Expanding Vocabulary

Yesterday, in my reading, I came across a post talking about a “Verb Wheel” to help students choose more descriptive verbs for their writing.

For the emerging writer, it’s a great idea to provide all the support that you can.  I tracked back from the message to the source which was a blog post from July called “Vocabulary Expanders for English“.  The centre part of the wheel appears below.

It’s worth a visit to the site to see the entire wheel.

As it turns out, the post I read yesterday only makes reference to the wheel from this post.  There’s also another organizer in the post called “tone mood words”.

Both are good evidence of what can be done to help choose the appropriate words for writing.  I read comments from others about how great these were and that they would be nice to poster-ize and have placed around the classroom.  Not a bad idea.

But, I would suggest a better idea.  Using these as a model, why not create your own classroom resources built on the knowledge and levels of your own students?  Word walls are pretty common fare for the literacy classroom.  In particular, I’m thinking about the use of these things for the blogging classroom. 

I think that there are some pretty standard words and terms for everyday writing – do they translate immediately to blogging – or are there some terms that could only appear in the blogging world?

The goal, of course, is better writing. 



  1. I did something similar a few years back, but it started strangely enough. I was tired of hearing negative (possibly random curse words) responses in the class. We explored ways to better express our emotions in the class. I put our alternatives on a Bristol board in the class. The funniest part was seeing a student pick a favourite response and start using it. “I am incensed by this!”


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