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Help young writers choose strong words with a pocket word bank

by | Jun 28, 2021 | Teaching Homeschool Writing, Word Banks

Are you teaching your homeschool children to choose strong words? Or do they tend to fill their sentences with weak or boring words such as:

  • big
  • happy
  • nice
  • walked
  • said

Perfect for any homeschool, this pocket word bank helps young writers choose strong words and synonyms instead of weak or repeated words. Here’s how to make a pocket word bank in under an hour with minimal supplies!

Make a “Strong Words” Pocket Word Bank

For this activity, you’ll need an online thesaurus such as Power Thesaurus or KidThesaurus.com. Alternatively, use an excellent print-version thesaurus such as The Synonym Finder.


  1. Write several words your kids tend to overuse on construction-paper rectangles or colorful index cards.
  2. Tape cards to a sheet of posterboard, or insert them into a tabletop pocket chart.
  3.  Look up one of those weak words in your chosen thesaurus.
  4.  Browse the various lists and pick out a handful of reasonable synonyms.
  5.  Type them up using a large, clear font.
  6.  Print out the words and cut them into strips, laminating them so they hold up longer.
  7.  Repeat for each tired word on your pocket chart.
  8.  Place the synonym strips in each pocket behind the appropriate word.

A “Good” Illustration

Let’s use good as an example, since it’s overused a lot. It’s convenient and easy to write good friend, good snack, good worker, or good child, even though the word good means different things each time.

But just think! With a few “good” synonyms at their disposal, your children can pick strong, specific words for their writing instead by using a pocket word bank.




Rather than use the weak word good, your children can select a stronger word from the pocket chart to describe a kindhearted friend, healthy snack, pleasant afternoon, skillful worker, or obedient child. Not only will their writing improve, their vocabulary will grow too!

Now you’re ready to make a Strong Words pocket word bank of your own! In no time, more descriptive, lively words will be spilling from your kids’ pens.

WriteShop Primary & Junior | Elementary Creative Writing Curriculum

Making strong word choices is a key feature of WriteShop Primary (K-3rd) and WriteShop Junior (4th-6th). Games and activities encourage elementary-age homeschoolers to use descriptive, concrete words in their writing.

Help kids choose strong synonyms instead of weak, overused, or repeated words with a pocket word bank.