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Universal Lesson Plan Template – Curry Secondary Program

Name: Ashley Townsend Lesson Topic/Lesson Length: Vivid Verbs / ~35 minutes

Content Area: English language arts Grade Level(s): 7th grade, advanced

Class Context: 23 students, students are motivated, extremely outgoing with one another, tend to talk out during
instruction, prefer teacher to pull sticks for participation

Lesson Content
Background Information/ Relevance/ Context/ Rationale (Purpose) – Please be clear about how this particular lesson is situated within
the current instructional sequence (i.e., unit), why this content important for students to learn, and how you will convey the relevance and significance of
this lesson to students.

This lesson is designed to be a mini-lesson on vivid verbs. Students are currently writing a narrative composition for a
local writing contest (Writer’s Eye). Students will be assessing their own writing to see whether it contains vivid verbs.
This content is important for students to learn because students need to be able to include vivid verbs in their own
narrative writing. This relevance will be conveyed to students throughout the lesson.

Relevant VSOLs/CCSSs – Include only the standards addressed by this particular lesson

VSOLs
7.7 The student will write in a variety of forms to include narrative, expository, persuasive, and reflective, with an
emphasis on expository and persuasive writing.
n. Revise writing for clarity of content including specific vocabulary and information.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details,
and well-structured event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3.D
Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey
experiences and events.

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Universal Lesson Plan Template – Curry Secondary Program

Learning Targets -- Please reference these learning targets throughout your lesson plan.
As a result of this lesson, students will…

Understand:

1. Students will understand that including a variety of vivid verbs in their writing is a way to engage their audience.

Know:

2. Students will know how to include vivid verbs in their writing.

Do:

3. Students will be able to include vivid verbs in their writing.

Assessments: – How will you know if students have met/made progress towards the learning targets? Be sure these assessments are integrated
throughout the procedures and steps in the lesson outlined below.

Diagnostic Formative Summative


Method of assessment: Method of assessment: Method of assessment:
N/A Revision of writing N/A
Description of assessment: Description of assessment: Description of assessment:
N/A Students will be revising what they have N/A
written so far for their Writer’s Eye
Aligned with which Learning Target(s): composition. Students will be specifically Aligned with which Learning Target(s):
N/A revising “verbs to beware of” and trying N/A
Criteria for assessment: to replace them with “vivid verbs.” Criteria for assessment:
N/A Aligned with which Learning Target(s): N/A
How data will be used: 1, 2, 3 How data will be used:
N/A Criteria for assessment: N/A
• Are students able to revise their
writing to replace “verbs to
beware of” with “vivid verbs”?
How data will be used:
This data will be used to inform future
writing conferences with students. I will
be continuously holding writing
conferences with students. After students
have revised their compositions, I will be
looking at them in Google Classroom. I will
be using this data to discuss with students
during their writing conference. If
students require additional help or
instruction for vivid verbs, I will address it
during the writing conferences.
Materials/ Supplies/ Sources/ Digital and Interactive Instructional Technology (if appropriate): – Please list all necessary
instructional supplies, materials, and sources. Make sure that these are clearly labeled and referenced throughout the lesson plan to enhance clarity.
● Appendix A: Vivid Verbs Slides
● Appendix B: Big Paper
● Appendix C: Markers

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Universal Lesson Plan Template – Curry Secondary Program

Beginning Room Set Up: -How is the room set up when the students enter? Is there anything written on the board or projected on the screen? Are
their handouts, books, etc. that are laid out for students to pick up as they enter?

The room will be set up with students sitting in pairs (normal setup). Mentor teacher will have the “Welcome” screen
projected on the board, which signals to students what they should be doing. I will have some of the big papers set up
throughout the room. One poster will be on the main board, but will not be set up until after I’ve gone through the
slides. There will be 2 posters on the white board at the back of the room. There will be 2 posters on students’ desks.
These 2 posters will not be in place until the students are starting to get into their groups.

Proactive Planning for Learning Differences: – What planned supports have you included to make the content accessible for all learners (i.e.,
groups of students and/or specific students) and to build upon learners’ diversity? Be sure any modifications are explicitly explained in the procedures/steps
outlined below.

Students will have the opportunity to work within a small group to practice the skill before trying it in their own writing.
This will really help one of our students (Sasha). He struggles with confidence and this will help to increase it.
Additionally, I’ve included an activity that requires movement to help Adam.

Procedures/Steps in the Lesson: -- May follow a specific model (i.e., Direct Instruction, Jigsaw) or be more open-ended. Be sure to think about
what students will be doing during each step, in addition to what you are doing. Scripting and/or estimated time frames may or may not be included, but
the plan should be clear and explicit enough that another person would be able to teach from it.

I. Welcome Back/Getting Started (2 minutes)

As students enter the classroom, I will greet them at the door.

Hi everyone! It is so good to see you all today. Thank you so much for coming into the room and getting settled
quietly. I really appreciate that. So, how are we feeling today? [students may shout out responses, allow for a
few responses, address responses & then continue] Awesome, I am so glad to hear that you all are hanging in
there! I am really excited for our lesson and activities today. We have a lot to get through today, so let’s get
started! [Ensure that the Slides are pulled up at this point]

II. Introduction to Vivid Verbs (5 minutes)

Today we are going to talk about vivid verbs [Stay on Slide 1]. Does anyone know what a vivid verb is? [Pose the
question to the whole class. Allow for student responses. Answer: a verb that is powerful, strong, and/or
clear. If no students raise their hand, continue with the lesson and tell students that you will tell them what it
is.]

That’s right. [Go to Slide 2] A vivid verb is one that is powerful, strong, and clear. [Go to Slide 3] So, does anyone
know why we might use vivid verbs in our writing? [Pose the question to the whole class. Allow for 2-3 student
responses. Possible answers: engages our audience, helps to paint a better picture in our audience’s minds,
makes our writing clearer, makes our writing more interesting] Exactly, this is all about improving our writing
and becoming stronger writers! [Go to Slide 4] Now, I want to look at some verbs to beware of. These are verbs
that are very popular and tend to be overused in writing. Would someone like to volunteer to read the first
column of verbs to beware of? [Pick a student volunteer to read the first column. If no one wants to read, read
them yourself.] Thank you. Would someone like to read the second column of verbs to beware of? [Pick a
different student volunteer to read the second column. If no one wants to read, read them yourself.] Great
job. Thank you. Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t ever use one of these verbs. It doesn’t mean that your
writing is bad or that you have to take them all out. The idea is to beware of these words. As a strong writer, we
want to check our writing to see if we’ve used a lot of these verbs. We can try to swap them out for new, vivid
verbs that are strong and clear to help engage our audience. On the next slide we will look at a few examples. [Go
to Slide 5]

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Universal Lesson Plan Template – Curry Secondary Program

III. Vague v. Vivid (5 minutes)

Okay, here are 4 different sentences. The sentences in the left column contain verbs that I am calling vague. These
are some of the verbs that we need to beware of. The sentences in the right column have been written to include
vivid verbs. Let’s look at the first one. It says Rachel looked under the bed. On the right, it says Rachel peeked
under the bed. In this example, peeked is a little clearer than looked. I can also picture Rachel slightly lifting the
bed skirt to peek under the bed. Let’s look at the next one. It says the boy cried over losing his favorite toy. The
new sentence says the boy wailed over losing his favorite toy. Wailed is more descriptive than cried. I can picture
the boy wailing uncontrollably rather than just crying over his toy. What about the third example? Would
someone like to read the two sentences and talk about the vivid verb in the second sentence? [Pose the question
to the whole class, and allow a student to read the 2 sentences and talk about the vivid verb in the second
sentence. If no one wants to do it, treat it similarly to the 1 st 2 examples. Students might say that they can
picture her longing for the chocolate cake like she can’t live without it, as opposed to just wanting the cake.]
Great job! Would someone else like to try the last example? [Pose the question to the whole class, and allow a
student to read the 2 sentences and talk about the vivid verb in the second sentence. If no one wants to do it,
treat it similarly to the 1st 2 examples. Students might say that they can picture him going on and on about
tennis and that they might feel annoyed with him, as opposed to him just talking about tennis.]

IV. Whole-Class Example (4 minutes)

Okay, now let’s try an example together. [Go to Slide 6 and read the sentence] Our job is to brainstorm a list of
vivid verbs that we could use instead of the verb ate. I will list them on the board as you all shout them out.
[Write a list of the vivid verbs that students call out on the board. If students call out any verbs that are not
vivid, write them down and address it at the end.] That was awesome. Great job! I will show you the list I have to
see if there are any additional ones we like and want to talk about. [Go to Slide 7 & quickly compare the verbs on
the board to the verbs on the slide. Talk about any of the verbs you want students to notice on the slide.]

V. Big Paper Activity (10 minutes)

[Go to Slide 8] Okay, now you are going to practice in groups. Here’s how it works. I’ve placed a few big papers
around the room. I’m going to put the first paper on this board behind me. The second paper is going to be on
those desks by the bookshelves [point to the spot in the room]. The third and fourth papers will be on the white
board at the back of the room [point to the spot in the room]. The fifth paper will be on those desks close to the
turn-in baskets [point to the spot in the room]. I will announce your group in just a few minutes. You and your
group will get colored markers. There will be one verb on each of these papers. You and your group will have one
minute to come up with as many vivid verbs as possible to replace the verb on the paper. You will be doing the
same thing that we just did for the verb “ate.” When I call ring the bell, you will move to the next paper in the
room and do it again, taking your markers with you. We will repeat the process until every group has been at
every poster.

Of course, there are a few rules. The idea is to have as many vivid verbs as possible, but try not to repeat any
verbs that other teams have already written down. If you really like a vivid verb that another group has already
listed, you may draw a star next to it, but your group should still try to put new verbs on the paper. As far as
writing on the paper, be sure to write big enough that everyone can see it, but remember that other groups need
to use the poster too, so don’t write too big.

Finally, remember that there is an instant consequence if you are talking to another group during the activity. I
should also remind you that there shouldn’t be any drawing on the poster – just vivid verbs. And last but not least
– please remember that as soon as I ring the bell there should be silence. This is an opportunity to gain a bonus
point! Are there any questions? [Pause for questions] Okay, I am going to call out your groups and the poster
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Universal Lesson Plan Template – Curry Secondary Program

that you will start with. Wait until I’ve called all of the groups to start moving. I will also be handing your group’s
markers to the closest group member. [Call out the student’s groups. Students will be placed in heterogenous
groups based on ability. Hand markers to the closest group member. There will be 5 groups of markers so that
each group of students has a different colored marker for tracking purposes.] Okay, go ahead and move to
your spots! I will tell you when to start! [As students are moving, start hanging the additional 3 sticky posters.
Ring the bell when students are in place.] Okay, you have 1 minute for the first paper. GO! [As students are
working, circulate throughout the room to ensure students are working together and following directions.
Monitor the time and call time when 1 minute is up by ringing the bell, unless students need a little more time.
Instruct students to move to the next poster and remind them to take their markers with them. Repeat this
process until groups have been to all of the posters. When the activity is done, ring the bell and instruct
students to go back to their seats. Have a few students bring the other 4 posters (minus the 1 right behind
you) to the front of the room. Stick them nearby for quick access for the next activity.]

VI. Review of Big Paper Activity (8 minutes)

Alright, great job everybody! To wrap up the activity, I want to spend a few minutes going over the posters
before you start looking at your own writing. So, let’s start with the first paper that is behind me. The verb on
this poster was “said/says.” So, let’s see what everyone came up with. [Talk about the verbs that are written on
the poster. Praise students for vivid verbs. Talk to students about any verbs that are not vivid. Then, pull up
Slide 9 which contains a brainstorm of verbs students might have come up with. Draw attention to any verbs
that students may have missed that you want students to be aware of. Repeat this process with the additional
verbs on the remaining big papers, using Slides 10-13.]

VII. Transition to Writing Workshop (3 minute)

Okay, we are now going to move into our writing workshop time. I will put the verbs to beware of slide back up
so that you can refer back to it as you look at your own writing. It is also a document in Google Classroom under
the Writer’s Eye heading so that you can use it anytime. Remember that the goal is to replace these verbs with
verbs that are more powerful, clear, and strong to paint a vivid picture to your audience. There’s also a PDF
resource called Banish Boring Words. It provides a lot of alternative verbs to use in place of some of the verbs to
beware of. You can also use a thesaurus on your computer. Please use these resources as you are looking at your
own writing. Some of you may not have a lot of your story written yet, and that is okay. If you are far along in
your story, use this time to look at the verbs you’ve used so far. If you haven’t written a lot yet, keep this in mind
when you write today. Please remember to use your help cards if you need myself or Ms. X and that writing
workshop should be silent. Are there any questions? [pause for student questions] Okay, good luck!

Materials Appendix (if appropriate):-Please include the slides, images, links to texts, handouts, etc. that are used in this lesson. They should be
“Student Ready”

● Appendix A: Vivid Verbs Slides


○ https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1l9dwZEZrtYUDGVFzO2XXnqa22WIHhU5uwwGirysLP0c/edit?u
sp=sharing
● Appendix B: Big Paper
○ Available in mentor teacher’s classroom
● Appendix C: Markers
○ Available in mentor teacher’s classroom