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Sentence Fluency

Early Lessons for Teaching Figurative Language

Early Lessons for Teaching Figurative Language
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Primary teachers need to build an early understanding of figurative language for the youngest readers and writers. Here are strategies and resources to support your instruction for three types of figurative language: onomatopoeia, alliteration, and simile. [read more...]


Fall Party Includes Idiom Costumes

Fall Party Includes Idiom Costumes
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

While teaching the differences between literal and figurative language, South Creek Elementary Nadine Gilkison (Indianapolis, IN) had her fourth graders dress up in idiom costumes for their Fall Party at the end of October. [read more...]


Find Figurative Language in Popular Song Lyrics

Find Figurative Language in Popular Song Lyrics
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kate Bieker, 6th grade language arts teacher at Willowcreek Middle School (Portage, IN), shared a great way to help students grasp the meaning of metaphors. She uses music lyrics to teach figurative language. Students can usually interpret similes, but often misunderstand metaphors. [read more...]


Teach Students to Assess Readability of their Own Writing

Teach Students to Assess the Readability of their Own Writing
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

When you're ready to nudge students to the next level in their writing, you might want to introduce them to the Flesch-Kincaid Grade-Level Test. Microsoft Word has a built-in feature that will give you a score, letting you know the grade-level readability of your document. [read more...]


Teaching the Power of Word Spacing

Teaching the Power of Word Spacing
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Even with tongue-depressor sticks named "Space Man" and the lure of using M&M candies as space markers, some primary students still struggle to space between words. It's hard for them to manage their writing and craft their ideas at the same time. [read more...]


Target Picture Writing to Improve Sentence Writing

Target Picture Writing to Improve Sentence Writing
Monday, October 25th, 2010

But don’t just tell students to draw with details, teach them how. There are several explicit lessons you could address within these first weeks of school. Take your time as you introduce these new concepts in lessons. Each idea might require more than a one-day mini-lesson. [read more...]


Bell Work Idea--Single Sentence Contests

Bell Work Idea—Single Sentence Contests
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

When managing the first minutes of a class period, secondary teachers often have students practicing conventions and/or working on a quickwrite journal entry. Here's another idea. What about a single-sentence contest once a week? [read more...]


Teach Students How to Omit Clichés

Teach Students How to Omit Clichés
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

A sign of a more sophisticated writer is one who can write with strong description, interesting similes and metaphors. Unfortunately, in an attempt to include more description and imagery, students often pull from a bank of overused [read more...]


Use Grammar to Improve Sentence Fluency

Use Grammar to Improve Sentence Fluency
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Sentence fluency is a difficult trait to master. Because we often speak in short choppy fragments or long, gangly run-ons, students bring those habits into their writing. They write how they speak. It doesn’t take long for students to realize [read more...]


Boost Writers Sentence Fluency with Specific Strategies

Boost Writers' Sentence Fluency with Specific Strategies
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Sentence fluency is the hardest trait to master. It’s more than just knowing how to write complete and grammatically correct sentences. Fluency requires that the variety of sentences flow together easily, smoothly, and musically. In order to [read more...]


Stretch Sentences with the Dice Game

Stretch Sentences with the Dice Game
Friday, April 24th, 2009

Second, roll a single game die. Announce the number rolled. Have students work in pairs to come up with an oral sentence about the assigned topic with that number of words. For example, if you rolled a 5 and the topic is shapes (or more specifically [read more...]


Fall Walk Sentences

Fall Walk Sentences
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

The entire class spends time walking the school grounds, gathering inspiration, ideas, details, and words that describe the season of fall. Then, all students submit a single sentence by the pre-determined deadline to be judged by someone outside of the [read more...]


Super Strategies for Stretching Sentences

Super Strategies for Stretching Sentences
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

First grade teacher Ruth Leman (Hoagland Elementary School) has gotten her students to beef up their writing by challenging them to "supersize” their sentences. First, she acquired a large and small fry holder from three different fast food [read more...]


Supersizing Sentences in the Primary Grades

Supersizing Sentences in the Primary Grades
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

When her students are ready to beef-up their simple sentences, Elaine uses this as an opportunity to introduce parts of speech laminated into mini-posters. Elaine asks her students to add key word phrases to their original sentences in order to add [read more...]


Adding Comparisons & Similes to Strengthen Word Choice

Adding Comparisons & Similes to Strengthen Word Choice
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Vivid and unique phrasing sometimes comes in figurative language use, like similes. After reading Dr. Seuss’ Many Colored Days or Jane Cabrera’s Cat’s Colors, second grade teacher Linda Rodenbarger (from Portage Schools) then discusses [read more...]


Hearing Punctuation for Writing

Hearing Punctuation for Writing
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Before students write using punctuation marks purposefully, they need to see the power of them within their reading. Students tend to read right through punctuation marks, never stopping, pausing, or taking a breath. If students don't adjust their voices to "read" punctuation marks, [read more...]


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