Printable: Narrative Vocabulary – Vivid Verbs and Personality words

I spent a few hours researching and playing with Wordle to create these ‘vivid’ verbs and personality words posters for our Year 9 narrative unit of work which focuses on imagery, figurative language and description. These posters include up to 800 or 1500 words.

The worksheet and poster double as a word bank for when the students start their short story writing. vividverbs3
personalitywordswordle-colour How I use these resources:

I have printed some of the 800 word posters (tiled on 6 A3 sheets) to put up in the class to act as a reminder. The personality words worksheet contains a 150 word Wordle. I gave the students the worksheet and asked them to highlight 10 words they were unfamiliar with. They could then ask friends, use Google or use a dictionary to find out the meaning of them. Then I asked them to highlight 10 words which describe themselves. You could suggest that students have their friends suggest which to highlight (I have a great class this year and they quickly started running around and ‘volunteering’ to highlight lovely words for each other!) This activity was a hit and a lot of fun. Students then worked on decorating a book cover with the words which describe them. The next task is to introduce photos of characters as a prompt and ask students to assign ‘personality words’ to each. Following that, I will introduce ‘vivid verbs’, ‘emotional words’ and ‘vivid adjectives’ which students will match with the personality of their character. The vivid verbs worksheet involves students highlighting words which they show movement, thoughts and speech. The worksheet is then glued into their exercise books and is the basis for further activities such as having students write a list of words in their books which they could use instead of ‘said’ and ‘walk’ and ‘think’ etc. A suggestion with the worksheet: print on large paper (A3) and set as a group activity. If you want to scale the activity down for younger age levels, I’ve included posters with less words. And I’ve included the original word list so you can make your own Wordles!


Download individually or, if you want a short cut, download combined in ZIP files via Teachers Pay Teachers: Vivid Verbs and Personality Words (WordPress won’t let me host ZIP files anymore).

Word Study / Spelling Contract / Vocabulary Study

What is it?

A spelling / vocabulary program of small word study activities. A friend gave me a copy of a basic spelling contract which I adapted for use in my classes; it has been further developed over the last few semesters with feedback from students. Ideally the program is self-directed: it can be set as homework. I’ve also used word study as a regular activity in the first five minutes of lesson while I set up.

Adapt the included checklist and spelling activities to suit your program.

How it works:

The process I use:

  1. I develop new vocabulary words each fortnight, taken usually from the content of the class or the novel we are reading.
  2. I do ‘Have A Go’, a mock test where I read the words aloud, and students give them a try. This is to allow students to connect the way a word is pronounced with its written form.
  3. Students copy the words into their book.
  4. Students complete a worksheet or activities where students match vocab to definitions (matching or crosswords work well); or with grammar or cloze activities. Word Search and Crossword generators are useful here.
  5. Then students choose which word study activities they would like to complete. They have two weeks to complete 5 points of tasks.
  6. Each term, students get a new word study checklist.

Battleship Vocab:

A suggestion from several spelling websites, very popular. Students play Battleship but with vocabulary words instead of ships. Included is a printable chart.

Stencil Art:

I keep a collection of stencils in my classroom for projects and word study. They were all bought from a dollar shop.

Alphabet Sampler:

For the Word Art activity I mention an alphabet sampler. Find it here.


As part of our History of English unit we did a quick fun lesson on how to do cursive, an unusual thing for high school students to try.

Australian students don’t learn cursive when they are learning to handwrite; they learn some silly thing called ‘Linked Script’.

My main motivation for wanting to do a lesson on cursive was to help students understand how to read it. Some of the kids actually enjoyed writing in it, so it was included in the Word Study.


  • The checklist is set up for fortnights. You can adapt easily to weekly, if you prefer, by adding columns.
  • Provide a new sheet each week with the words and four or five activities to complete rather than use a new checklist.
  • Choose for the students which activities they are to complete each week.
  • Vary the points required: 5 points is very low.
  • Change the activities.
  • Ask the students which activities they prefer and have them come up with new ones.


Let me know if you feel there’s a copyright infringement here. There is nothing original about this Word Study except its layout and design; all of the activities were compiled from suggestions across the web or from students themselves. It is adapted from a photocopied spelling contract given to me at some point; and others have taken my spelling contracts and adapted them to suit themselves.


2011 300 Word Study DOC

2011 300 Word Study PDF