Monthly Archives: November 2012

Hammer, skulk, sneer, plummet, crinkle, whip, thrill…

What is the title of this post made up of?

Yes!  It is full of STRONG VERBS!

Here is what one teacher thinks about writing without strong verbs:

“After reading 2300 papers that averaged 7 verbs each, I wanted to suck out my brain with the plunger I found lying in the custodial closet. Seconds before engulfing my face with rubberized fecal matter, my colleague down the hall recommended I teach students how to write with strong verbs. Thinking it a better alternative than plunging my brain and flushing it down the toilet in the custodian’s closet, I decided to give it a try.”  (modified excerpt taken from, written by Trent Lorcher)

Can you pick out a few strong verbs from this teachers opinion?  Here’s a hint:

Click here to read the article from which I copied this picture.  I suspect you will find it funny (AND full of strong verbs)!

Weak verbs suck the life out of an essay.  Strong verbs grip the reader, creating a picture your audience can inhabit.

Activity:  Try coming up with three different verbs that could replace ran or walked; said; and put (ie. to put something somewhere).  Click here if your are stuck– this page contains lists of strong verbs you can use in your writing.

Finally, remember that labouring over your word choice and searching for strong verbs is part of the editing process.  I do not expect you to come up with flashy verbs on your first draft; if you try this you may end up losing momentum and staring into space instead of moving your pencil.  Instead, grab a peer and go through your rough copy together, keeping on eye out for weak verbs you can exchange for strong ones.

**********Bonus points offered below****************************

PS.  I am offering bonus points if you can tell me the number of strong verbs in your rule essay!!  Leave a comment, or hand me a note in class, with the number and your name on it.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Urgent Message! Stop Writing!

Yes, you read that right.

If you are working on your final copy of the rules essay, STOP.  I know I told you to go ahead with it, but I am realizing we did not have enough time to work on your rough drafts.  There are a few more activities we will do, as a class, to work on your rough copy and make your writing even better.

If you have already written your final draft, do not fret.  We can figure it out on Friday.

Mrs. Reed

PS.  Pass this message along… I will not be in school tomorrow.


Filed under Uncategorized

Dramatic Storytelling

This is Diane Ferlatte, a professional storyteller who engages audiences all over the world.  How does she do it?

I’m looking forward to listening to all the storytellers in our class in the coming days!

Click here or copy and paste the following address into your web browser if you would like to  finish watching her tell the story of Brer Rabbit’s Dance:


Filed under Uncategorized

How much did you read tonight?

It has been fun to meet your parents these last two nights… One of the questions that came up often in the interviews was:  “I am wondering about my child’s homework?  Every night I ask her if she has homework and she says, ‘No.’  Is it really true–that they have no homework? ”

And then, guess what Ms. Cochrane and I said?

Yes, you know.

“If they are not studying for a test, or behind in their class work, there is still something they need to do every night…”


-Mrs. Reed

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin


Filed under Uncategorized

Who knows what kind of palm tree this is?

The answer has something to do with what you ate in class on Thurs. afternoon.


Filed under Uncategorized


Wow.  I just read through your writing.  You blew my socks off!  I would love to type out everyone’s work here, but I only have time to publish a few excerpts.  Keep up the great work, and check out all the verbs below!

“…Water slowly drips off my chin as I prepare to charge off the bright blue diving board.  I slowly accelerate my speed and I jump off the very tip of the diving board.  The water sparkles below me as the cool air brushes my hair.  I point my hands at the deep blue water as I gain speed.  I penetrate the layer of water like a knife cutting butter…”

Image Source : Bing/Google/Flickr Images. Image's trademark is the property of the trademark owners.

Image Source : Bing/Google/Flickr Images.


“My imagination twisting and winding…I grab my sketch book and I start curving and moving my hand.  I start to see a face…”

photo from shutterstock

“I love the feeling of smoothly strumming the strings.

  Also my hand clutching the neck, those fingers sore from pressing on the strings.

Then switching fret to fret, string to string.

The sweet sound of music fills the air.”


Filed under Uncategorized

Are you Ready for a Challenge?

If so, read on…

And I do mean, READ ON!

I, Mrs. Reed, hereby challenge the Grade 6E class to read 120 (or more) chapter books by the Christmas break.  This means that each of you will need to read at least four books.  Are you up for this?  In any case, the only answer I will accept is “yes”!

Each of you will be rewarded for your efforts.  Read the following quote to find out how:

“Reading is a university course in life; it makes us smarter by increasing our vocabulary and background knowledge of countless topics.  Reading allows us to travel to destinations that we will never experience outside of the pages of a book.  Reading is a great way to find friends who have the same problems as we do and who can give advice on solving those problems.  Through reading we can witness all that is noble, beautiful, or horrifying about other human beings.  From a book’s characters we can learn how to conduct ourselves.  And most of all, reading is a communal act that connects you to other readers, comrades who have traveled to the same remarkable places that you have and been changed by them too.”  (The book Whisperer, by Donalyn Miller)

More details to be shared in class…


Filed under Uncategorized