1. Circle the verbs. Collect synonym substitutes.
Collect verbs from a single news update. Challenge students to craft substitute sentences by brainstorming alternative verbs that could also be used to craft strong texts. Create a collection of active verbs from a season of updates. Invite students to create list poems that feature the verbs and reveal key events that drive the story of migration.
2. Scan for and replace passive verbs.
After studying a variety of mentor texts, revisit your own writing drafts. Look for where you use the verb "to be" in the piece. Scan for variations, such as "is" "was," and "were." Look for -ing words proceeded by is, was, and were. Challenge yourself to replace some of these more passive versions with single active verbs. Decide where and when the active verbs create more energized writing.
3. Create a writing guide with related words.
Make an alphabet grid to collect verbs related to monarch butterflies, hummingbirds, robins, or other topics of news updates you are reading. Create a second grid for specific nouns related to the topic. Use your grids as reference guides when crafting writing pieces.
4. Provide guided practice with journal pages.
Study a photo and brainstorm specific nouns and active verbs based on details you see. Craft "power sentences" as captions for the photo.