Crack It Open



How to “dress up” or “crack open” plain words.


Materials:  Plastic Easter eggs, sharpie and Activity Master #3


Lesson Format:  Explain to students that when we use plain words we have to “crack them open” to see what is inside. Show students a plastic egg with the word “happy” printed on the outside of the egg. Inside the egg students read the sentence, “The boy was happy when he saw his new bike.” When we crack open a word, we need to find other words or phrases that help us to “see” what the word “happy” looks like.   Brainstorm with students, words or ideas that help us to see what a “happy boy” looks like to them. Record their suggestions.

The following are some suggestions offered by my students:



happy boy….


 jumping up and down

clapping his hands

 shouting hurray

 losing his little frown



Students now rewrite the sentence to add more detail to create an image of "happy" in the mind of their reader.


“The boy was jumping up and down, clapping his hands and shouting hurray when he saw his new bike.”