How to start building Vocabulary

Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary | download free pdf
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Published Date:01-07-2017
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  Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary National Behaviour Support Service                   Writing with Wow Words Introduction In order to develop deep understanding of words, students need to see, hear, and use new vocabulary in different ways. Getting students to think of ‘Wow’ words, notice ‘Wow’ words in their reading or in speech, as well as using ‘Wow’ words in their writing, are ways to deepen understanding. One way to support and develop writing is by having students consider how to incorporate ‘Wow’ words into their written work. For example pointing out how using a more vibrant word than ‘said’, in their creative writing means the reader gets a greater understanding of a character or situation. Using ‘Wow’ words students can build a better picture in the mind of the reader, grabbing their attention and making them want to read on. ‘Wow’ words are adventurous and exciting language that students can use in their speech and writing. Focusing on building students’ store of ‘Wow’ words can deepen their understanding of language as well as develop their written work. Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 4                     Writing with ‘Wow’ Words The following creative writing ideas demonstrate how ‘Wow’ words can be incorporated into student story writing.   Story Starters A selection of story starters can be used initially as a brainstorming activity. First the teacher demonstrates or models the possibilities that are contained in a story title. Title: They walked away sadly, promising never to return again… To demonstrate possible characters or settings think of several examples of who ‘they’ could be and from ‘where’ they are walking. They students Where the last day of school They aliens Where the Earth They football team Where after a match They teenagers Where a concert by their favourite band They friends Where a party at another friend’s house Point out that characters can be any age, nationality, profession etc and that stories can take place anywhere, anytime – future, past, present, during an historical event etc. Draw attention to how stories are written for different audiences – younger children, tweenies, teenagers, young adults, boys, girls etc. You could demonstrate this by reading different paragraphs from a selection of reading material. Also think about how students who may struggle with writing could create a story aimed at a younger audience or younger brother or sister. Divide students into groups of 4 or 5. Each group must suggest as many different ‘they’ and ‘where’ ideas as they can in 3 minutes. You could turn this into a competition to see who can come up with the most. The aim is creativity and a chance for students to use their imaginations Each group must also choose their top 3 favourites from all of the ideas the group generates. Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 5                     The time limit is important to keep the activity moving. Each group then shares their ideas with the whole class. After this the groups must choose one idea and in 5 minutes flesh out this idea a little more. You could encourage them to think of the 5Ws – who, what, when, where and why – while developing their ideas. Each group then shares their work. Story Starters & the 5Ws Now students are given the opportunity to come up with the 5Ws for a number of stories. Read out a selection of story starters (see some examples below that could be tweaked for your students or create your own). Distribute the story starters. Each group could get different story starters.     1. A beautiful woman/man walks by your table in a restaurant and hands you a napkin discreetly. You open up the napkin and it says… 2. A man is running down the lane screaming. He has blood all over his clothing. He bumps into you and explains what happened. You listen, and begin to tremble in fear. What did the man just tell you? 3. A woman is jogging down the street with her black Labrador. You smile pleasantly at her and continue down the road. The woman stops jogging and shouts a warning to you. You can’t hear that well because of the traffic. You ask her to repeat it, what does she tell you? Continue the story… 4. Alone on the beach, the wind whips a little boy’s hair. He looks around but cannot find his family. He is in a strange country/planet etc. He does not remember the last two days. What's happened to him? Where is his family? Why is he there? 5. You’re a soldier in a war. You just watched your best friend get shot in the leg. You know you only have a few minutes to escape. What do you do? Do you run? Do you try to help your friend? Or do you shoot back at the enemy? When is this war taking place – past, present or future? 6. The boat groans loudly. Everywhere passengers are screaming. You know you don’t have much time but you need to find your friend. You look around but can only see panicked people who are boarding the lifeboats. You don’t want to leave without her/him, but you don’t want to stay on a sinking ship… 7. The loud clicking of her heels hit the pavement. She had to keep running. Her breath was hot and thick, and she was tired, but she couldn’t stop. If she stopped that would be the end. Why is she running? 8. The man/woman started the engine. The purr of it eased his/her tense muscles. It had been a long time since s/he was in a race car. S/He wondered if it would come back to Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 6                     him/her. The man/woman eased the car into gear, and slowly pulled out of the parking lot. Where is s/he going? What is s/he doing in a race car? 9. A construction crew is on break at the building site. The foreman is watching the crew. Suddenly a fight breaks out. He runs and stops it. He glares at the carpenter and the plumber. Why were they fighting? 10. Pat and Sam have been best friends since they were sixteen. Two months ago they had had a huge fight and haven’t talked since. What happened? Why haven’t they made up? 11. A young woman sits crying on the bench. A man approaches, and almost decides to walk away. He doesn’t. He hands the woman a tissue and asks her why she’s crying. What does she tell him? 12. A woman inherits €400,000 from a relative she didn’t even know. The woman has just fallen on hard times, so the money is a blessing. She decides it’s time to move and start fresh. Where does she go and why? 13. You and the love of your life have packed a picnic. Finding the "perfect" spot by a stream, you begin unpacking lunch onto the yellow checked blanket you have spread on the ground. You are thinking how wonderful it is, so quiet, so private. You stand and look down the stream toward the old mill. You wonder if some other couple long ago sat by the stream. Then you notice someone behind a tree not so far away - a girl in a long flowing dress. Could it be someone from days gone by? Who is it? Why is she here? Is she looking for someone? 14. It is Xmas and everyone is sleeping. Suddenly, you hear the faint sound of sleigh bells approaching.... 15. You open the dreaded gift from Aunt Bertha, expecting to find the usual useless gift. You pull out a glowing ball of material you have never seen before. You inspect it for a moment and then tuck it away in the corner with your other useless gifts. That night, as you are drifting off to sleep, you hear a faint whirring sound coming from the corner of your room… 16. The first time s/he saw him in uniform, his/her heart stopped. Now, here s/he was.... 17. Her face burned red as she recognised her diary sitting on his desk. How could he.... 18. You roll through Mc Donald’s drive-thru, order your usual and wait for the cashier to repeat it back to you. Only, he doesn't repeat it. Instead, through the speaker, you hear a very unusual/interesting conversation… 19. When you were little, you could swear there was a monster under your bedbut no one believed you. On the eve of your 30th birthday, you hear noises coming from under your bed once again. The monster is back and has an important message to deliver to you... Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 7                     20. You're at a Chris Brown concert when you receive a text from a friend that says, "You'll never believe what just happened to me" In the form of a text chat, find out what happened to your friend. 21. You're sitting at work one day and receive a text message from an unrecognised number. The text says, "I have the money and hid the body." You think this is a practical joke from a friend, so you play along at first. But the more texts you receive, the more you realise that it isn't a joke. Write the text conversation and story. 22. A man buys a parrot and is horrified when he discovers the only thing it can say is, “If you ever tell anyone what you saw, I’ll kill you.” (You can change what the parrot says). 23. You awaken with amnesia in what looks to be an igloo/strange planet/pyramid etc. You have €4, a rock in one pocket and a toothbrush in the other. Someone is staring at you... Write this scene/story. 24. You are out to lunch with people you work with, when you bump into a close friend who refers to you by a nickname. Because of its unusualness, the nickname catches the interest of one of your co-workers who asks for the story behind it. Start your story with, "This may come as a surprise, but ... " and end it with, "And that's how I got the nickname”. 25. Your best friend has been arrested for illegally downloading music. While in jail, s/he asks you to go to his/her house and clear everything off the computer. As you start deleting files, you notice a folder called "Top Secret." Out of curiosity, you open it— and are shocked by what you find… 26. After years of leading a normal life, you discover you have a special ability. Afraid to share this information with anyone, you confide only in your closest friend. To your surprise, your friend shares some information with you—he also has a super power… 27. The government has issued a warning that a particular (and common) household item is having an unusual side effect on children. Worse yet, you own this item. You rush home to check on your kids. When you get there, you're shocked to find that your kids have.... Write this scene/story. 28. Write a short story based on your favourite song, using the song’s title as your story’s title and the lyrics for your plot. 29. Babies typically talk in babbles that adults can't understand. But one day, while at the park, you're sitting on a bench next to two babies. They start their babbling and all of a sudden you realise you can understand them. Even more, they are plotting a wicked plan. Write this scene/story.   Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 8                     Story Organisers Students now examine the different components of a story in more depth. Story maps or organisers can help students define characters, events, main ideas and details. Give students 10/15 minutes to come up with the 5Ws (who, what, when, where and why) for a selection of the above stories. Remind them that stories are written to entertain and writers use comedy, suspense, mystery, a twist, romance, etc. to do this. Use the story maps and organisers on the following pages to support this work. Choose the story map that best suits your students’ learning styles or design one that relates to their interests – e.g. in the shape of a football, etc. Initially demonstrate how to use story maps with students before they use them on their own. Below is an example of a teacher brainstorm on a ‘scary story’ to demonstrate with students how ideas are organised. Scary Story Ideas Teacher Brainstorm When? Where? e.g. On a stormy night e.g. Old house In the future Empty building At midnight Amusement Park Characters e.g. Old Man Vampire Setting Little Girl Where and when does the story take place? TITLE   What? (main idea/problem) Why? e.g. Getting Lost (adventure) (Why is there a problem?) Discovering a Family Secret (mystery) Based on choice of settings, main Falling in love with a Vampire (horror) idea, etc. Complete with students Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 9                     Student Story Organisers   Characters When? Where?               Setting                       Scary Story     Characteristics           What? Why?   (main idea/problem) (Why is there a     problem?)                     Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 10                     The 5Ws of My Story               Who?                 What? Why?                         Title           When? Where?                     Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 11                     What happened? Story Map             Where did it happen? When did it happen?                   Story     Map     Who was involved How did it happen?   in the events?                   Why did it happen?                     Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 12                     The 5Ws and the 1H     WHO? WHAT? WHEN? TITLE WHERE? WHY? HOW? Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 13                     Story Organiser Setting Characters Problems Events Solutions Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 14                     The 5Ws To help you plan your story complete the chart with as much information as possible.   Who?           Who are the main   characters and what   are they like?     What ?     What is the story   about?     What is the     problem and how is it sorted?       When?         When does the   story take place?             Where?         Where does the   story take place?           Why?         Why is there a   problem?         Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 15                     The 5Ws Flower To help you plan your story, fill out as much detail as you can in each petal. What Who When Why Where Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 16                     Developing the Elements After students have tried creating the skeleton or plan of a story using the 5Ws and some story starters, it is now time for them to choose their favourite story to develop further. After they have chosen a story to develop further they then take each element that they have outlined in the story map and begin to add more detail to each section. See examples below on character development and plot development. Character Description Think about your main character and use the headings below to help you build up a description or picture of him or her. You can also use these headings for the other characters in your story. Character Name: NickName: Age: Male/Female: Marital Status: Hair Colour: Height: Eye Colour: Distinguishing Features: (beard, tattoos, scars, special powers, etc): Strengths: Weaknesses: Parents: Sisters/brothers: Friends: Personal Qualities, Traits or Superpowers (e.g.: charm; luck; humour; wisdom, invisibility, etc) Hobbies: Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 17                     The Plot Look at the plot diagram below and the example of the plot diagram using the story Cinderella. Climax:  high  point  or  turning  point   Falling  Action   Rising  Action   Conclusion/Solution  or  Reaction   Rising  Action   Rising  Action   Climax:  high  point  or  turning  point   Set  Up:  Ist  event   The  prince  says  he  will  marry  the   woman  the  slipper  fits.   Introduction  or  opening  scene:   setting,  introducing  characters   Rising  Action   Falling  Action   Cinderella  leaves  at     The  step  sisters  and   in  a  rush  at  midnight   Cinderella  try  on  the   and  loses  her  slipper.   slipper.   Rising  Action   Cinderella  goes  to  the  ball   and  dances  with  the  prince.   Conclusion/   Rising  Action   Solution  or   A  fairy  godmother  appears  and   Reaction   provides  Cinderella  with  all  she   Cinderella  and  the   needs  to  go  to  the  ball   prince  marry  and  live   Rising  Action   happily  ever  after.   The  stepsisters  prepare   for  and  go  to  the  ball.   Set  Up:  Ist  event   An  invitation  to  a  ball   at  the  palace  arrives.   to  the  house   Introduction  or  opening  scene:     Cinderella  lives  unhappily  with   her  stepmother  and  stepsisters.   Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 18                     To support students in developing the plot of their story use the diagrams on the previous page. Or create examples using well known stories and get students to rearrange the plot and sequence of events in the correct order. After this, have students plan possible opening scenes, starting events, etc for their own story. Students can use a plot graph/diagram similar to the example here or a storyboard, mind map/concept map or other graphic organiser to help them develop their story structure further (see examples below). Make sure they also go back over and use the planning they have done before this. Storyboard Here’s how I picture the main character… Here’s how I see the setting… Here’s the problem… Here’s an important event… Here’s another important event… Here’s one other important event… This is the solution… And this is what happens at the end. Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 19                     Plot Your Story Setting Character Traits Where and when does the story take Who are the major characters and how place? could you describe them? Conflict/Problem Plot: Rising Action What is the problem or conflict? What events lead to the conflict? Plot Climax Plot: Falling Action How does the conflict unfold and how How is the conflict resolved? are the major characters affected? Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 20                     Students could complete a facebook page and post some some tweets for each character in their story. Home              Profile              Friends              Inbox  (1)     Settings   Log  out   facebook         Username:    Characters  name  here         Wall   Info   Photo   +           Basic  information  _________________________________________________________________     Sex:     Current  City:     Birthday:     Relationship  Status:     Looking  for:     View  photos  of  me  (34)   Political  Views:       Religious  Views:           Personal  Information  _______________________________________________________________     Activities:     Interests:     Favourite  Music:     Favourite  TV  shows:         Favourite   Information     Quotations:     Relationship  Status:     About  Me:           Current  City:   Contact  Information  _______________________________________________________________         Birthday:   Email:       Current  address:     Friends                   Education  and  Work  _______________________________________________________________               College:               High  School:     Employer:                 Position:       Description:           Groups  __________________________________________________________________________           Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 21                           Name:     Location:     Username   Bio:       234   12   followers   following     About  5  minutes  ago  from  web   Tweets   Favorites     About  2  hours  ago  from  web                       Writing with Wow Words and Building Vocabulary 22    

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