Thursday, December 4, 2008

Word Choice, taken from R.Culham

Word Choice: A Definition for Primary Students

When we explore word choice in the classroom, we focus on the parts of speech that writers use to convey meaning - the nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, contractions, gerunds, and s on. These terms may conjure up chilling moments from high school English class, but word choice is not about grammar. It's about selection words carefully to craft fluent sentences and create a lasting image in the reader's mind. We know that primary students are well on their way to making wise word choices when they:
  • play with letters to make words.
  • attempt to write words they have heard.
  • try new ways of saying things.
  • express an interest in the role of different kinds of words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and so on).
  • develop a curiosity about language.
  • use the perfect word in the perfect place.
  • try sensory words.
  • use language with precision.
"Artists develop a love for the feel of their tools, the smell and texture of clay, wood or paint...Writers love words. And while some writers get excited over a particular pen or a more powerful word processing program, words remain the most important tool the writer has to work with." by Ralph Fletcher

As we move on to trait 4, let's think about how we can use our read alouds to assist our primary students with word choice. Let's also reflect on the poetry we are using on a regular basis and see if we can find any connections.

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