Presently we are having a big focus on extending our students ability to use a wider range of vocabulary in their writing and to feel confident at reading challenging words they come across. This is always part of our teaching and learning however an activity we used at the start of a lesson the other day really seemed to stick with many of the class so I though it was worth sharing.

The children’s focus is trying to make their writing more engaging for readers by using language that grabs the readers attention and holds it. We had talked a lot about word use and it’s importance prior to this session but the students didn’t seem to be taking that knowledge and applying it in their own work as an author.

What we did wasn’t revolutionary but has had a  big impact, I think the visual element of the outcome has helped our learners to make a more solid connection to their learning.

The idea was to take a everyday word that we over use in our Narratives and make it more appealing. We looked at words like said, nice, happy, sad, pretty etc Now all these words have their place BUT much of the time we can give a deeper meaning the characters actions and feelings if we use the many shades of meaning that can heighten the feeling attached to a word.  So after a visit to Bunnings to gather armfuls of paint sampler cards we had an array of colours available for students to develop their shades of meaning word banks.


From that they could then create a word wheel to help during writing time.


Listening to the rich discussion of words amongst the children as they completed their wheels enabled teachers to focus in on learning, children who were finding the task tricky had the paint shade cards to refer to to get them started. They loved the visual outcome and we continued further, making thermometers of synonyms for use during writing time. Looking forward to seeing a broader range of words in narrative writing over the next few weeks.


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