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Write Cook

           Writing tools, tips, and tricks!


Conjunctions and Interjections

Posted on July 23, 2013 at 1:57 PM Comments comments (1)
Hello, students, parents, and teachers,
Today's lesson is on conjunctions and interjections, and it's the last lesson on the parts of speech. Next week we'll begin tackling sentence structure.
First, watch the video clips on conjunctions and interjections from Schoolhouse Rock. (The conjunction song is awesome!)
Next, study the documents: "Seven Things to Know about Conjunctions" and "Four Things to Know about Interjections."
Then, visit Grammaropolis to see what they have to say about conjunctions and interjections:
Finally, take the Conjunctions Quiz I and Conjunctions Quiz II in
and complete the following easy exercise on interjections:
Piece of cake! Now let's go cool off with some ice cream.
Talk to you next week,
Write Cook


Posted on July 16, 2013 at 12:39 PM Comments comments (0)
Hello, students, parents,and teachers,
On to prepositions!
First task, watch the following fun videos:
1- Schoolhouse Rock Prepositions
2- Preposition Song from Grammaropolis
Second, study my document "Ten Things to Know about Prepositions:"
Finally, try a couple of exercises from
You're all set! Prepositions are fun, aren't they? Next week we'll review conjunctions and interjections.
Let's continue enjoying the summer!
Write Cook

Review: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Verbs, & Adverbs

Posted on July 9, 2013 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)
Hello, students, parents, and teachers,

It's time to review what you've learned so far (nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs). The following sites contain exercises and quizzes on the parts of speech. Search for exercises that target the parts of speech you've studied, and practice, practice, practice. Make sure to spend enough time on verbs and adverbs.

Play Grammar Ninja (skilled level) at:

Try the exercise on irregular verbs and the exercises on pronouns on:

There are many quizzes to choose from at this next site. Look for the ones on nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.

Next week's lesson will be on prepositions and prepositional phrases.

Continue to enjoy the summer!

Write Cook


Posted on July 2, 2013 at 12:32 AM Comments comments (0)
Hello, students, parents, and teachers,
This week's lesson is on ADVERBS. (Next week we will review verbs and adverbs, so continue studying the document on verbs.)
First, study the following document on adverbs:
Five Things About Adverbs (PDF — 170 KB)
Second, visit, read the information on adverbs, and watch the fun video. 
Third, write five sentences using adverbs to describe your favorite sport or summer activity (the video on adverbs from Grammaropolis will help).
Fourth, have a totally awesome FOURTH OF JULY!
Much love,
Write Cook


Posted on June 24, 2013 at 11:37 PM Comments comments (0)
Hello, students, parents, and teachers,
Summer is officially here, and I trust you're all enjoying it as much as I am.
Before starting today's lesson, take a quiz on adjectives from to see how much you remember from last week:
Today's lesson is on verbs. Your goals are to be able to identify verbs and use them in your writing. I prepared a document titled "10 Things to Know about Verbs" for you to study. Take your time with this lesson and ask an adult to help you if you don't understand something. 
10 Things About Verbs (PDF — 178 KB)
Once you feel confident about your knowledge of verbs, try the following exercises:
Last, but not least, write 10 sentences about your favorite summer activities and underline the verbs.
Example: I swim in my neighborhood pool every morning. 
Enjoy the warm summer days!
Write Cook

Nouns, Pronouns, & Adjectives

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 3:51 PM Comments comments (7)
Hello, middle school students, parents, and teachers,
Let's begin today's lesson by checking to see how well you can identify and classify nouns. Try the following exercises:
Classifying Nouns (key) (PDF — 57 KB)
Identifying Nouns (PDF — 64 KB)
More great resources:
When you get to the site, click on:
1. Singular and Plural Nouns
2. Count Nouns vs. Non-Count Nouns
3. Possessive Nouns
4. Pronouns
Practice using who and whom:
Now let's move on to ADJECTIVES:
An adjective is a word that modifies (describes) a noun or a pronoun.
Study the following presentation:
Adjectives (PDF — 333 KB)
and go to grammaropolis to read the information on adjectives, watch the video, and play the word-sort game:
Your assignment:
1- Make a list of fabulous adjectives to describe the nouns in your life.
Grace: affectionate, brilliant, one-eyed, tabby cat
2- Search for grammar games on the Internet.
Talk to you next week!
Write Cook

Nouns and Pronouns

Posted on June 10, 2013 at 1:11 PM Comments comments (0)
Hello, middle school students, parents, and teachers,

I trust you are all enjoying the summer break -- I know I am!

As promised, starting today, I will be posting weekly review lessons on the parts of speech and sentence construction. 

Why is it important to spend the summer brushing up on grammar skills? Because the middle school language arts curriculum focuses on the writing process (composition of paragraphs, narratives, essays, and such) and the development of critical thinking skills -- not on grammar. It is assumed that students have learned basic grammar skills in the elementary grades, so very little explicit grammar instruction takes place during the school year. The summer months provide an opportunity to review the basics and get ready for the higher-level writing assignments that will need to be tackled when the new school year begins.

Thank you for choosing to take advantage of this opportunity. This review will help you start the new school year with motivation and confidence. Keep in mind that you'll be working independently. You are the one choosing to become a better student and a better writer. No one can do it for you. Be proud of that and move forward with your education. 

If you have questions about the lessons, email me ([email protected]). 

Let's get started.

To understand sentence structure you need to be familiar with the parts of speech. This week we will review nouns and pronouns. 

Nouns are the names we give to persons, places, things, ideas, and feelings. 

Pronouns are placeholders for nouns. 

Your goal is to be able to identify the different kinds of nouns and pronouns. Here are your instructions:

1- Read and study the following WriteCook documents:

NOUNS (PDF — 235 KB)

Possessive Nouns with Key (PDF — 116 KB)

Spelling Plural Nouns (PDF — 135 KB)

2- Visit the following awesome website, read the information on nouns and pronouns, watch the videos, and take the quizzes:

3- Play a couple of nouns and pronouns games:

4- Assignment: Make a list of nouns in your life. Classify each noun (is it a proper noun? a common noun? an abstract noun? etc.). 

5- Have fun.

Much love,

The Write Cook 

Planning the P.N.

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (7)
Hello, writers and teachers,

This week we will continue the writing process for the personal narrative. You should already have a good idea of the incident you want to write about. The next step is to plan the story. 

Review the following narrative checklist:

Narrative Checklists (PDF — 56 KB)

and create a plot mountain for your story: 

PN Plot Diagram (PDF — 37 KB)

Start to fill out the plot mountain by identifying the climax or turning point of your story. The events leading to the climax constitute the rising action, and the events following the climax constitute the falling action. 

Give this step careful thought, but be brief. You will develop your ideas when you write the rough draft. The plot mountain is simply a way to organize the main events of your story.

You will find examples of personal narratives on this website:

Also, spend some time reviewing adjectives by completing a few activities on the following list:

Talk to you next week!

Write Cook


For teachers: Are you interested in buying cute handmade Halloween cards for your students? Check out the cards I have for sale on my TPT store:

For students: Find recipes for fun fall snacks here:

My Neighborhood

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 8:58 PM Comments comments (0)
Hello, writers and teachers,

We will begin this week's lesson by reviewing adjectives. What is an adjective? A word that describes or modifies a noun or a pronoun. Descriptions make our writing come alive, so adjectives are very important. However, we must be careful not to overuse them. Too many adjectives can muddle our descriptions.

Here's an example of too much of a good thing: 

My townhouse has an old, wide, tall, beautiful, leafy maple tree in the front yard.

Too many adjectives, right? Let's take out a few:

My townhouse has a tall and leafy maple tree in the front yard. Better!

Review the following document on adjectives and then write an 8-sentence paragraph using adjectives to describe your neighborhood. You could start your paragraph: My neighborhood is a ___ place.

Adjectives (PDF — 333 KB)

This week we will start gathering ideas for the personal narrative. 

1- Begin by drawing a poster-size map of your neighborhood (use google maps). If you haven't lived in your neighborhood for long, you may want to draw your former neighborhood.

2- Then, label the places you frequent. For example, the park, the 7-Eleven, the school, my best friend's house, etc. 

3- Add small drawings of people and pets you know.
4- Finally, label the places where something interesting happened to you. For example: The street where I got chased by a dog, The tree I climbed to hide from my brother, etc.

Here's a cute example of a neighborhood map:

The purpose of this exercise is to access memories and the sensory details surrounding them. Plus it's a very cool and fun thing to do!

Talk to you next week,

Write Cook

P.S. Here's an easy recipe for a no-bake pumpkin pie! Yummy!

Fun with Nouns

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (8)
Hello, writers and teachers,

This week we'll have a bit of fun reviewing nouns.

Take one more look at the following document:

NOUNS (PDF — 235 KB)

By now you've noticed that nouns are classified in many different ways.

Take a look at this list:

common nouns -  example: dog

proper nouns - example: Fluffy

concrete nouns - example: mountain 

conceptual nouns - example: freedom

count nouns - example: one toy, two toys

non-count nouns - example: fun

singular nouns - example: school, child

regular plural nouns - example: schools

irregular plural nouns - example: children

possessive nouns - examples: cat's tail; cats' tails

precise nouns - example: school is more precise than building; Lincoln Middle is more precise than school.

collective nouns - examples: family, flock, bunch

compound nouns - examples: football, middle school, mother-in-law 

subject nouns - example: The dog is hungry.

predicate nouns - example: The dog climbed a tree.

object nouns - example: The dog jumped over the fence.

Furthermore, a noun can act as an adjective:

I'm leaving on a jet plane.

A noun can act as a verb:

I'll phone you when I get to the airport.

And certain nouns can act as adverbs:

I'll fly today.

Verbs ending in "ing" (gerunds) can be used as nouns:

Swimming is my favorite sport.

And the infinitive verb form (introduced by "to") can also be used as a noun:

To swim is my goal.

Nouns are so versatile!

Try making your own list of different kinds of nouns.

Here are a few games and a couple of videos to help you identify nouns. Have fun!

Video on Apostrophes:

Video on Nouns - Uses (click on the tab titled Parts of Speech):

This week's assignment: 

1- Write a list of nouns (at least 20) related to autumn (pumpkins, Thanksgiving, family, etc.).

2- Use at least 10 nouns from your list in an 8-sentence paragraph.

Happy writing! :)

Write Cook

P.S. Autumn begins next Saturday. What's your favorite autumn dessert? My favorite is pumpkin pie.