Using and spelling useful vocabulary

Using and spelling useful vocabulary

This resource consists of 10 short texts where students are given a number of words (about 5 per text) to learn both their meaning and spelling. They are then required to put those words into the correct spaces in the corresponding text. The aim is for them to not only understand what the words mean but also be able to use the correct version and spelling of each one, using context as a clue. I think these words are fairly common ones but ones which students sometimes have difficulty spelling. I have also, surprisingly, found that the students are not always sure of their definitions and use. However, I think they are words which the students will need to know how to use in their writing. Along with the texts for completing I have also included texts with answers and word cards to use with each text.
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Punctuation Matching Game cards

Punctuation Matching Game cards

I created these cards to help my students revise the names and uses of basic punctuation. I have included10 different types of punctuation: one set of symbols, one set of names and a set of definitions. I have used them in a similar way to my language feature cards. Activity ideas: Give the students either the punctuation symbol cards and names, or symbols and definitions and get them to match them up. Or you could give them all three. You could see how quickly they can do it or, if you have two students you could see who can complete the matching first.
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Words that are better than... prompt cards

Words that are better than... prompt cards

I made up these cards as a help and prompt for my students to give them a variety of words to use instead of boring words such as "said", "big", "good" and a couple of others. I have presented them as framed documents that can be printed out and laminated for individual use, or possibly photocopy-enlarged for more general use. I may have gone a bit over the top with the number of alternative words for "good" and "bad" but I hope you will find it useful, and it won't hurt students to learn some new vocabulary as there are probably words included that they will not have come across before.
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Checklists for students writing for purpose

Checklists for students writing for purpose

I made up these cards to help my students self-check their writing. Each card lists elements that students should (or could) be using when writing for a specific purpose, e.g. instruction, description, report etc. I have tried to cover a wide range of writing styles and hope that I have covered most of the necessary elements in each one. There is one that covers writing in general which includes basics elements such as reading through for sense and spelling mistakes or adding more interesting words. I have printed them three to a page so that they can be printed out and used individually by students: either sticking them in their books or laminating them to use as a classroom resource handed out when needed. There will, no doubt, be elements that I missed, or not included on a particular card but I hope that you will find them useful.
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Student tick list -"I have used...sentence structures"

Student tick list -"I have used...sentence structures"

This was a quick sheet that I made up so that my students could check whether or not they had used a variety of sentence structures in their writing. I printed the sheet out and gave my students one tick-box to stick in their books next to each piece of writing as they did it. I then got them to review their work when they had finished and put a tick against each type of sentence structure they had used to make sure that they weren't using just simple or compound sentences. I found it helped them having a visual prompt and made them think about the structure of their writing as they went along.
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Identify the Language Feature

Identify the Language Feature

I created this activity to help students identify simple language features - simile, metaphor, personification and alliteration. There is a board onto which the langauge feature cards can be sorted and several sheets of cards with a variety of the language features listed above. There are probably more cards than you will want to use at once, but hopefully this means that pupils will not get to know the cards by heart too quickly - and you can always add more of your own. I have stuck with these basic language features as I find they are often the ones most confused by my students and they are also ones for which it is easier to give obvious examples. I think this activity could be played with both upper KS2 and KS3 pupils in either a one-to-one session or with a small group of two or three pupils - each pupil could have their own board and see who ended up with the most correct answers.
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Language Features Matching Pairs cards

Language Features Matching Pairs cards

This resource was designed to help my students learn a number of language features (16 actually) and to help them to identify examples of each one. I have included three sets of cards, having used each set in a slightly different way, and instructions for suggested activities. They are similar but may have slightly different content. I have included 'colour', 'contrast' and 'imagery' in each of the sets even though these are not always included amongst basic language features as I have found, when reading texts with my students, that 'colour' is used to create atmosphere or a particular image in the reader's mind - especially when it is used for symbolism. Obviously you may use as many or as few of the cards as you wish and may find alternative uses for them - e.g. using them as keyword prompts or for practising spellings. I hope both the cards and the activity suggestions I have included are useful.
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Holly Green's House - Letter-writing task

Holly Green's House - Letter-writing task

This activity was created as a bit of fun writing leading up to Christmas. The idea is to get the students to practise their letter writing skills, thinking about their audience, style and appropriate language. I envisage this being a semi-formal letter style but in a fun and light-hearted way which allows the students to use their imagination and be creative in the way they write as if they are Father Christmas. It can also be used for work on inference to see if students can work out what is being described before they get to the paragraph mentioning the Christmas tree, and to see if they can decide who is writing the narrative before they get to the task instructions.
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Sentence Structure Game

Sentence Structure Game

This board game was devised to use with small groups, or in one-to-one tutoring sessions, to reinforce recognition and use of different sentence structures (simple, compound and complex) but also includes vocabulary cards which encourage understanding, use and spelling of useful words, some of which are often misspelt. There are three boards which all differ but the cards can be used with all of them. The idea of the game is to be the first to reach the "finish" but the player is only able to move to the square indicated by the dice if the instruction on that square is completed correctly. This could be the student identifying a sentence type on a card, or producing a sentence of their own using any of a variety of conjunctions, also expecting the correct use of punctuation. As well as alternate game boards, sets of cards are included: there are sentence cards, two types of conjunction cards and word cards. Instructions are included but do not have to be followed rigidly and the game could easily be adapted to your own needs. I have used this game with year 7 and 8 but it could also be used with year 6 and even year 9 students.
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Storyboard template

Storyboard template

Use this generic template to get your students to create a storyboard for a range of subjects including English, history or geography. There are six boxes, each with lines underneath for a short description, heading or quotation.
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