Strategies for Teaching the 6 Traits

Strategies for Word Choice

Page 1



Barbara Martin

  • Use samples of cartoons on the overhead. Then show more with the captions covered up. The students fill in the captions.
  • After the first draft of a writing assignment is done, ask students to switch papers with a partner. The partner is to circle 5 words that he thinks could be stronger. The author is to find stronger words to replace these when he does his final copy.
  • Give the students a strong piece of writing and have them replace as many words as possible with words of their own.

Valerie Dehombreux

  • Have noun, verb, ajective, and adverb lists on the classroom wall. Add to it everytime students come across an interesting, active, descriptive word in class reading or independent reading. For several Writer's Workshop mini-lessons, discuss how the authors use such words to make their writing interesting. Children can refer to the list when writing.

  • During many mini-lessons, bring in an object and let students feel it, smell it, and taste it if it is food, and listen to it, if it's living. Then ask them to describe its attributes. Write the children's suggestions on chart paper. Encourage them to describe even more (i.e. how soft is it? As soft as what?) Remind them to think this way when writing. At the end of the mini-lesson, students may return to their seats to write. They can continue what they've been writing, using what they learned in that day's lesson, or they can choose to write a story about the object.

Deb Weissman

    Using a thesaurus::
  • Look up the word blue in a thesaurus and find synonyms. Students create a "Blue Color Chart." They copy the synonym, color a sample, and then find an item that is that particular color. {One child brought in a bunch of paint sample strips from her father's paint store with about 30 different blues on it! }
  • Make a list of synonyms for movement and then have students physically act out the movements: waddled, swaggered, inched, lumbered, etc.

Back to Top

Go on to more strategies

Back to Strategies Main Page

Back to 6 Traits Home Page