I grade essays with the six traits of writing model. Yes, I know that there is a +1 now, but I continue to use the original six for my instruction. This post isn’t about the traits, but to share a few lessons I use to teach the importance of the traits.
Word Choice is an important factor for creating a clear picture in the reader’s mind, plus it connects to the voice of the essay. One lesson I use is Word Choice Carousel. Below is a Snapguide covering the basic instructions.
Another assignment I use to reinforce Word Choice and Voice is a Visual Tone assignment. Below are the instructions:
1. First you will use Google Images (or any other search engine you choose) to search for photographs of different tones connected to your essay topic. Browse among pictures until you find images that really interest you.
You may also use your own photos for this. Use photos that create a tone. Yes, you may add filters to create a better expression of the tone.
2. Choose three possible pictures (three different tones). For each picture, use befunky (or any photo editing application you choose) to add two words that could be used to describe the photographs. Use both literal and figurative language in your descriptions (e.g., a desert might be described as “dry” or “hot” but you can also use words like “hopeless” or “clean”). Another option is to use Google Slides to add the pictures and text.
3. Save the pictures as a jpg or png if you use a photo editing site. If you used Google Slides share the presentation.
Word Choice and Voice can be difficult traits for students to understand. These two lessons can help the students understand the that words create a tone or vision for the reader.