Descriptive writing is good, but too often authors depend on adjectives and adverbs to do the describing. Writing is stronger when writers use STRONG nouns and STRONG verbs.

For example, instead of saying, ” The large, shaggy dog was breathing noisily with its mouth open,” say, “The sheepdog panted.” A much stronger word picture! Or instead of writing, “The very small dog was making an irritating noise,” write, “The toy poodle yipped.” Once again, a stronger word picture (for more on writing word pictures, check out the “Word Pictures Blog”).

See the video above for more examples of strong nouns and strong verbs. Share the video with your students for a mini-writing lesson (they’ll enjoy and hopefully remember the noun and verb “muscles” in this video as a reminder when they write). Then have your students do the Strong Nouns, Strong Verbs handout below to practice writing their own strong nouns and verbs.

As always, be aware as readers. Have students point out strong nouns and strong verbs they find when they read books. Then encourage them to review a piece of their own writing from their writing folders. Have them use a highlighter to mark strong nouns and strong verbs they used in their pieces. Next, ask them to revise and add stronger nouns and verbs to places in their writing pieces that could benefit from them.

By all means, share some of your young authors’ strong nouns and strong verbs in the comments section below. Thanks and have fun making writing VISIBLE!



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