A Little Game for Roald Dahl Day

I’ve rejigged a little adjective game I made so that it can be used for Roald Dahl Day.

It’s pretty straightforward:

  1. Load this webpage:  fantasticadjectives
  2. Read the text with the class
  3. Ask them to add their favourite adjectives in the boxes below
  4. Click “Fox It Up”
  5. And reread.

Happy to make some more if people like them.

Adjective Game for English Lessons

I’ve had a very quick stab at hacking together a simple version of a game I used to play as a child.

Whoever is playing chooses their adjectives and then these are dropped randomly into a famous story.

I’ve grabbed the opening to Alice in Wonderland from Project Gutenberg as a first effort. Would love to hear some other possible suggestions.

You can download the game here.

10 worst similes from students

  1. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
  2. He was as tall as a 6?3? tree.
  3. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  4. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
  5. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
  6. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
  7. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  8. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
  9. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  10. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

via 3quarksdaily

The Weakest Pronoun

James Pennebaker has discovered some astonishing things about pronouns and how we use them.

“Basically, we discovered that in any interaction, the person with the higher status uses I-words less (yes, less) than people who are low in status.”


But then for those who don’t believe there is any gender inequality there’s this.

Most people assume that men use I-words and cognitive words more than women and that women use we-words, emotions, and social words more than men. Bad news…. women use I-words and cognitive words at far higher rates than men.>

thanks to Mind Hacks for the link

Plumbers & “Write what you know”

I’ve heard the statement, “Write what you know,” probably like a million times, but only a handful of times did that make any sense to me.

Teacher says, “Write what you know.”

Student begins to write. On the planet Jupiter robot warriors called Jenturions launched a . .

Teacher corrects, “No, write what you know and it needs to be real.”

Student thinks 4pm is what I know. It IS real to me.

The realm of reality offers many topics on which to write; I’m not knocking the personal narrative (not much). But it’s not the only harvestable crop. Stephen King urges us to broaden the statement of “write-what-you-know.” In his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft he writes, “If you are a plumber, you know plumbing. But that is far from the extent of your knowledge; your heart knows things and so does your imagination.”

When I say to students, “Write what you know,” there are no strings attached. Stories are everywhere in the kid-mosphere. Kids love movies, video games, cartoons, and toys. The energy is incredible. Why not transform that energy into writing? Teach your students what I never was taught: to write down your imagination. It’s all there. It just needs to go from brain to paper with guidance.

From: Fantastical Enlightenment for Elementary Students


Clockwords is a hectic word game set in Victorian London. You are a genius inventor who discovers plans for a mysterious machine that runs on the power of language. Then your lab is infiltrated by mechanical insects that have come to steal your secrets!

Clockwords is a word game like no other. Mix of a word game with speed, strategy, and steam-powered bugs! Use your vocabulary to defend your laboratory.

via Mr Byrne

Looks fun. Not totally convinced of the English value in it, but should get the typing speed up.