Are your students stuck in the routine of using the same words over and over in their writing? Read these tips on fun ways to get your students looking up synonyms to jazz up their writing. No more overused words in your classroom!

No More Overused Words

Getting students to stop using those tired, boring words can be a challenge. But word choice is one of the easiest ways to make a ho-hum essay, poem, or story into one that people will want to read. Here are some ideas for helping your students to choose better words: Make finding synonyms for overused words a class activity. This is a great way to practice

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Check out this post about eight fun things to do with idioms and other figurative language elements. Your students will love playing with figurative language!

8 Fun Things to Do with Idioms

Teaching Idioms? I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say that idioms are more fun than a barrel of monkeys. There is a boatload of idioms at GoEnglish. Beyond going over the literal meaning of such phrases as, “It’s raining cats and dogs,” there are many other out-of-this-world things to try. They are the cat’s pajamas, so give them a whirl!    

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10 Fun Activities for Dictionary Skills

10 FUN Activities for Dictionary Skills

10 Awesome Dictionary Activities Are you looking for some fun activities for National Dictionary Day? It’s October 16th, which was Noah Webster’s (the father of the American dictionary) birthday! Hopefully, you’ve got dictionaries, maybe even a class set. They are, of course, great for looking up words and you will use them to teach dictionary skills, but there are also other great things you can do

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This quick and fun creative writing idea will have your students pushing their brains and using their creativity to write a short paragraph without repeating any words!

Quick and Fun Creative Writing Idea

Happy Chyck posted this great idea in her post, Squeezing Good Writing Out of Them. It seems like a good one to try during these squirrely-before-break days. So here is the idea: Assign your students to write a 6-sentence paragraph with no repeating words. Great for coming up with creative alternatives and great for thesaurus use. And as Happy Chyck noted, students seem to enjoy

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The REALLY Long List is a fantastic creative writing idea for the classroom. I provide several ideas for how you can use this list and what its theme can be. Your students will love the REALLY long list and will sure want it as a keepsake!

Creative Writing: The Really Long List

Remember this book? It first came out in 1990 and inspired countless teachers to have their students make their own Really Long Lists of things to be happy about. That is a great idea for several reasons: NOTE: As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. Keeping a Really Long List over time will result in many different entries – ones that would not have

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Wreck This Journal is a book for people--anyone!--to let out their creativity. Decorate, color, destroy, embellish, and make the pages yours. You can use it for yourself, or you could find a creative way to use it in the classroom!

Wreck This Journal

Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith is a great way to lose your inhibitions, think very creatively, and have fun. It is very much about coloring outside of the lines. Each page invites you to do something you’d never normally do to a journal, like… Poke holes in this page using a pencil Scribble wildly, violently with reckless abandon Pour, spill, drip, spit, fling your

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Give it a rest--your brain, that is! Try this creative thinking strategy of giving your brain a short break. When you come back, so has your creativity!

Give it a Rest: A Creative Thinking Strategy

Sometimes the best thing you can do when you can’t solve a problem is to stop trying. The brain needs time to rest, regroup, and to put everything you have been feeding into it together in meaningful ways. The perfect solution may pop into your head when you are focused on something completely different, or you may find the solution easily when you come back

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This Pass It On creative writing activity will be a great exercise in flexible thinking and letting go of some of the control. Your students will be given 10-15 minutes to start a creative story, and then everyone will pass his or her paper in the same direction to the next student. Students will again be given time, this time to read the story start they've received and then to add the middle. When the time is up, they'll pass it on one more time, and the next student will write the ending. It's a fun bonding exercise your students are sure to love!

Pass It on Creative Writing

This is a great activity for flexible thinking, as kids must let go of their own ideas, to some extent, and work with their classmates’ ideas. It is also great for practicing beginning, middle, end. It is a good one to try when you are between units or when your kids are a little squirrely.   What to do:   Have each student choose a

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Journaling Inspirations

Journaling Inspirations

The unexamined life is not worth living. -Socrates Journaling is a great way to explore thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and feelings. Consistent journalists will improve their writing skills, as well. A journal can be valuable simply as a record of what has occurred in a day, but it can be much more than that. Here are some ideas for when you get stuck. These ideas are aimed

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