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I use this Dead Words activity every year with my students to support word choice and language within their writing. You can use this with several levels and it can be easily differentiated. For my older students, I have have them brainstorm words that they see in their own writing that sound boring or are over used. They then look for synonyms in either a classroom dictionary or on their chromebooks. For the younger students, I provide the visual also included in this activity, in which they each pick one dead word to create the headstone. They can then decorate the headstone how they like. I usually do this unit end of September, early October. I use the Headstones to create a dead words cemetery Bulletin board which adds some Halloween fun into the room, as well as provide a great visual for the students to use while working on their independent writing.
This Freebie I use as an independent practice that follows up with the dead words lesson, in which the students use what they learned to edit their own writing.
Check out the full lesson resources in my "Halloween Dead Words Writing Activity / Bulletin Board" product.