Shades of Meaning & Strong Word Choice

Help early elementary students improve their writing by teaching word choices through integrating shades of meaning. These strategies will help your students grow as writers!

Anyone else ever get totally sick of seeing your students use the most booooooring words ever in their writing?? The word choice is just downright frustrating!

I can’t tell you how many times students will tell an incredible story about something that’s happened, but when they go to write about it, the word choice is downright BORING.

The roller coaster was fun. I was so happy. It was cool.

You’ve been there, right?!

That’s why I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite ways to help students choose better, stronger words in their writing. Plus, there’s a free resource at the end for you!

Synonym Posters

One of the easiest and simplest things I ever did in my 2nd grade classroom was hanging these synonym posters. Even before some of my mini-lessons on word choice, students used them to help with their writing!

Image shows Synonym posters on bulletin board

They are a great way to help your students branch out and use more interesting words in their writing. When we’re working on revising and word choice, I tell students to circle boring words like sad, good, like, fun, etc. so that they know to go back and choose stronger, more descriptive words.

Guess what?! There’s a free set of synonym posters at the end of this blog post!

Mentor Texts for Descriptive Writing

What better way to teach descriptive writing than to read picture books with great examples of strong word choice!

Five Mentor Texts for Descriptive Writing

Here’s a list of a five of my favorite mentor texts to use:

*All of the links to these books are Amazon affiliate links. I make a very small commission if you choose to purchase a book through my link. This helps keep my little corner of the internet up & running!

Shades of Meaning Activity {FREE}

I wanted to share with you a great collaborative activity you can do with your students to work on shades of meaning. In this activity, you will split your students into groups of 3 to 4. Then, give each group a set of 5 words with a similar meaning.

Images shows synonyms for happy: thrilled, pleased, satisfied, and ecstatic,

Each group will have a few minutes to discuss and place the words in order from least happy to happiest. After, each group will share how they ordered them and why. There is no right or wrong way for students to order these words!

This is a great way to get your students talking about the importance of word choice and how it impacts your writing!

I have this FREE shades of meaning activity for the words happy, sad, good, and like. PLUS, I’ve included the synonym posters for each of them!

Free Activity & Poster Set for shades of meaning

Your turn! Share how you teach shades of meaning and improve word choice in your students writing! Join Simply Creative Teachers on Facebook to get more ideas!

Keep reading here for more ideas to use in your early elementary classroom!

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