Tip: Colorful Writing
How do I do it?
When students are doing writing projects (e.g. narratives, spelling sentences, journal entries, etc.), encourage them to use “colorful” words. Model this by showing the students a simple sentence such as “The nice boy let me use his toy.” Help them brainstorm different ways to say this or to add more detail, such as “The generous boy shared his new Star Wars toy with me.” Ask them, which sentence sounds more interesting? Which one creates a better image in your head?
If you want them to use this strategy in story telling, have them rewrite the sentence “‘Nice to meet you,’ she said.” Is there a more interesting way to say this? What about “‘It’s a pleasure to meet you!’ she exclaimed.”
Post this list of colorful adjectives and verbs somewhere in the classroom (or make your own) for them to refer to if they get stuck, or encourage them to use a thesaurus.
Try this list for younger students.
Variations & Extensions:
Have students create their own “colorful” thesaurus with a variety of different verbs and adjectives they can use to make their writing more interesting. Have them start the entry with “Instead of saying nice, I can use….. kind, generous, giving, pleasant” etc. Remind them to leave room on the page for when they find new colorful words to add to each entry!
Common Core ELA Language Standard 3
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.