Improving Vocabulary


Dictionaries are used to find a definition.__ Thesauruses are used to find words that mean the same thing. These words are called __synonyms. ____Thesauruses will also inform you of any antonyms.

Use a thesaurus to look up the word underlined in each sentence:

  1. The kind girl helped her father.
  2. The black of the night was frightening.
  3. The happy baby smiled.

Try to explain why your word is better than the original.


A simile is the comparison of one item with another. Usually the words __‘as’ __or __‘like’ __are used to bring the two ideas together.

For example:

__ __The temperature was hot.

could become,

The temperature was hot like the sun.

However, be careful. You must make your simile effective. How could you make ‘The temperature was hot like the sun’ effective? Think about when the sun is at its hottest: the desert, midday, summer etc. Now, change the simile:

The temperature was hot like the midday, desert sun in midsummer.


A metaphor is a comparison in which something is said to be something else:

  1. The man ____was a cheetah__ racing down the track.__
  2. The sound drummed ____on her head.
  3. The vultures__ tore through the school canteen.__

Why use a metaphor?

  1. You can make the ordinary strange and interesting, making your writing more exciting to read.
  2. Your reader is forced to think and interpret when you show them something through the use of imagery, rather than telling them literally.


__This is when the word sounds like the word that it is representing. __

__Sound is the key sense that is described with onomatopoeia. __

Think about: ____bang, ____crash ____and ____whoosh. With each of these words, you can hear that sound.


Alliteration ____is repetition of a sound at the beginning of a group of words. An example might be:

The ____fierce ____fox ____fixated on the ____field mouse.

With alliteration, you must consider the hard sounds and the soft sounds in English. Consider the sound produced:

Lovely vs ____collided

The ‘l’ sound is soft and gentle whereas the ‘c’ sound is harsh and abrupt. You must consider the tone that you are attempting to create.


Personification__ is providing an inanimate object with animate features.__

Consider a tree moving in the wind:

  1. The leaves dancing
  2. The trunk stood still and upright
  3. The flowers waving

All of these are characteristics of humans, rather than of trees. They provide interesting imagery.


Different Types of Word Classes

Noun __- an object, place or person__

Examples: a ball, an idea, a child

Adjective__ - adds detail to the noun__

Examples: yellow, three, beautiful

Verb __- a doing word__

Examples: run, walk and eat

Adverb __- tells the reader how the verb is being done__

Examples: angrily, messily and quickly

The yellow ball rolled easily.

Look at the following sentence:

The quick rabbit ran fast.

Is this a good sentence?

How could you make it better?

The sentence does use all the major word classes. It even uses alliteration. However, ‘quick’, ‘ran’ and ‘fast’ all have the same meaning. Think about how you could change the sentence so that the adjective means something different to the verb, which means something different to the adverb,

The scared rabbit sprinted hopefully.

How is this sentence better?

This time, each word means something different and it adds a different dimension to the sentence.

peer / selfassessment

Describe a haunted house. Write 5 sentences. In each sentence, you must add a different__ language technique__. __Across all 5 sentences, you must use a range of __adjectives, adverbs, nouns and verbs.

Once you have finished, you must label each technique and explain why it is effective.

What is alliteration?
What is personification?
What is a metaphor?