Writing Techniques

Sub-topics:

Ways to Start a Sentence – Level 1

"Add more variety!" I'd say to my class. But I never really knew what this actually meant. Suprise! This bad advice never improved students' writing. In these videos, students learn nine specific ways to add variety just by changing the beginning of their sentences. This was easily one of my students' favorite writing tools - because it actually helped them.

Punctuation Power

In a sentence, punctuation may seem meek when compared to those mighty words, but punctuation has incredible power over the meaning of a sentence. Students will try re-punctuating sentences to find new meanings - without changing a single word!

Fancier Figurative Language: Start with a Cliche

We'll start with the cliché "as cold as ice" and go somewhere much more interesting.

Ways to Start a Sentence – Level 2

"Add more variety!" I'd say to my class. But I never really knew what this actually meant. Suprise! This bad advice never improved students' writing. In these videos, students learn nine specific ways to add variety just by changing the beginning of their sentences. This was easily one of my students' favorite writing tools - because it actually helped them.

Unclear Pronouns: Too Many Antecedents

What happens when a pronoun could refer to more than one noun? Big problems!

Changing Coordinating Conjunctions

What happens when we switch out a "but" with a "so"? An "and" with a "for"? How can such tiny words make such big differences?

Adding Variety to Writing: Sentence Starter Part 3

"Add more variety!" I'd say to my class. But I never really knew what this actually meant. Suprise! This bad advice never improved students' writing. In these videos, students learn nine specific ways to add variety just by changing the beginning of their sentences. This was easily one of my students' favorite writing tools - because it actually helped them.

Ambiguous Sentences

Rather than just demand that students "write clearly," we'll explore the hazards of poorly written sentences… and maybe create one of our own!

Fancier Figurative Language: Use the Opposite

Let's start with "As cold as fire."

Fixing Shakespearean Run-Ons

Can your students help The Bard? We'll fix five Shakespearean run-ons in three different ways.

Passive to Active Voice

n this lesson, students will not just fix passive sentences, but break active sentences as they learn to put the star of the sentence first.

Writing Technique: Contrast With Synonyms

A specific technique to help students add some spice to their writing. We'll be contrasting two ideas using synonyms.

Fancier Figurative Language: Move the Simile

What if we started a sentence with the simile?

Writing Technique: 3 Dependent Clauses

A specific technique to help students add some spice to their writing. We'll be writing sentences with three dependent clauses.

Writing Technique: Opposite Adjectives

A specific technique to help students add some spice to their writing. We'll be using antonyms to describe the same topic!

Writing Technique: Triple Anadiplosis!

Have students mastered the art of anadiplosis: ending one sentence with the beginning of the next? Now it's time to take it to the next level!

Doubling Up Writing: Anadiplosis

Repeating words can be what you want, if what you want is an interesting effect. (Psst, that's an example of anadiplosis!)

Fancier Figurative Language: Advanced Repetition

Is your students' use of repetition limited to, "The girl was very, very, very fast."? Let's borrow some ideas from Shakespeare!

Super Specific Similes – Slimy Broccoli

Let's make this simile even more specific.

Super Specific Similes – Strong Uncle

Let's make this simile even more specific.

Super Specific Similes: Stinky Seaweed

Students will make their similes super specific.

Super Specific Similes: Quick Baby

Let's make this simile even more specific.

Super Specific Similes: Loud Class

Let's make that simile even more specific!