How do you get your students to actually use all the figurative language, punctuation, and sentence types that you teach? Put them into the assignment! Using this assessment format, which I have developed over four years, consistently brings more similes, more prepositional phrases and more fun to writing than any other assignments I've used. Students choose from a menu of writing "spices" (figurative language, writing techniques and grammar concepts) to add variety to their main dish: their writing! I use the metaphor of spices to show them that variety improves our writing quality and the metaphor of a menu to show that they have a wide selection of wonderful techniques to include. When shown in this format, the students get it.
Before handing out, explain that the menu shows techniques that good writers use, and that they will select from those options and include them in their own writing. Then show them the method for highlighting and checking off which spices they have used. (The answer key shows how to highlight and use the spices in the writing.)
This assignment works best after introductory lessons or explanations of the menu options, such as compound subjects, alliteration and foreshadowing. Feel the integration as writing, reading and grammar collide!
I am excited for you to see the results of bringing some "spice" into your writing time!
Note: This file is Narrative 1-TOPIC: Please write a narrative that begins with “My luckiest day ever began when…”
The answer key shows example writing for this narrative.