Using Wonderopolis for a Spook-tacular Writing Workshop Lesson

Oct 29, 2012

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Phillips Family

Writing workshop is well under way in my second grade classroom.  Recently, our mini-lessons have centered around "word choice", and "showing, not just telling".  Furthermore, our word work practice last week centered around synonyms, so we talked about "so, so" words that we could jazz up a bit by replacing them with a synonym.  While reading aloud to my class, students have been busy jotting down words they would like to try to use in their own writing, and we talked about how those words could be used, and what types of words they can replace in their own writing.

Wonder of the Day #752 Do You Get Spooked Easily? went perfectly with all of the recent work we have been doing in writing workshop.  First, the Wonder provided many synonyms for the word scared, including frightened, alarmed terrified, startled, unnerved, and petrified.  It also provided some phrases that describes being scared.  I can't count how many times students have come to me with a story that says, I was so so so scared. The Wonder was a perfect opportunity to model a different choice.

As a class we made a list of words to use instead of scared, including the words Wonderopolis provided us with.  We then spent a few minutes individually writing sentences using those synonyms and some phrases.  Some students used the phrases provided by Wonderopolis, while others used some they created on their own.  Some of the phrases students came up with to show they were scared were:

  • I was startled so badly that my heart pounded out of my chest.
  • I was so terrified that my guts came out.
  • I was so unnerved that I got the worst goosebumps of my life.

I did name that many of the phrases students were making up were a hyperbole.  Although we haven't spent time on this author's craft yet, I did feel the need to name the craft for students.  Many students were excited to be learning such a "cool" word.

If you are looking for some more lessons on synonyms, check out these synonym resources from readwritethink.

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