- Play poetry being read by a poet.
- Read an example of an overblown, wordy business letter.
- 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.
- 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.
- Being responsible will help you succeed at your job.
- Succeeding at your job requires you to be responsible.
- In order to succeed at your job, you must be responsible.
- Give each student a word and have him/her track its history.
- 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.
- Give students paragraphs from books or magazines and have them underline the words that make the writing memorable. Discuss.