We have been working on synonyms all week and, WOW, what a difference I have seen in their writing! I frequently heard my writers talking about the 'boring' words that they used synonyms for in their stories. To celebrate our increasing vocabularies, we cooked up some delicious synonym cinnamon buns! They were so proud of the powerful words they have been writing and saying, not to mention they LOVED rocking the chefs' hats!
We also spent time putting said to bed this week. I thought I would include a picture of an anchor chart that we created one morning after reading My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco. My students were amazed at how many different ways they could communicate in their oral and written language instead of just using "said." In fact, this minilesson went beyond any guidelines for a proper minilesson! We had the best discussion that I just could not find it in my teacher's heart to stop. After being at the mat for about 30 minutes (and completely engaged!), I apologized to my writers for taking up so much of their writing time. On of my little friends spoke up and said, "But Mrs. Goldhardt, this was so worth it!" If that doesn't SCREAM meaningful instruction, then I don't know what does.