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"My Humorous and Helpful Thoughts About Teaching / Educational Resources for Your Classroom / Music and Random Fun"

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Using Specific Nouns in Writing

I've often told my students to close their eyes and imagine a dog. Next, I ask them what they see. There are usually as many different answers as students in the room because writing about a dog just doesn't point our readers in any set direction.

However, if I ask them to see a golden retriever puppy, they know what to imagine, if they've been lucky enough to know one. When it comes to writing, the author wants to lead the reader into what it is that they see. That is why my second blog tip is to use specific nouns in writing.

Rather than writing about candy, try saying chocolate. Of course, chocolate is not enough. Maybe Hershey bar would be more specific or Hershey bar with almonds. See the difference?

To teach students how to use specific nouns, I like to throw out vague nouns and see what they can do to make them more specific.
  • girl
  • chair
  • sign
  • book
Which is better?

The girl sat in a chair under a sign and read a book.


The two-year-old girl climbed into the wooden rocking chair, under the Furniture Department sign and studied the golden retriever puppy in her cardboard picture book.

Now, it's your turn to teach your writers how to use specific nouns!

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Using specific nouns in writing, #iteach #tpt


Binky said...

Dark Wombanian chocolate is the best!

Mike Golch said...

May I suggest you Removen and replace you on the fence's not showing up the way it it supposed to at least for me that is.

Catch My Words said...

Thanks. I hadn't messed with that in years.