Encouraging our little writers to take full advantage of the English language is an important aspect of teaching writing skills.
Children tend to default to using the same basic verbs in their writing, and we can open their eyes to all the possibilities with a decree that “said is dead”!
Even from the earliest ages we can help our students understand that there are many verbs they can use instead of “said”.
How to use this?
Try reading out an example like the one below to your class, showing how repetitive the word “said” can be in a story.
Then brainstorm with them what alternative words they could use.
I find it useful to do that first, before then putting up on the screen or handing out printable resource of the “Instead of Said” poster.
After making their suggestions, and retelling the story, the kids can then scan through finding other suitable words to use in the story.
I like to keep the poster visible around the class, and will usually then start to see the students use these alternatives in their own stories.
Kids will often write a story using the verb “said” over and over…
I looked under my bed and saw a monster. As soon as I saw it I said “Ahhh!”.
I ran downstairs and found my sister. “I just saw a monster” I said to her.
My sister said “don’t be silly, monsters aren’t real!”