FOA 1 Many words act as a noun and a verb. For example, the word bug can refer to an insect or to the act of bothering someone. A picture of a bug bugging a puppy would show both meanings. Draw a picture that shows another word as a noun and as a verb. Write a sentence that contains the word twice and describes what is happening in the picture. Now invent an appropriate name for this kind of word. FOA 2 An autobiography is the story of a person’s life written by that person. Think about the life you hope to live. Create and explain a meaningful one-word title for your autobiography about that life. (The title cannot be your name.) Next, invent a quote from a longtime friend that could appear on the back cover and would encourage people to buy the book. FOA 3 A prefix is a word part that is added in front of a word. The prefix im- means “not”. The prefix super- means “higher” or “greater”. The prefix semi- means “half” or “partly.” Invent three words to describe yourself. Each of the words should contain a different one of the prefixes defined above. Then write a sentence or two explaining why each word is appropriate to describe you. FOA 4 Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings. Right and write, for example, are homophones. Think of other homophone pairs. Write the two words in a way that will help someone remember their meaning. For example, the word right could be written very close to the right edge of the paper, while the word write could appear to come from a pen tip. FOA 5 • A symbol is an object that stands for an idea. For example, four-leaf clovers and horseshoes are both symbols for luck. Do you believe in luck? Do you think there is anything a person can do to become more or less “Lucky”? Explain. FOA 6 • An understatement is a statement that is weakened to convey a stronger meaning. Fore example, after an ice skater tripped entering a rink, fell during a spin, and ripped her costume, she might say, “This has not been my best day.” What she actually means is that it has been a horrible day. Describe a day when the President or your favorite actor might use that same understatement. FOA 7 • Describe the taste, smell, and appearance of the most unusual food you’re ever eaten. FOA 8 • Imagine your school is holding an election for Best Part of Speech. Write the campaign speech you would give in support of the part of speech you feel should win the election. FOA 9 • A compound noun is a noun made up of two or more words. For example, the words wallpaper and sunlight are compound nouns. Think of two other compound nouns. Mix up the two parts of the words to create two new compound nouns. For example, wallpaper and sunlight could be mixed up to create sunpaper and walllight. Write an ad for one of the crazy new items you’ve named. FOA 10 • A suffix is a word part that is added at the end of a word. The suffix –ist means “one who.” The suffix –less means “without.” The suffixes –able and –ible mean “capable of being.” Invent three words to describe the person you hope to be someday. Each of the words should contain a different one of the suffixes defined above. Then write a sentence or two explaining why each word describes how you hope to be. FOA 11 • Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings. Right and write, for example, are homophones. Think of other homophone pairs. Write the two words in a way that will help someone remember their meanings. For example, the word right could be written very close to the right edge of the paper; while the word write could appear to come from a pen tip. FOA 12 • Would you rather be a writer or an editor? Why? FOA 13 • Which discovery do you think had the greatest impact on history: the wheel or a system of writing? Explain your view. FOA 14 • Which do you think is more important in writing: correct grammar or correct spelling? Explain your view. FOA 15 • How much impact do you think computers will have on learning in the future? Do you think textbooks, pencils, and pens will eventually disappear? Explain your views. FOA 16 • The author James Michener once said,”I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” How is rewriting different from writing? Write two job descriptions: one for a writer and one for a rewriter. Be sure to list the different skills each position requires. FOA 17 • A pet peeve is something a person finds extremely annoying. What is your grammar pet peeve? In other words, what grammar error do you find particularly irritating when you hear or read it? Invent an appropriate name for this type of error and explain what a writer can do to try to avoid it. FOA 18 • An abstract noun names something (an idea, quality, etc.) that cannot be touched. Happiness, for example, is an abstract noun. Brainstorm at least five abstract nouns. Now write one of the words and decorate its letters in a way that demonstrates its meaning. FOA 19 • Design the cover for a magazine called “Parts of Speech.” FOA 20 • Which of these do you think you could do without more easily: the ability to read or the ability to write? Explain. FOA 21 • Some studies show that 75 percent of the people in the United States have a fear of speaking in front of a group. Invent a silly new way for someone to try to overcome this fear. FOA 22 • Plagiarism is the act of taking another person’s words or ideas and presenting them as your own. What do you think is an appropriate punishment for plagiarism? Explain why you think the punishment is appropriate. FOA 23 • Invent a business that has to do with language arts in some way. What will it be called? What kings of items or services will it offer? Who is likely to shop there or use the services? FOA 24 • Are you more like a newspaper or a novel? Explain FOA25 • Imagine you work on a writing assembly line. Each person on the line performs a different step in the writing process (prewriting, drafting, evaluating, revising, editing, or publishing). Which station would you choose? Why? FOA 26 • The word set has more meanings than any other English word. Write as many definitions as you can for set. When you have finished, check a dictionary to see how many of the word’s meanings you did not identify. FOA 27 • Recipes are basically detailed directions for making a dish. Think about a dish you know how to make. (It can be as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.) Write silly directions for how not to make that dish. FOA 28 • Persuasive writing attempts to convince a reader to act or take a position for or against something. Write a paragraph or two in which you try to convince a reader that watching paint dry is a fascinating activity. FOA 29 • A person’s theme song is a song that represents the person or is closely associated with him or her. Think of a real song that could serve as your theme song. Explain why it is just right for you. FOA 30 • Write the first paragraph of a news story you hope will appear in your local newspaper someday. Be sure your paragraph tells who, what, where, when, and why.