the recommendation in School Matters: The
Report of the Task Force on Student Behaviour in Second Level Schools (2006).
The NBSS is funded by the Department of Education and Skills under the National
Development Plan 2007 – 2013
Based on ‘Project Graduation Writing Skills’ (2007) Virginia Department of Education.
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Contents
Introduction
Page 4
Story Starters
Page 5
Story Starters and the 5Ws
Page 6
Student Story Organisers
Page 9
Developing the Elements
Page 17
Working with ‘Wow’ words
Page 22
More ‘Wow’ Word
Page 25
Proofing and Editing
Page 37
Publishing and Reflecting
Page 41
Other NBSS Teacher Resources
Page 45
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Writing
with
Wow Words
Introduction
In order to develop deep understanding of words, students need to see, hear,
and use new vocabulary in different ways. Getting students to think of ‘Wow’
words, notice ‘Wow’ words in their reading or in speech, as well as using ‘Wow’
words in their writing, are ways to deepen understanding.
One way to support and develop writing is by having students consider how to
incorporate ‘Wow’ words into their written work. For example pointing out how
using a more vibrant word than ‘said’, in their creative writing means the reader
gets a greater understanding of a character or situation. Using ‘Wow’ words
students can build a better picture in the mind of the reader, grabbing their
attention and making them want to read on.
‘Wow’ words are adventurous and exciting language that students can use in
their speech and writing. Focusing on building students’ store of ‘Wow’ words
can deepen their understanding of language as well as develop their written
work.
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Writing with ‘Wow’ Words
The following creative writing ideas demonstrate how ‘Wow’ words can be
incorporated into student story writing.
Story Starters
A selection of story starters can be used initially as a brainstorming
activity. First the teacher demonstrates or models the possibilities that are
contained in a story title.
Title: They walked away sadly, promising never to return again…
To demonstrate possible characters or settings think of several examples
of who ‘they’ could be and from ‘where’ they are walking.
They
They
They
They
students
aliens
football team
teenagers
Where
Where
Where
Where
They
friends
Where
the last day of school
the Earth
after a match
a concert by their
favourite band
a party at another friend’s
house
Point out that characters can be any age, nationality, profession etc and
that stories can take place anywhere, anytime – future, past, present,
during an historical event etc. Draw attention to how stories are written for
different audiences – younger children, tweenies, teenagers, young adults,
boys, girls etc. You could demonstrate this by reading different paragraphs
from a selection of reading material. Also think about how students who
may struggle with writing could create a story aimed at a younger
audience or younger brother or sister.
Divide students into groups of 4 or 5. Each group must suggest as many
different ‘they’ and ‘where’ ideas as they can in 3 minutes. You could turn
this into a competition to see who can come up with the most. The aim is
creativity and a chance for students to use their imaginations! Each group
must also choose their top 3 favourites from all of the ideas the group
generates.
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The time limit is important to keep the activity moving. Each group then
shares their ideas with the whole class. After this the groups must choose
one idea and in 5 minutes flesh out this idea a little more. You could
encourage them to think of the 5Ws – who, what, when, where and why –
while developing their ideas. Each group then shares their work.
Story Starters & the 5Ws
Now students are given the opportunity to come up with the 5Ws for a
number of stories. Read out a selection of story starters (see some examples
below that could be tweaked for your students or create your own).
Distribute the story starters. Each group could get different story starters. 1. A beautiful woman/man walks by your table in a restaurant and hands you a napkin
discreetly. You open up the napkin and it says…
2. A man is running down the lane screaming. He has blood all over his clothing. He bumps
into you and explains what happened. You listen, and begin to tremble in fear. What did
the man just tell you?
3. A woman is jogging down the street with her black Labrador. You smile pleasantly at
her and continue down the road. The woman stops jogging and shouts a warning to you.
You can’t hear that well because of the traffic. You ask her to repeat it, what does
she tell you? Continue the story…
4. Alone on the beach, the wind whips a little boy’s hair. He looks around but cannot find
his family. He is in a strange country/planet etc. He does not remember the last two
days. What's happened to him? Where is his family? Why is he there?
5. You’re a soldier in a war. You just watched your best friend get shot in the leg. You
know you only have a few minutes to escape. What do you do? Do you run? Do you try
to help your friend? Or do you shoot back at the enemy? When is this war taking place
– past, present or future?
6. The boat groans loudly. Everywhere passengers are screaming. You know you don’t have
much time but you need to find your friend. You look around but can only see panicked
people who are boarding the lifeboats. You don’t want to leave without her/him, but
you don’t want to stay on a sinking ship…
7. The loud clicking of her heels hit the pavement. She had to keep running. Her breath
was hot and thick, and she was tired, but she couldn’t stop. If she stopped that would
be the end. Why is she running?
8. The man/woman started the engine. The purr of it eased his/her tense muscles. It had
been a long time since s/he was in a race car. S/He wondered if it would come back to
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him/her. The man/woman eased the car into gear, and slowly pulled out of the parking
lot. Where is s/he going? What is s/he doing in a race car?
9. A construction crew is on break at the building site. The foreman is watching the crew.
Suddenly a fight breaks out. He runs and stops it. He glares at the carpenter and the
plumber. Why were they fighting?
10. Pat and Sam have been best friends since they were sixteen. Two months ago they had
had a huge fight and haven’t talked since. What happened? Why haven’t they made up?
11. A young woman sits crying on the bench. A man approaches, and almost decides to walk
away. He doesn’t. He hands the woman a tissue and asks her why she’s crying. What
does she tell him?
12. A woman inherits €400,000 from a relative she didn’t even know. The woman has just
fallen on hard times, so the money is a blessing. She decides it’s time to move and
start fresh. Where does she go and why?
13. You and the love of your life have packed a picnic. Finding the "perfect" spot by a
stream, you begin unpacking lunch onto the yellow checked blanket you have spread on
the ground. You are thinking how wonderful it is, so quiet, so private. You stand and
look down the stream toward the old mill. You wonder if some other couple long ago sat
by the stream. Then you notice someone behind a tree not so far away - a girl in a long
flowing dress. Could it be someone from days gone by? Who is it? Why is she here? Is
she looking for someone?
14. It is Xmas and everyone is sleeping. Suddenly, you hear the faint sound of sleigh bells
approaching....
15. You open the dreaded gift from Aunt Bertha, expecting to find the usual useless gift.
You pull out a glowing ball of material you have never seen before. You inspect it for a
moment and then tuck it away in the corner with your other useless gifts. That night,
as you are drifting off to sleep, you hear a faint whirring sound coming from the
corner of your room…
16. The first time s/he saw him in uniform, his/her heart stopped. Now, here s/he was....
17. Her face burned red as she recognised her diary sitting on his desk. How could he....
18. You roll through Mc Donald’s drive-thru, order your usual and wait for the cashier to
repeat it back to you. Only, he doesn't repeat it. Instead, through the speaker, you
hear a very unusual/interesting conversation…
19. When you were little, you could swear there was a monster under your bed--but no one
believed you. On the eve of your 30th birthday, you hear noises coming from under
your bed once again. The monster is back and has an important message to deliver to
you...
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20. You're at a Chris Brown concert when you receive a text from a friend that says,
"You'll never believe what just happened to me!" In the form of a text chat, find out
what happened to your friend.
21. You're sitting at work one day and receive a text message from an unrecognised
number. The text says, "I have the money and hid the body." You think this is a
practical joke from a friend, so you play along at first. But the more texts you receive,
the more you realise that it isn't a joke. Write the text conversation and story.
22. A man buys a parrot and is horrified when he discovers the only thing it can say is, “If
you ever tell anyone what you saw, I’ll kill you.” (You can change what the parrot says).
23. You awaken with amnesia in what looks to be an igloo/strange planet/pyramid etc. You
have €4, a rock in one pocket and a toothbrush in the other. Someone is staring at
you... Write this scene/story.
24. You are out to lunch with people you work with, when you bump into a close friend who
refers to you by a nickname. Because of its unusualness, the nickname catches the
interest of one of your co-workers who asks for the story behind it. Start your story
with, "This may come as a surprise, but ... " and end it with, "And that's how I got the
nickname”.
25. Your best friend has been arrested for illegally downloading music. While in jail, s/he
asks you to go to his/her house and clear everything off the computer. As you start
deleting files, you notice a folder called "Top Secret." Out of curiosity, you open it—
and are shocked by what you find…
26. After years of leading a normal life, you discover you have a special ability. Afraid to
share this information with anyone, you confide only in your closest friend. To your
surprise, your friend shares some information with you—he also has a super power…
27. The government has issued a warning that a particular (and common) household item is
having an unusual side effect on children. Worse yet, you own this item. You rush home
to check on your kids. When you get there, you're shocked to find that your kids
have.... Write this scene/story.
28. Write a short story based on your favourite song, using the song’s title as your story’s
title and the lyrics for your plot.
29. Babies typically talk in babbles that adults can't understand. But one day, while at the
park, you're sitting on a bench next to two babies. They start their babbling and all of
a sudden you realise you can understand them. Even more, they are plotting a wicked
plan. Write this scene/story.
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Story Organisers
Students now examine the different components of a story in more depth.
Story maps or organisers can help students define characters, events, main
ideas and details. Give students 10/15 minutes to come up with the 5Ws
(who, what, when, where and why) for a selection of the above stories.
Remind them that stories are written to entertain and writers use comedy,
suspense, mystery, a twist, romance, etc. to do this. Use the story maps and
organisers on the following pages to support this work. Choose the story
map that best suits your students’ learning styles or design one that relates
to their interests – e.g. in the shape of a football, etc. Initially demonstrate
how to use story maps with students before they use them on their own.
Below is an example of a teacher brainstorm on a ‘scary story’ to
demonstrate with students how ideas are organised.
Scary Story Ideas Teacher Brainstorm
Where?
e.g. Old house
Empty building
Amusement Park
When?
e.g. On a stormy night
In the future
At midnight
Characters
e.g. Old Man
Vampire
Little Girl
Setting
Where and when does the
story take place?
TITLE What?
(main idea/problem)
e.g. Getting Lost (adventure)
Discovering a Family Secret (mystery)
Falling in love with a Vampire (horror)
Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
Why?
(Why is there a problem?)
Based on choice of settings, main
idea, etc. Complete with students
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Student Story Organisers
Where?
When?
Characters
Setting
Scary Story
Characteristics
What?
Why?
(main idea/problem)
(Why is there a
problem?)
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The 5Ws of My Story
Who?
What?
Why?
Title
Where?
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When?
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What happened?
Story Map
Where did it happen?
When did it happen?
Story
Map
Who was involved
in the events?
How did it happen?
Why did it happen?
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The 5Ws and the 1H
WHO?
WHAT?
WHEN?
TITLE
WHERE?
WHY?
Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
HOW?
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Story Organiser
Characters
Setting
Problems
Events
Solutions
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The 5Ws
To help you plan your story complete the chart with as much information as
possible.
Who are the main
characters and what are they like?
What ?
What is the story
about?
What is the
problem and how is
it sorted? When?
When does the
story take place? W h e r e ? Where does the
story take place?
Why?
Why is there a
problem?
Who?
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The 5Ws Flower
To help you plan your story, fill out as much detail as you can in each petal.
What
Who
When
Why
Where
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Developing the Elements
After students have tried creating the skeleton or plan of a story using the
5Ws and some story starters, it is now time for them to choose their
favourite story to develop further. After they have chosen a story to develop
further they then take each element that they have outlined in the story
map and begin to add more detail to each section. See examples below on
character development and plot development.
Character Description
Think about your main character and use the headings below to help you build up a
description or picture of him or her. You can also use these headings for the other
characters in your story.
Character Name:
NickName:
Age:
Male/Female:
Hair Colour:
Height:
Marital Status:
Eye Colour:
Distinguishing Features: (beard, tattoos, scars, special powers, etc):
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
Parents:
Sisters/brothers:
Friends:
Personal Qualities, Traits or Superpowers (e.g.: charm; luck; humour; wisdom, invisibility,
etc)
Hobbies:
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The Plot
Look at the plot diagram below and the example of the plot diagram using the
story Cinderella.
*Climax: high point or turning point Falling Action *Rising Action Conclusion/Solution or Reaction *Rising Action *Rising Action *Climax: high point or turning point The prince says he will marry the woman the slipper fits. *Set Up: Ist event Introduction or opening scene: setting, introducing characters *Rising Action Cinderella leaves at in a rush at midnight and loses her slipper. *Rising Action Cinderella goes to the ball and dances with the prince. *Rising Action A fairy godmother appears and provides Cinderella with all she needs to go to the ball *Rising Action The stepsisters prepare for and go to the ball. Falling Action The step sisters and Cinderella try on the slipper. Conclusion/ Solution or Reaction Cinderella and the prince marry and live happily ever after. *Set Up: Ist event An invitation to a ball at the palace arrives. to otr he house scene: Introduction opening Cinderella lives unhappily with her stepmother and stepsisters. Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
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To support students in developing the plot of their story use the diagrams on
the previous page. Or create examples using well known stories and get
students to rearrange the plot and sequence of events in the correct order.
After this, have students plan possible opening scenes, starting events, etc
for their own story. Students can use a plot graph/diagram similar to the
example here or a storyboard, mind map/concept map or other graphic
organiser to help them develop their story structure further (see examples
below). Make sure they also go back over and use the planning they have
done before this.
Storyboard
Here’s how I picture the main character…
Here’s how I see the setting…
Here’s the problem…
Here’s an important event…
Here’s another important event…
Here’s one other important event…
This is the solution…
And this is what happens at the end.
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Plot Your Story
Setting
Where and when does the story take
place?
Character Traits
Who are the major characters and how
could you describe them?
Conflict/Problem
What is the problem or conflict?
Plot: Rising Action
What events lead to the conflict?
Plot Climax
How does the conflict unfold and how
are the major characters affected?
Plot: Falling Action
How is the conflict resolved?
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Students could complete a facebook page and post some some tweets for
each character in their story.
facebook Home Profile Friends Inbox (1) Username: Wall Characters name here Info Photo + Settings Log out Basic information _________________________________________________________________ View photos of me (34) Information Relationship Status: Current City: Birthday: Friends Sex: Current City: Birthday: Relationship Status: Looking for: Political Views: Religious Views: Personal Information _______________________________________________________________ Activities: Interests: Favourite Music: Favourite TV shows: Favourite Quotations: About Me: Contact Information _______________________________________________________________ Email: Current address: Education and Work _______________________________________________________________ College: High School: Employer: Position: Description: Groups __________________________________________________________________________ Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
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Username About 5 minutes ago from web
About 2 hours ago from web
Name: Location: Bio: 234 12 followers following Tweets Favorites Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
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Mind Map/ Concept Map
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Storyboard Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
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Working with Wow Words
It’s now time to focus on ‘Wow’ words to further develop students’ stories.
Explain to students how the use of ‘Wow’ words can help build a picture in
the reader’s mind and make the reader want to read on. Perhaps read
extracts from a story(ies) to demonstrate this. For example, with the extract
below, taken from Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz, students could be asked
to listen for and note down any interesting action words or verbs they hear.
Alex sensed the danger before the first shot was fired. Perhaps it was the snapping of a twig or
the click of the metal bolt being slipped into place. He froze – and that was what saved him.
There was an explosion – loud, close – and a tree one step ahead of him shattered, splinters of
wood dancing in the air. Alex turned round, searching for whoever had fired the shot.
“What are you doing?” he shouted. “You nearly hit me!”
Almost immediately there was a second shot and, just behind it, a whoop of excited laughter. And
then Alex realised. They hadn’t mistaken him for an animal. They were aiming at him for fun!
He dived forward and began to run. The trunks of the trees seemed to press in on him from all
sides, threatening to bar his way. The ground beneath him was soft from recent rain and dragged
his feet, trying to glue them into place. There was a third explosion. He ducked, feeling the
gunshot spray above his head, shredding the foliage.
This exercise could be repeated using different story extracts and students
could note great describing words; words used to communicate feeling, smell,
sounds; or words used other than ‘said’, ‘went’ or ‘looked’. Students could also
write down 3-5 ‘Wow’ words that stand out as they listen to audio recordings of
different stories, the lyrics of songs or the lines of poetry. All ‘Wow’ words
should be explained, with examples and non examples, compared to words with
similar meanings and discussed in context.
Different ways of helping students remember the word should be incorporated
into the class and linked to the ways students learn e.g. get students to draw a
picture related to the word; or put the words into a crossword or word sleuth;
make a “Wow’ word cloud in wordle http://www.wordle.net/ or make other
words out of the letters of the ‘Wow’ word. The ‘Wow’ words could also be hung
up on the classroom wall and illustrated by students. For homework, students
could be given the task of choosing and sharing in class the next day a ‘Wow’
word from something they read at home, saw on a poster or street sign or
heard on a TV programme. All homework ‘Wow’ words could be shared and
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discussed in class the following day, as well as hung up on the wall or a class
‘Wow’ word cloud created and displayed.
Building a ‘Wow Word Wall’ of adjectives, verbs, adverbs, alternatives to ‘said’,
etc will support students use of these words when it comes to writing their
stories.
Another way to support ‘Wow’ words vocabulary development is by asking
students, in pairs or groups, to replace a specific verb or adjective or ‘square’
word (e.g. said, nice), with a ‘Wow’ word. Students could also be given a
dictionary or thesaurus and set the task of finding alternatives to particular
words. The thesaurus available on Microsoft Word can be a useful tool for
students.
The following pages contain examples of some ‘Wow’ words vocabulary
development exercises that could be adapted, developed and tweaked to suit
students.
In groups your task is to come up with at least 3 ‘Wow’ words to replace the
following words.
Bad
Look
Nice
Big
Talk
Small
Said
Look
Think
Went
Square Words to Sparkling Words
Replace these ‘square’ words with ‘sparkling’ words. Adjectives are in red and the
‘action’ words or verbs are in blue.
1.
Sam was upset( _______ ) when the big (_________) balloon burst.
2.
Sean felt mad ( _______ ) with his little ( _______ ) brother.
3.
Ann went ( _______ ) into the big, dark ( _______, _______ ) cave.
4.
She has a nice ( _______ ) face and nice ( _______ ) hair.
5.
The thief took ( _______ ) a new watch, and then ran ( _______) away.
6.
She saw a scared ( ________) kitten holding ( ________ ) on to the branch
and went ( ________) to rescue it.
7.
When the vampire got up ( ________ ) from the coffin, Bella was
scared ( _________). She got a stake and tried to hit ( _________ ) him.
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Something Else Instead of ‘Said’!
Read the sentences and then choose a word to replace the word ‘said’ in each
sentence. Make sure that the meaning of the sentence is not changed.
1)
“Stop that!” said the irritated teacher.
(yelled / stammered / cried)
2)
“Did I upset her in some way?” said the doctor.
(shouted / questioned / asked)
3)
“Don’t worry,” I said to her, “It was Anne who upset her.”
(whispered / sobbed / explained)
4)
“We need to get out of here quickly,” Billy said to Sean.
(muttered / shouted / replied)
5)
“I like that!” said the little girl.
(questioned/ exclaimed / screamed)
6)
The boy said to the girl, “Give that back to me now!”
(laughed / asked / demanded)
7)
The teacher carefully said to her class how to do the sum.
(shouted /questioned / explained)
Powerful Verbs
Verbs are action or doing words like run, jump and walk. Powerful verbs can make
your writing much more exciting and dramatic. In your groups underline the verb
and then re-write the sentence with a more powerful verb. You can use a
thesaurus if needed. (Students could also be given a list of words to choose from
e.g. grabbed, leapt, crawled, strode, exclaimed, glared, etc).
1. John took the sweets from the boy.
2. The gang of boys ran after the ice cream van.
3. The monkey went up the tree.
4. Patrick said to David, “It’s my turn on the Xbox!”
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5. “Pass me the ball!” said Claire.
6. The child went under the stairs.
7. The athlete jumped over the hurdle.
8. Liz walked up to get her prize.
9. Mr McBride looked at the students who were talking during the assembly.
10. “I passed, I passed!” said the girl.
Create a sentence using the following ‘power’ verbs.
grabbed
screamed
snatched
sprinted
crawled
scrambled
leapt
exclaimed
strode
shouted
yelled
glared
Students can also create their own ‘Wow’ word lists as they discover new
‘Wow’ words from listening, reading, class exercises or homework. Class or
student awards for the best ‘Wow’ word of the day or the best use of a
‘Wow’ word could be incorporated into this activity. (See blank ‘Wow’ word
lists on pages 33 and 34)
More Wow Words
Students can now consider how they might use the ‘Wow’ words they have
discovered from doing the ‘Wow’ word exercises (and that are also visible on
the classroom wall) into their stories. Lists of ‘Wow’ words can also be put on
students’ desks as reminders and ‘helpers’, as they begin to write their
stories.
The following pages contain ‘Wow’ word lists. These can be used to support
student writing as they draft their stories. Suitable ‘Wow’ words to describe
a character, a setting, etc can be added to the story maps they have
developed so far. Lists could also be enlarged, labeled e.g. ‘Amazing
Adjectives’; Pick a Power Verb’; ‘Instead of Said Use…’ etc and put on the
wall as a visual reminder. Pre-teaching, discussing and putting these words
in sentences will help students become more familiar and more confident
with using them in their stories or in speech.
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Wow Words
huge vast
bulky
enjoy adore
massive
fancy
Big
Like
enormous
colossal
appreciate
mean wicked
evil
splendid superb
awful
wonderful excellent
Bad
Good
dreadful
prefer demand
require
ancient outdated
wish
stale
Want
desire
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mature
Old
yearn
marvellous
prehistoric
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Verbs with a Punch
knock
whack
pound
wallop
p
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thump
collide
crash
bump
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Don’t Just Walk…
strolled
swerved
dived hurried strutted
darted stomped raced Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
staggered
browsed sauntered rushed
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What to Use Instead of Said!
Muttered
Roared
Howled
Mumbled
Screamed Said Yelled
Spluttered
Whispered
Grumbled
GShouted
r
u
m
b
l
Bellowed
e
d Squealed
Barked
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How Did You Look?
Viewed
Focused
Examined
Glimpsed
Spotted
Spied
Peered
Witnessed
Stared
Glared
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Observed
Peeped
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Adjectives to ‘Wow’ With…
dark
unlit
shady
sunless
gloomy
sombre
bleak
dismal
black
suspicious
doubtful
suspect
old young delicate clear
windy soothing effective
sore tender kind soft
hard warm safe wooden
smooth hairy big wrinkly
flaming burning
creamy
shadowy everlasting true
tall
high
lofty
giant
towering
colossal
unusual
uncommon
odd
extraordinary
peculiar
cruel
interesting
exciting
enchanting
compelling
light
glare
shine
luminous
sparkle
glow
radiant
fierce
strong
evil
menacing
savage
wild
cruel
cold
chilly
freezing
arctic
raw
numbing
special
exceptional
extraordinary
curious
rare
strange
quick immediate fast
slow leisurely gradual
colourful
energetic
alive
stunning
fantastic
tragic
shocking
pretty
attractive
convincing
fascinating
stimulating
Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
clumsy
fierce
vicious
amazing
annoying
dumbfounded
lively
handsome
Source: www.primaryresources.co.uk/english 34 [email protected]
Adjectives for Characters
Good Guy
angelic
helpful
saintly
upright
skilful
grateful
wise
wholesome
courageous
honest
thoughtful
considerate
gracious
sympathetic
obliging
trustworthy
sensible
reasonable
beautiful
kind
clever
talented
worthy
gentle
generous
true
brave
strong
patient
helpful
loving
fair
sincere
tolerant
truthful
gorgeous Bad Guy
brutish
violent
unhelpful
rotten
mean
evil
wicked
vicious
mischievous
rude
ferocious
wild
vile
horrible
selfish
spiteful
undisciplined
sick
destructive
foul
disobedient
ghastly
naughty
shocking
immoral
devilish
cruel
vindictive
nasty
slanderous
venomous
savage
rough
aggressive
hostile
murderous
Source: www.primaryresources.co.uk/english Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
35 www.primaryresources.c
o.uk/english Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
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Choose a Power Verb
When you replace a weak verb with a strong one, make sure it works in your
sentence as words have their own ‘shades of meaning’. So, check any word you
replace and see if it makes sense!
cry
weep, shed tears, sob, blubber, snivel, mourn, lament, whimper, wail, howl,
groan, bawl, plead, moan
talk
speak, converse, chat, reply, gossip, consult, discuss, reveal, confess, address,
negotiate, lecture, rant, rave, mutter, chatter, utter, prattle, babble, rattle on
think
reflect, consider, ponder, imagine, meditate, picture, contemplate, deem,
recollect, recall, speculate, conceive, fancy, realise, surmise, rationalise, muse.
run
race, hurry, speed, hasten, dash, sprint, dart, zoom, scamper, scoot, scurry,
bustle, rush, hustle, trot, scramble, flee, take flight, skedaddle, jog, glide, bolt
walk
stroll, promenade, wander, saunter, march, trudge, tramp, hike, parade, tread,
pace, step, prance, amble, trek, waddle, cruise
laugh
chuckle, giggle, roar, chortle, cackle, guffaw, snicker, titter.
yell
shout, holler, scream, bellow, roar, howl, shriek, bawl, whoop, yowl
eat
gobble, devour, munch, snack, consume, swallow, dine, chew, feast, feed, nibble,
gulp, wolf down, lunch, ingest
watch look, stare, gaze, peep, ogle, observe, notice, attend, regard, survey, scrutinise,
pore over, eye, note, examine, view, tend, oversee, patrol, guard
dream daydream, fantasise, wish, hope, imagine, fancy, muse, desire
see
sleep
say
discern, distinguish, spy, mark, mind, note, notice, observe, view, detect,
glimpse, spot, witness
nap, doze, drowse, rest, nod off, snooze, forty winks
reply, converse, disclose, explain, inform, express, state, report, announce,
mention, acknowledge, answer, declare, suggest
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Student Wow Word Sheet
Name: ……………………………
MY WEEKLY CATCH OF
WOW WORDS
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Student Wow Word Sheet
Name: ……………………………
My Weekly Stash of
Diamond Wow Words
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Proofing and Editing
After students have drafted their stories they can then work with a partner
to help improve and revise each other’s rough drafts. Initially the skill of
peer editing should be taught as a whole class activity so students can learn
how to respond effectively to one another's writing. The three steps to good
peer editing are:
1. Compliment the author
What are the things that you liked about the author’s writing?
2. Make specific suggestions regarding the author’s:
Word choice
Use of details
Organisation of events
Sentence length
Opening sentence (does it grab your attention – how?)
Variety of words to start sentences and paragraphs.
3. Mark corrections on the writing piece
Look for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes.
Use a sample piece of text (teacher’s own work perhaps) on an overhead
projector, a PowerPoint or handout and demonstrate how to edit. Using the
example, bring students through the writing and show the different ways it
could be improved e.g.
Word choice – Did the author choose interesting words that help you paint a picture in
your mind? Does the opening sentence grab the reader’s attention?
Using details (for example, details about what the characters do, feel, say and think and
realistic dialogue, using comparison - ‘like’ and ‘as’).
Organisation – Can you understand what the author is trying to say? Are the events in a
logical sequence?
Sentences – Is there a mix of sentence lengths or are some sentences too long? Do
sentences start with different words or do many sentences start the same way?
Theme/Topic – Does the author stick to the topic/story line or talk about other things
that don’t really fit with the plot?
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Add, Subtract, Multiply and Divide
You could teach students the ‘Add, Subtract, Multiply and Divide’
editing method. This is where students select a paragraph or
paragraphs from their story and add specific vocabulary to give their
writing more variety.
Select a paragraph or paragraphs from your story and use ‘++−−× and ÷’ method to
improve your writing.
+ Add
a metaphor or simile (e.g. “The violin sounded like a rusty gate swinging
on its hinges”).
+ Add
proper nouns (e.g. McCabe’s Pharmacy instead of shop).
− Subtract
three ‘square’ words, such as stuff, things, nice, pretty and good, and
replace them with ‘Wow’ words.
− Subtract
all unnecessary words and repetitious ideas.
× Multiply
the number of vibrant verbs, such as screamed, ripped and scoffed.
÷ Divide
the writing into paragraphs.
Praise – Question – Polish (PQP)
Another peer editing method that could be taught to students is the ‘PQP:
Praise – Question – Polish’ technique. ‘The PQP technique requires a group of
students (usually two to five per group) to take turns reading each others
drafts aloud as the other students follow along with photocopies of the story.
This oral reading helps the writer/student to hear the piece in another voice
and to independently identify possible changes’ (Neubert and McNelis,
1986). The other students then react to the piece by writing comments on
the PQP form (see overleaf). The teacher models the technique first and
gives examples of comments that are too vague and provide little or no
specific direction for revision, such as “Try to revise the entire second page”
or “I liked this piece” or “Describe Anna better.”
The teacher should demonstrate how to give comments that provide the
writer with specific direction for revision. For example: “I still can’t get a
picture of Anna. What kind of clothes does she wear?”
The teacher then distributes a paragraph of writing and together the
students and teacher use the PQP technique. After the students have some
practice they can get into their groups and use the technique with one
another’s draft stories.
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PQP: Praise – Question - Polish
Peer Review Form
Use this form to give feedback to the writer.
Writer's Name: ____________________________
Story Title: ______________________________
Praise
Questions
What is good about the writing? What should not be changed? Why
is it good?
Question
As a reader, what do you not understand?
Polish
What specific suggestions for improvement can you make?
* A PowerPoint presentation on Peer Editing that could be used in class is also
available from the NBSS.
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Writing Review Sheet
Students could also use a checklist, like the one below, to review their own work.
Features of writing
Text level
Did I do this?
Yes
No
A little
Yes
No
A little
Yes
No
A little
Yes
No
A little
My title and opening engage the reader’s interest.
I have included an effective ending.
My ideas are sequenced into paragraphs in order to
interest my reader.
The theme and purpose of my writing is clear.
I can create characters and relationships through
description, dialogue and action.
Sentence level
Each paragraph has a topic sentence.
I vary my sentences to develop ideas and detail (e.g.
when, where) and use simple sentences for effect.
I use imagery to develop character, mood and setting.
I can use visual and sound effects to create an impact
(e.g. alliteration).
Word level
My verbs create impact and add to the effect.
I use ‘Wow’ words to create effect.
Punctuation
I use punctuation correctly.
I use speech marks correctly.
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Publishing & Reflecting
Once students have edited their work they then redraft and check again.
After this it is time for them to create their story in their chosen format! It
might be an idea to introduce the different ways their stories can be
created/published at the very start of the exercise as a means of generating
some momentum and excitement for the project. Show them examples of
different ‘finished products’ e.g. front cover designs, typed A4 or A5 stories,
illustrated stories, stories in shaped books, PowerPoint books, animated
books online, talking books, photo books, comic books or digital book trailers
(this is where students create the book trailer of their story - like a film
trailer).
Contact the NBSS for website links and other information on producing
students’ writing in these formats. See also the NBSS ‘Useful Websites’
resource that contains information on websites where students can create
animated stories, photobook stories and publish online. Finally, when students have finished their stories, have them reflect on their
writing. Some of the following sheets might assist this reflection:
Reflection on Writing
Name: ________________________
Date: _______________
1. When I look back at the work I have done I feel:
Terrific
OK
Needs Work
2. I have got better at writing sentences:
using capitals and full stops
☐
spelling
☐
telling a story
☐
telling my ideas about something ☐
3. I am really proud of…
4. Next time I write I will…
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Reflection on Writing
When I look back at the writing I have done, I feel…
1.
2.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
3.
I have got better at…
Writing complete sentences
Using capitals and full stops
Spelling
Writing a story with details and great words
Writing my ideas in an order that flows and makes
sense
Beginning sentences
Ending sentences
Neatness
Other: __________________________________
I am very proud that…
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Self Reflection
Name:
Date:
When I look at the work I have done, I feel…………… I have got better in:
Forming letters Neatness Spacing Telling my ideas, using a beginning, middle, end Using ‘Wow’ words Using capitals and full stops Terrific Ok Needs Work Terrific Ok Needs Work Terrific Ok Needs Work Terrific Ok Needs Work Terrific Ok Needs Work Terrific Ok Needs Work Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
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I’M A WRITER
Name: _____________________________Date: ___________
Write about yourself as a writer.
1. My favourite things to write about are __________________________
________________________________________________________
2. I can do my best writing when I ______________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
3. The things I find difficult to do when I write are __________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
4. I can tell I have got better at writing because
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
5. I think I need to improve my writing by _________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
6. If I could give some advice to younger writers about what to do to be a
good writer, I would say ______________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
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NBSS ‘Learning to Learn’ Resources available to support Academic Literacy & Learning: 1. Comprehension and Learning Strategies for all Subject Areas (NBSS 2008). This resource outlines research-­‐based comprehension, learning and thinking strategies that can be integrated into all subject areas. 2. Comprehension and Learning Strategies Classroom Posters (NBSS 2008). These posters are designed to supplement the teaching of the strategies outlined in the above resource. They are intended as a visual reference for students of the key comprehension and learning strategies all learners need. Comprehension strategy bookmarks or thinkmarks are also available to print and use with students. 3. Language and Literacy Games (NBSS 2008). This resource contains numerous ideas on how to develop vocabulary and oral language skills in a fun way. 4. Read: Engage Student with High Interest and Low Readability Books (NBSS 2008). This teacher resource provides information on high interest/low readability fiction and non-­‐fiction texts, as well as titles related to specific subject topic areas. High Interest and Low Readability books can encourage reading and support the development of fluency and vocabulary skills. 5. Literacy and Learning: Programmes and Resources (NBSS 2008). This teacher resource gives an overview of commercially available programmes and resources that teachers in NBSS partner schools have used successfully to support the development of reading, learning and literacy skills. 6. Activating Prior Knowledge -­‐ Lesson Starter Ideas: Previewing & Reviewing (NBSS 2009). This resource outlines over 30 activities that can be used to activate students’ prior knowledge. Activating prior knowledge increases student comprehension. These activities can also be used at the beginning of a lesson to review learning from a previous class. 7. Listening, Discussion and Teamwork Lesson Ideas (NBSS 2009). This resource suggests activities that can be used to develop students’ listening, speaking and group work skills. 8. Useful Web Resources and Sites for Literacy & Learning (NBSS 2009). This teacher resource gives an overview of websites that can be used with students to support learning across a variety of curriculum areas, as well as numerous sites where teachers can access and download resources to use in their subject area. 9. Writing with ‘WOW’ Words and Vocabulary Building: (NBSS 2009). This resource describes ways to expand students’ use of vibrant or ‘wow’ words as well as activities for developing creative writing skills. Also available is a powerpoint presentation on proofreading and editing that can be used with students in conjunction with this resource. 10. Strategies for Vocabulary Teaching (NBSS 2009). This resource outlines research-­‐based strategies for vocabulary teaching as well as games and activities that can be used to develop subject specific vocabulary. 11. Adolescent Literacy and Learning Information Sheets (NBSS 2009). This resource gives a brief overview of the 5 key areas in relation to Adolescent Literacy (i.e. comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, phonics and phonemic awareness) and effective practices for addressing the literacy needs of adolescent learners. 12. Teacher as Researcher: Resource Pack for Literacy and Learning Research Projects (NBSS 2009). This teacher resource provides several research instruments that can be used as part of the NBSS Teacher as Researcher Projects that focus on the development of literacy and learning skills with students. 13. Learning and Study Skills Toolkit (NBSS 2010). This resource provides over 30 strategies and templates that can be used to develop students’ learning and study skills. The resource is used in conjunction with a NBSS student study skills questionnaire that can help identify those strategies students may need to be taught to improve learning and study skills. Also available to use with these resource are powerpoint presentations or workshops on study and learning skills. 14. Learning from Textbook Reading at Second Level: Strategies for Success (NBSS 2010). This resource contains a variety of exercises on text features, questioning and summarising strategies that can help students read and learn from their textbooks. The exercises and skills outlined in this resource can be introduced to 1st year students as part of a transition and transfer induction programme. For further information contact the NBSS Literacy Development Officer: [email protected] Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
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Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary *Flesch-­‐ Kincaid (US) Grade Level is 11.2 (6th grade = 11-­‐12yrs; 7th grade = 12–13yrs; 8th grade = 13-­‐14yrs; 9th grade = 14-­‐15yrs; 10th grade = 15-­‐16yrs; 11th grade = 17 -­‐18 yrs) The *Flesch Reading Ease readability score formula rates text on a 100-­‐point scale based on the average number of syllables per word and words per sentence. The higher the Flesch Reading Ease score, the easier it is to understand the document. * Available in MS Word National Behaviour Support Service
National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) Navan Education Centre Athlumney Navan Co. Meath Telephone: +353 46 909 3355 Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary
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