Suggested Activities for Sentence Fluency, Word Choice and Voice

Sentence Fluency

  1. Play poetry being read by a poet.
  2. Read an example of an overblown, wordy business letter.
  3. Have students list the sentence beginnings of one of their essays, just the first 3 or 4 words. Do they all look alike? Have them rewrite one of the paragraphs using more varied sentence openings.
  4. Give students a simple sentence and have them rewrite it as many ways as they can in 3 minutes. They can change word forms, but not the meaning.

For example: You have to be responsible in order to succeed at your job.

Possible answers:

  1. Being responsible will help you succeed at your job.
  2. Succeeding at your job requires you to be responsible.
  3. In order to succeed at your job, you must be responsible.

Word Choice

  1. Give each student a word and have him/her track its history.
  2. Give students a short list of words and have them write the connotations of each one. Then have them write a sentence using the word.
  3. Give students paragraphs from books or magazines and have them underline the words that make the writing memorable. Discuss.