Do your kids use "a lot" or "cool" or "fun" or "said" so many times throughout their stories or essays you want to scream? Time to kill some words in your students' writing pieces and introduce a Dead Words activity!
To start; have your students work in pairs to identify or choose one of the words from the given list they will 'kill' and no longer use in their writing. This dead word will instead be replaced by synonyms that will help make their writing stronger. Together, the students will look up (using tech or a dictionary/thesaurus) alternative words they can use when they come across this dead word in the future.
Once the brainstorming sheet is completed and approved (for spelling and correct words) they may begin working on the class reference poster. Each word listed on the brainstorm sheet has a subsequent poster to match. These can be printed on larger paper or cardstock and hung around the room for students to reference throughout the year while writing or peer editing. Once all pairs have completed their poster, you will have a multitude of replaced words for the class to refer to.
I have done this activity across many years and have found it to be highly engaging all year round - the class becomes very cognizant of replacing those dead, overused words in order to make their writing richer.
*This document is presented in WORD Doc form to allow for editing so you can choose alternative words if you feel your class needed to focus on other words to remove from their writing.
Fonts used for preferred viewing: KG Chasing Cars, DJB Number 2 Pencil, and KG Be Still and Know (all available on dafont.com)