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Monday, May 5, 2008

Better Vocabulary Exercise

Even though you have told your students time after time not to use certain worn-out words, bad habits are hard to break. This activity can be utilized when you are reading compositions orally to the students and giving feedback.
Before you begin reading, write each student's name on tag board paper with a permanent marker. Each time you come across an illegal, overused or "watered down" word as you read a student's composition, squirt the tag board with his or her name one time. This makes a very strong visual, displaying which students are still using too many baby words and which are improving. The winner is the student with the driest tag board after all compositions have been read.
To convince the losers of the importance of using higher vocabulary, have them go back and change all their ineffective word choices to better ones. This will take the thrill out of those who simply use baby words because they want to see their papers get wet. Just don't spray the students!

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