Ready-To-Use Writing Proficiency Lessons & Activities: 10th Grade Level


An experienced teacher and author, Carol Behrman helps students develop the sound foundation they need to become proficient writers throughout their lives. Included are a variety of easy-to-use reproducible activity sheets to provide review and application of basic language skills as well as extensive practice in producing the types of writing called for in standardized tests. The steps of the writing process are emphasized throughout. Each set of activities is accompanied by detailed lesson plans and suggestions...
See more details below
$28.06 price
(Save 19%)$34.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $7.00   
  • New (10) from $24.14   
  • Used (5) from $7.00   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


An experienced teacher and author, Carol Behrman helps students develop the sound foundation they need to become proficient writers throughout their lives. Included are a variety of easy-to-use reproducible activity sheets to provide review and application of basic language skills as well as extensive practice in producing the types of writing called for in standardized tests. The steps of the writing process are emphasized throughout. Each set of activities is accompanied by detailed lesson plans and suggestions to the teacher for presenting and implementing the skills and concepts being addressed. Each section is followed by a practice test focusing on the concepts and skills covered in the section, plus answer keys and scoring guides with writing samples. These practical tests will help students prepare for the types of questions they will be asked on actual tests.
Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Gives English teachers and language arts specialists the tools they need to prepare their students for standardized writing tests. The author?s background as a professional writer as well as a writing teacher is apparent in her insight into the writing process and the steps students need to go through in order to develop into effective writers."
—Dr. David Maltman, Department of Education, Ramapo College of New Jersey

"A superior and inspiring resource for teaching writing. Provides a thorough step-by-step guide to the writing process and helps students develop the foundation they need to become proficient writers throughout their lives. Another creative, unique, and motivating book by author Carol Behrman. It covers the art as well as the craft and makes writing a satisfying adventure for students."
—Joan Hiatt Harlow, author, lecturer, and instructor for The Institute of Children?s Literature

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787966003
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/29/2003
  • Series: J-B Ed: Test Prep Series , #69
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 870,105
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol H. Behrman taught writing to students in the Glen Ridge New Jersey school system for fifteen years. She has written thirty books—fiction and nonfiction—for children and young adults and conducts numerous writing process workshops for students, teachers, and aspiring writers. Ms Behrman has served as writer-in-residence at Chautauqua Institution and has been an adjunct lecturer at Seton Hall University and at New York University’s Writing Center. Writing Proficiency Lessons and Activities grades four and eight by Behrman are also available from Jossey-Bass.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

About This Writing TestPrep Teaching Resource iv

Section 1: Choosing the Right Word 1

Teacher Perparation and Lessons 1

Answer Key 4

Review Test: Choosing the Right Word 32

Section 2: Making Mechanics and Usage Work for You 35

Teacher Perparation and Lessons 35

Answer Key 39

Review Test: Mechanics and Usage 73

Section 3: Writing Sentences 77

Teacher Perparation and Lessons 77

Answer Key 81

Review Test: Writing Sentences 105

Section 4: Writing Paragraphs 109

Teacher Perparation and Lessons 109

Answer Key 113

Practice Test: Writing Paragraphs 145

Section 5: Essay-Writing Techniques 151

Standardized Testing Information 151

Teacher Preparation and Lessons 151

Practice Test: Essay-Writing Techniques 183

Section 6: Writing Informative/Expository Essays 189

Standardized Testing Information 189

Teacher Preparation and Lessons 190

Practice Test: Writing Informative Essays 213

Section 7: Writing Persuasive Essays 219

Standardized Testing Information 219

Teacher Preparation and Lessons 220

Practice Test: Writing Persuasive Essays 243

Section 9: Writing Letters 273

Standardized Testing Information 279

Teacher Preparation and Lessons 280

Sample Letter Forms 282

Practice Test: Writing Letters 301

Proofreading Symbols 307

Appendix: Preparing Your Students for Standardized Proficiency Tests 309

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Ready-To-Use Writing Proficiency Lessons & Activities

10th Grade Level
By Carol H. Behrman

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7879-6600-2

Chapter One

Section 1


Teacher Preparation and Lessons

The exercises in this section are designed to enlarge the students' vocabulary so that they can write with more accuracy and precision. Activities 1-1 through 1-6 concentrate on words often confused. Activities 1-7 through 1-12 focus on prefixes, suffixes, and synonyms. Activities 1-13 through 1-17 help students improve their use of literal and figurative language. Activities 1-18 through 1-24 focus on using parts of speech correctly. You may wish to use the REVIEW TEST at the end of the section as a pretest and/or a posttest. Answer keys for this section can be found on pages 4 to 7.

ACTIVITIES 1-1 through 1-6 offer a selection of words often confused. Introduce this segment by writing the following sentences on the board:

The state attorney persecuted the defendant.

The state attorney prosecuted the defendant.

Elicit the meaning of prosecute and persecute from the students. Discuss how the use of the wrong word gives a completely different interpretation to the sentence. Write the following pairs of words on the board: descendant/ancestor, personal/personnel, conscious/conscience. Discuss the meanings of these words and why they are sometimes confused. DistributeActivity 1-1 Words Often Confused (Part One). Direct students to read the explanation and examples at the top of the page, and then complete the activity. For Activities 1-2 to 1-5 Words Often Confused (Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, and Part Five), follow these steps: (1) Distribute the activity sheet. (2) Read and discuss the explanations and examples of words often confused on each page. Have students complete the activity, and then share and correct the answers. Distribute Activity 1-6 Words Often Confused (Review). The results of this review can help the teacher determine whether more work is needed either individually or in class on these words often confused.

ACTIVITY 1-7 adds some less well-known prefixes to the students' developing vocabulary. Write the word super on the board. Ask the students to supply words that begin with super. Write these words on the board (for example, Superman, superhero, superstar, superior, and so on). Inform the students that super is derived from Latin and that both Latin and Greek have given us many prefixes that are now part of the English language. Distribute Activity 1-7 Prefixes. Read and discuss the Greek and Latin prefixes that are presented. Ask the students to add other examples. Have students complete the sentences at the bottom of the page and share them aloud with the class.

ACTIVITIES 1-8 through 1-11 present information and exercises about the use of suffixes. Write the following word pairs on the board: terror/terrorize, memory/memorize, popular/ popularize. Elicit from the students that each pair contains a root word and the same root word with a suffix added. Elicit that the suffix ize means cause to become. Discuss how suffixes can be used to change the form or meanings of words. Write the following words on the board: careful, careless, carefree. Discuss how different suffixes give different meanings to the root word. Distribute Activity 1-8 Suffixes (Part One). Read and discuss the examples and their meanings. Read and discuss the directions for the completion of the activity. When it has been finished, have the class read several examples aloud. Write the following words on the board: love, lovely, loving. Elicit from the class the fact that the final e is kept when adding a suffix beginning with a consonant, but it is dropped when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel. Write the following pairs of words on the board: easy/easily, angry/angrily. Point out that when a root word ends with a y, it is changed to an i before a suffix. Encourage the students to contribute additional examples. Distribute Activity 1-9 Suffixes (Part Two). Read aloud the four rules and examples presented in this activity. Have the students complete the activity. Distribute Activity 1-10 Suffixes (Part Three). Read and discuss the lists of words using er, or, ar, able, and ible. Stress the importance of memorizing these words. Ask the students to add words to these lists. When the activity has been completed, read several sentences aloud for each suffix. Distribute Activity 1-11 Prefixes and Suffixes (Review). Read and discuss the directions. When the activity has been completed, have the class read several examples aloud for each prefix and suffix.

ACTIVITY 1-12 involves the use of synonyms. Write the following short paragraph on the board.

John stopped when he heard a noise. The noise stopped. John started walking. Then the noise came again. John stopped.

Elicit the three-time repetition of the word stopped. Ask students to supply synonyms that could be used to replace some of these repetitions and list them (halted, disappeared, ended, ceased, and so forth). Discuss how synonyms can be used successfully to avoid repetition. Distribute Activity 1-12 Synonyms. Read the directions out loud. When the activity has been completed, have the students read several examples of each sentence aloud.

ACTIVITIES 1-13 through 1-15 review the use of similes and metaphors. Say to the students, "I am so tired. In fact, I am as tired as ..." Invite students to complete the sentence. Point out that they have already been using similes. Distribute Activity 1-13 Similes. Read aloud the explanation at the top of the page. Emphasize the desirability of using original rather than trite similes. When students have completed the assignment, have them read several examples of each simile aloud. Distribute Activity 1-14 Metaphors. Read and discuss the description of metaphors and how they differ from similes. Point out in particular that a metaphor does not use the words as or like. Have students complete Part A, then discuss the results. Ask the students to complete Part B, encouraging them to use original, not trite, metaphors. Read a selection of the results out loud. Activity 1-15 Similes and Metaphors (Review) can be used to evaluate the students' understanding of these figures of speech. Use the results to determine if more practice is needed on a class or individual basis.

ACTIVITIES 1-16 and 1-17 cover the use of sensory language. Distribute Activity 1-16 Sensory Language (Part One). Read and discuss the explanation and examples. Read the directions. When the activity has been completed, have the class read several examples for each sense aloud. Distribute Activity 1-17 Sensory Language (Part Two). Read the directions. Have students share the results either in small groups or with the whole class.

ACTIVITIES 1-18 through 1-21 relate to the correct and effective use of verbs. Write the following words on the board: see, go, say. Point out that these verbs are action words, but the action is rather weak. Elicit stronger verbs that are more exciting for see, such as stare, glare, and squint. Do the same for go (for example, rush, creep, stumble) and say (for example, scream, hiss, grumble). Distribute Activity 1-18 Strong, Active Verbs and read the directions out loud. When the students have completed rewriting the paragraph, divide the class into small groups for reading and discussion. Distribute Activity 1-19 Transitive and Intransitive Verbs. Read and discuss the definitions and examples. Ask the students to offer additional examples. Read and discuss the directions for the assignment. The teacher can analyze the results to determine whether additional instruction and/or practice is needed either on a class or individual basis. Distribute Activity 1-20 Linking Verbs. Read and talk about the explanation and examples, pointing out that a linking verb is one type of intransitive verb. Have the students complete the assignment. Share the results in small groups or as a classroom activity. Distribute Activity 1-21 Irregular Verbs. Read and analyze the explanation and examples. Have the class complete the assignment and use the results to determine if more time on this subject is needed on either a class or individual basis.

ACTIVITIES 1-22 and 1-23 review adjectives. Write these sentences on the board:

The girl was alone in the room. The pale, frightened girl was alone in the strange, dark room.

Discuss how the adjectives in the second sentence paint a stronger, more vivid picture. Distribute Activity 1-22 Adjectives (Part One). Read the explanation and directions aloud. When students have completed the assignment, share the results by reading the sentences aloud in small groups or to the class. Follow the same procedure for Activity 1-23 Adjectives (Part Two).

ACTIVITY 1-24 points out some common illiteracies. Distribute Activity 1-24 Illiteracies. Read and discuss the explanation and examples. When students have completed the assignment, use the results to determine whether more practice is needed in this area.


1-1. Words Often Confused (PART ONE)

1. conscience 5. ancestors

2. personnel 6. prosecute

3. conscious 7. persecute

4. descendant 8. personal

1-2. Words Often Confused (PART TWO)

1. among 5. accept

2. between 6. except

3. breathe 7. besides

4. breath 8. beside

1-3. Words Often Confused (PART THREE)

1. infer 5. formally

2. implies 6. formerly

3. morale 7. export

4. moral 8. import

1-4. Words Often Confused (PART FOUR)

Sentences will vary.

1-5. Words Often Confused (PART FIVE)

1. laid 4. lays 7. lie

2. lays, laid 5. lie 8. lies

3. lay 6. laid 9. laid

1-6. Words Often Confused (REVIEW)

1. b 5. b

2. c 6. a

3. a 7. c

4. a 8. b

1-7. Prefixes

Sentences will vary.

1-8. Suffixes (PART ONE)

Sentences will vary.

1-9. Suffixes (PART TWO)

1. changeable 4. motorist, driving 7. lovely, caring

2. spitting 5. happiness 8. arrangement

3. noticeable 6. careless, statements 9. noticeable

1-10. Suffixes (PART THREE)

Sentences will vary.

1-11. Prefixes and Suffixes (REVIEW)

Part A.

Answers will vary.

Part B.

Answers will vary.

1-12. Synonyms

Answers will vary.

1-13. Similes

Answers will vary.

1-14. Metaphors

Part A.

Metaphors to be underlined are the following: jewels glinting under the sun, diamonds and pearls ride the white-crested waves, blinded

Part B.

Sentences will vary.

1-15. Similes and Metaphors (REVIEW)

Answers will vary.

1-16. Sensory Language (PART ONE)

Lists will vary. Here are some possible additions:

1. Touch: smooth, crinkly, hard, sharp

2. Taste: sweet, hot, cold, spicy

3. Sight: blue, dim, dark, light, round, glittering

4. Sound: loud, hiss, croak, roar, bark

5. Smell: nasty, sweet, sour, rotten

1-17. Sensory Language (PART TWO)

Part A.

Sentences will vary.

Part B.

Answers will vary. Some possibilities are as follows:

1. Worm: slimy, soft, wriggly

2. Ocean: blue, stormy, calm, vast, white-crested

3. SUV: cool, roomy, sleek, mighty

4. Rap artist: cool, popular, star

5. Sci-fi film: eerie, futuristic, scary, imaginative

6. Pizza: cheesy, tasty, crusty

7. Football stadium: roaring, huge, noisy, crowded

8. Dog: loving, furry, loyal

1-18. Strong, Active Verbs

The verbs (and pronoun/verb contractions) to be circled are: saw, went, took, went, got, went, was, got, said, what's, asked, moved, I'm, said, looked, are, said, was going, pushed, went, is, said, You're. Rewritten paragraphs will vary.

1-19. Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

1. pitied (T) 6. tasted (T)

2. laid (T) 7. tasted (I)

3. are complaining (I) 8. purrs (I)

4. looks (I) 9. scratched (T)

5. were (I) 10. threw (T)

1-20. Linking Verbs

Sentences will vary.

1-21. Irregular Verbs

1. rang 6. brought

2. drove 7. forgot

3. sang 8. sworn

4. taken 9. sped

5. blew 10. chosen

1-22. Adjectives (Part One)

Sentences will vary.

1-23. Adjectives (Part Two)

Sentences will vary.

1-24. Illiteracies

1. (circled) goes; My dad often says, "Watch out for cars when you are on your bike."

2. (circled) this here; This tennis racket is broken.

3. (circled) ain't; Luci isn't so smart as she thinks she is.

4. (circled) drownded; I almost drowned when that idiot pushed me into the pool.

5. (circled) nowheres; My mom told me I was going nowhere until I cleaned up my room.

Answers to Review Test (PART ONE)

The following errors should be circled: breathe, peculier, moral, happyer, docters, implied, probible, arrangments, neighber, drived, sensably, accept, sung

The correct paragraph should be written as follows:

Answers to Review Test (PART TWO)

Part A Possible answers are:

1. postgraduate, undergraduate, graduating

2. operator, operated, operating

3. changeable, changing, changed

4. forgettable, forgetting, forgetful

5. mismanage, manager, managed, managing

6. superstar, starry, starless



Excerpted from Ready-To-Use Writing Proficiency Lessons & Activities by Carol H. Behrman Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)