Jazz up your narrative writing with effective word choice.

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Are your students ready for some ideas to jazz up their narrative writing pieces? With simple word-choice strategies during the revision process, the entire story can take a different shape. So, let's get started with some strategies and techniques you can use in the classroom to promote effective word choice.

Step 1: Modeling Revisions

First, show your students how word choice can change a story. In this example, we added a more descriptive setting and imaginative sound words. Take a look:

Original: Lying under my bed, I heard a sound in the kitchen.

Revised: Cowering in the dark under my massive bed, I noticed an unusual sound as if something were being dragged across the kitchen floor. As I peeked out, I discovered the “thud-screech-thud” I was hearing was…

Here is another example:

Original: Sitting by some bushes, I heard someone walking on leaves nearby.

Revised: As I crouched down in the bushes, I hoped the rustling noise growing louder behind me was just my dog on the hunt to find me. However, …


Step 2: Add to the Revision Toolbox

Now, it is time to give your students tools to add to their toolbox. Since we are discussing word choice strategies, why not provide your students with the Verbs of Action and Verbs of Sound chart? (We've provided it for you below!)  Encourage your students to refer to this chart as they go through the revision step of the writing process.

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Step 3: Keep adding to the Revision Toolbox

Of course, you don't want to stop there. As teachers, we need to constantly introduce new resources for revision to our students. Be on the lookout for more ideas in future blog posts!

Remember, as you model revision strategies for your students and give them resources to refer to, you are giving them the tools to become better communicators! These tools will prove beneficial not only during their school years, but also in their future careers.



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Cindy Goeden

Cindy Goeden has enjoyed being involved with Shurley English for the last sixteen of her twenty-six years in the field of education.  Working with various levels of students in elementary, junior, and high schools, in both the private and public arenas, Cindy surely is thankful for the providential day that she was introduced to Shurley English, which changed forever her approach to Language Arts instruction. That has led to her current job of having the joy of sharing about Shurley with other educators.  Her love of learning has prodded her to earn over two hundred and twenty hours, which includes two bachelor degrees in education.


Cindy currently lives with her husband, Donald, in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she enjoys puttering in her flowers, changing up her décor with the seasons, and occasionally getting out and traveling with Donald to either explore a new beach or view historic sights and gardens.