Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Battle of Words!

Post written by guest bloggers:  Jake, Alexandra, Leila, and Sarah

Mrs. Yollis' students are always working to improve their writing skills. Recently, we've been having fun battling with words.

Mrs. Yollis has some vocabulary worksheets which teach prefixes and suffixes

Some example words we've learned are:

-ly  wisely, fondly, quietly, cuddly, ghostly, and wearily
un-  unknown, unspoken, unable, uneaten, unusual, and uncover
re-  reviewed, reappeared, rearranged, recharged, and replay

Here is how we battle:

Students choose words from the word bank and write high-level sentences with each. Then pupils come up to the front of the room and read their sentence one at a time. Many students write sentences that are hard to beat because they include:   compound sentences, dependent clauses, high-level vocabulary, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, personification, similes, and even word play.

Mrs. Yollis and the class discuss the elements of each sentence and pick the best sentences. 

Here is a photo of a recent battle over the best sentence using the adverb quietly. Who thinks they are going to be triumphant?

Look at those confident writers!

  Winners earn a sticker from the brown, metal treasure box.
The contest has become quite competitive!

Everyone enjoys the spirited competition! 

Please contribute a stupendous sentence or two to the comment section. 

Be sure to bold your high-level vocabulary words!


  1. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I really enjoyed writing this post together with you. Here are my sentences. Both of them won a sticker. They had many adjectives and verbs that made them win.

    1. I suddenly heard a squealing noise from behind the refrigerator, and when I looked I spotted a tiny mouse.

    2. I quietly sneaked behind my younger sister and scared her by loudly shouting, boo!

    Why do you like these sentences? Do you think these sentences deserve a sticker?


    1. Dear Sarah,

      Congratulations on winning a sticker from the treasure box. My favorite sentence was number 2, "I quietly sneaked behind my younger sister and scared her by loudly shouting, boo!" I liked this sentence because it is very funny and I think it is true. I think they should get a sticker because they are fantastic sentences.

      I also won one sticker! My sentence was "My family is planning a trip to New York, possibly we will go on the Disney cruise."

      Do you think my sentence deserves a sticker?

      Your fellow classmate,

  2. Dear class,

    I have really enjoyed battling with my sentences. I've won a few times, but now I'm going to try and be even better. I'm going to include higher level vocabulary.

    One of my sentences that won had the word cuddly in it. Here is my sentence: When I go to bed at 8:30, I lay my head on a soft and cuddly football pillow.

    Here is the one that didn't win: While my mom started the car it loudly roared, and it gave me goose bumps.

    How could I make this sentence better?


    1. @ Alyssa,

      I think that we are all learning quite a bit from the battles. Not only is it fun, but do you notice how the sentences have been getting better and better? I have.

      I like your sentence. However, I think the sound a car makes is not really a roar. Maybe change it to something that does roar loudly, like a male lion. What would he be roaring at? Try to write one with that idea.

      Your proud teacher,
      Mrs. Y♥llis

  3. Dear class,

    We have enjoyed playing Battle With Words because it helps us with our writing. We get to put high-level words in our sentences, and it really helps you improve.

    Here is one of Trey's sentences:

    I quietly sneaked up to my brother and jumped up and said boo.
    Here it is improved: I quietly sneaked up and hid behind my brother's bed, and then I jumped up and screamed BOO loudly!

    Here is Etai's winner:

    I was friendly to a kid from Victoria, Australia who looked unhappy.

    We look forward to another exciting battle!

    Trey and Etai

  4. Atrina and LoganMay 22, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Dear class,

    We love playing the game so much! One of us has won two times and the other person has won only one time.

    Here is Logan's sentence: I quietly sneaked up on my brother while he was reading a scary book called Goosebumps.

    Here is one sentence from Atrina: The thief entered the humongous house through the back door, and stole a priceless painting.

    Here are some tips for making a wonderful sentence: use high level vocabulary, use a dependent clause, use adverbs, use adjectives, and use a compound sentence.

    Can you think of any ways you can make our sentences better?

    Atrina and Logan

  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I really love battling words against other kids in the class. My best sentence so far has quietly in it. Here is my best sentence:

    ∆ My dad's blue bike is quietly, crouched in the corner of the dark garage. If I was a judge on this sentence I would say this is a really good sentence because it has personification.

    ♥ I will totally make it to the birthday, but I have not gotten her the green earrings at Nordstroms.

    If I was the same judge I would say this is not a good sentence because I am using it as a slang word.

    To answer your question the people that won were Royce and Atrina. Which sentence do you think was better?


    1. @ Ellie,

      I like both of your sentences. However, the competition is fierce! Everyone is becoming a bit more skilled and they are putting more effort into being specific with their descriptions. Have you noticed that?

      I like your personification sentence. Why don't you try some hyperbole? :-)

      Your proud teacher,
      Mrs. Y&heart;llis

  6. Dear competitive class,

    I have a few sentences that I have used for battle:

    Benjamin Franklin wisely invented the lightning rod.

    I have four fascinating fluffy puffles that are as cuddly as a fuzzy blanket.

    I hope you see what types of sentences these are.

    What do you think these sentences are?
    What are your one or two sentences?

    The competitive hero,

  7. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I loved your post about our battles! It was amazing!

    I think I was pretty competitive because I have never lost a battle just like Royce.

    Here are a couple of my good sentences:

    •My soft and cuddly teddy bear comforts me during the long and cold night.

    •I looked at my dogs x-ray and the ghostly bones spooked me out.

    Which do you like more?

    Here are some examples of bad sentences:

    •The ghostly bones spooked me out.

    •My cuddly teddy bear is with me at night.


    1. @ Leila,

      I love how you wrote your quality sentences and then you rewrote them in a less descriptive way. Great way to make a point, Leila!

      Your sentence about the cuddly teddy bear and the comfort he provided was my favorite of your two. What can I say, I like teddy bears!

      Terrific work!
      Mrs. Y♥llis

  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am very competitive in the battles, I am so competitive that I have never lost a battle! I have won eight battle stickers (we have done four battles).

    In our recent battle of the -ly, it was very hard for me to win because the other people had such good sentences, but I did win along with a few other students.

    I also got all the sentences right. They were:

    • It startled me when a man suddenly stepped our from the shadows.

    • I can't possibly get there in less than two hours

    • The boys stared in shock as a ghostly image appeared on the screen.

    • The tired little boy wearily sank onto his bed.

    • Hannah quietly tiptoed down the hall.

    • Did $10 totally cover the bill?

    • The car's brakes squealed loudly.

    • Jon wisely decided not to say anything rude.

    • All of the kids laughed merrily when they heard her jokes.

    • The father smiled fondly at his newborn baby.

    • The teddy bear looked cute and cuddly.

    • Everyone likes Michelle because she's so friendly

    Here are my two sentences. I used quietly and suddenly:

    Quietly but excitedly, I crept up on my six year old sister to scare her, and while she was petrified, I stole my army lego back.

    Suddenly, my three year old cousin, Morgan, burst into tears because her older brother, Dean, punched her in the chest.


  9. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I was one of the winners in the most recent competition. My sentences were:

    1. An elderly man named, Joseph, wisely advised the soldiers to find the secret castle in the thick green forest.

    2. When I got up this morning at 6:00 A.M., I wearily and grumpily rolled out of bed.

    Both of them won a sticker, and I felt proud of myself for my hard work. I like this time when we get to battle because the last times I would usually lose, and I improved in my writing and that help me in the long run.

    Do you have a Writing test at your school?
    How do you improve your writing?


  10. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    In my seventh grade English class, writing and using strong sentences is one of the biggest focuses. A sentence from an essay that I wrote reads, "Some antics, such as Jo cutting her hair, bring laughter, while other scenes will make tears dot the book and blur the text almost beyond legibility." Would this sentence have won a word battle?
    Another form of writing that my class is learning about is called the eleven sentence paragraph. This is a one-paragraph essay that analyzes themes in a book. The most difficult concept about this writing style is that it can be no more than eleven sentences, so we need to make the most of our sentences to get the most meaning out of them. In seventh grade, we still are encouraged to write with compound and complex sentences, and to add both dependent and independent clauses.
    In seventh grade, all of the students in the state take a standardized writing test where they give us a prompt and tell us to write a summary, response to literature, narrative, or persuasive essay. This year, our prompt was to write a persuasive essay convincing a panel of judges to give one of our friends an award.
    To improve our writing, we usually do one of four things. Sometimes our teacher will have us get into pairs and analyze each other's writing. We read over their papers, and then give them constructive criticism and point out their strengths. Another thing that we do in English class is work in small groups. With or without our teacher, we get into groups and discuss ideas and organization. We also read out parts of our essays for the class to comment on. Lastly, we meet one-on-one with our teacher, so she can help us find our individual strengths and weaknesses. This has all helped me become a better writer, and made English one of my favorite subjects.
    Taylor (Matthew's sister)

    1. ᗬѢAcacia ӨᅧMay 22, 2012 at 8:47 PM

      @ Taylor,

      Thanks for the reply! It must be hard taking that test. I would be freaked out if I were you. We have standardized testing as well, but we call it star testing. In my class, we don't do as hard work as you, but our tests do have a range of hard and easy questions.

      Improving your writing is hard and I can see in this really good comment the activities helped you a lot! I know how hard it is to improve your writng, but in the end, it really pays off. For Open House, we did a similar improvement in our class that your class did. What we did was we paired up and improved each others writing.

      Why is English your favorite subject?
      How have these projects helped you?

      ᗬѢAcacia Өᅧ

  11. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I think this is a great post about types of sentences. You might think that a dependent clause is something you can dependend on. Well, think to your self and probably ask someone what a dependent clause is. If that person doesn't know, you go to this blog, and you will know what a types of sentences are. This is the best post I've ever seen about sentences, but there are other blogs about sentences that might be better than this one.

    I hope you had fun learning about sentences,


  12. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I loved this post and I thought I would add two more sentences.

    1. The unknown thief quietly creeped out of his hiding place at the stroke of midnight.

    2. Happily, I played ball with my cute and energetically excited dog to distract him when he stole my shoe.

    I hope you liked my sentences!


  13. Dear Mrs Yollis and Class,
    I love your idea of battling sentences, I feel certain that we will use that in our classroom soon! Perhaps I can trade it for one of our favourite -ly word games...
    We love to play 'Fortunately/Unfortunately'. We start with a story idea, and then we pass it around - the story must continue to make sense, and each sentence must start with either 'fortunately' or 'unfortunately' in turns. It makes for some very amusing stories filled with near disasters! It also gets us used to using -ly openers as sentence starters... I hope you have a chance to give it a go, and have fun!
    Mrs M
    A Room with a View, UK

    1. @ Mrs. Monaghan,

      Thanks for your complimentary comment! We appreciate it!

      I shared your "Fortunately/Unfortunately" idea with the class, and they loved it! We should try and do that with our classes. Maybe as a post and the comments could go back and forth. Or, are you on Twitter as a class? We could try it that way too...would be faster! We are: @MrsYollis on Twitter.

      Your friend,
      Mrs. Y♥llis

  14. Great idea - Twitter would be ideal as we would be limited with our characters and would need to think VERY carefully about our word choices! At present it's blocked in our school but I will see if I can get around that in any way.
    Mrs M

  15. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I always have a competitive and fun time when we battle! I have only lost two times, so when you picked judges to judge the sentences, I got chosen because I rarely lose.

    For tonights grammer homework, you gave us a battle worksheet with the prefix out. I used the words outgrew, outnumbered, and outstanding. Here are my sentences:

    ∆ When my older sister outgrew her dashing red silky gown, I retrieved it as a hand-me-down and wore it for my outstanding birthday party.

    ∆ On my rusty book shelf behind all of the cobwebs made by a rose tarantula and dust from all of the ancient items, I outnumber all of my non-reading friends with all of my fascinating books.

    I am so excited to battle and I am confident that I will not lose!


  16. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I really enjoy doing Battle. It is a good way for kids to practice writing high-level sentences with great vocabulary.

    Here are my sentences:

    1. I played tug-o-war with my frisky Pembroke Welsh Corgi outside on a breezy summer day.

    2. The frustrated police could not spot the sneaky outlaw, because he was crouching behind the huge building.


  17. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I am having fun battling with our words! I feel like my sentences are getting stronger and my high level vocabulary even higher! I have been trying to put in decent sentences, and so far, I am doing well. I have some sentences I am going to submit for the next battle:
    This one is for outbid.
    My dad outbid the person next to him, and for $35.00, he bought an antique grandfather clock.
    This one is for outdoors.
    The fabulous field trip to King Gillette Ranch was outdoors, and they focused on nature and Chumash Indians.
    I hope you enjoyed my sentences!
    Have you ever battled with sentences?
    If not, when will you battle?


    P.S: Mrs. Yollis please don’t publish this comment until tomorrow. Thank you. I don’t want to reveal my sentences! 

  18. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    I have two astonishing sentences I want to compete against with other pupils;my words are outran or outrun and outspoken:

    My unthoughtful brother is always outspoken to my dad when he doesn't want to do what his father asks him to do.

    I can easily outrun my brother in the 1500m run.

    Those are my two sentences.

    Not a very competitive person,


  19. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Since you gave us another grammar battle worksheet, I am not going to reveal my sentences so anybody can make theirs better than mine. Please Mrs. Yollis, don't publish this comment till the morning because last time you did not!

    I made two sentences using the words thirtyish, and childish. Here are my sentences:

    ∆ When I went to the State County Fair, I bought a rainbow Crayola balloon from a man that looked thirtyish that I held while I skipped along the hard cement sidewalk while wearing my purple Conver hightops.

    ∆ After I bought a delicious and nutritious groceries from Whole Foods, I noticed that a childish man wearing a suit with rainbow pocadots was dancing to the his boom box.

    I feel confident that I will earn a sticker from my sentences.


  20. Dear Mrs.Yollis

    I like to win when we do battle?
    Here are my sentences.

    I do not like to speak Spanish because people say I have a accent.

    I like to finish my home work at the Wood land Hills library.


  21. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I'd like to introduce my three jaw-dropping sentences:

    After I won a game of Shoots And Ladders, my little sister screamed, cried and stomped her feet in a childish manner.

    Whenever I finish a remarkable book, I miss its characters and feel out of sorts for a while.

    When I attended the Louis Vuitton fashion show, everyone on the runway looked amazingly stylish.


    Kelly⍿ ♥

  22. ᗬѢAcacia ӨᅧMay 30, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have two sentences I would like to submit into the competition. My words are whitish, selfish, childish, and ticklish , and I think I have a good chance at winning. Here they are:

    My mom's whitish and silky wedding dress was arrayed on and her gown draped across the floor while she was was escorted by her father down the aisle.

    My mean and selfish younger brother never shares his baby blue stuffed animal dog with me, so I don't share my HP laptop with him.

    My uncle that is thirty years old acts very childish and takes our toys when we are playing with them, and he always brags about his new mac pro computer his mom got him for his 30th birthday.

    My dad is very ticklish when we bang our elbows against his chest and back, and we have an epic fight with our elbows.

    Well, I hope you liked my sentences! I have practiced a lot and I hope I win this time!


    P.S: Please don't publish until tomorrow because I don't want to reveal my sentences! Thanks!

  23. @ Mrs. Yollis,

    Yes, I did notice that the sentences are getting a lot better.

    Here are five sentences that I'm doing for the battle:

    My childish cat, Bolt, always drives my mom and me bonkers, but he's adorable and handsome.
    I love softball because I don’t feel girlish and when I’m at bat and feel angry I can swing and hit the ball then I get all my anger out.
    When I go to Barcelona, Spain, I want to learn and explore the Spanish language.
    Every day, Mother always tells me that I’m stylish in dress and gorgeous.
    While I get tickled, I move my body around and laugh because I am ticklish.

    P.s Don't publish.

  24. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I cherish battle, so I have been practicing for competition. Here are my sentences, and I am doing five sentences.

    ∆ When my dad ran the California 70.3 mile race he finished it in just six hours, so my mom congratulated him.

    ♥ Ellie is to tomboy as Tyler is to girlish.

    * The girl squealed as I tickled her, but she said she was not ticklish.

    © The girl was so stylish I said to Ana"I am really jealous of that cute purple dress, with a pearl necklace that shimmers in the sun light."

    @ All clams make whitish pearls, but it takes a inveterate time.

    Ω Spanish people are hard to understand when you are English, so I took a class how to speak it and hear it.

    Which sentence do you think was better?


    P.S. Don't publish.

  25. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    I have two courageous sentences ready for you including the words British and unselfish:

    * My mum is a sophisticated British citizen and she's humorous, but very stylish.

    * My mum is so unselfish, she makes my entire family breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday!


  26. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have never lost a battle and hope I do not lose today on our last battle. If I do win, in battle, I will be undefeated. That would feel great!

    For grammer homework tonight, our class will battle for the suffix -ish. I will use finish, childish, feverish, unselfish, and ticklish.

    • My sister, Tabby, is awfully childish in some particular ways, like when she is playing a game, if she loses, tears fall out of her eyes like rain from a rainstorm pelting down on the rock-hard cement.

    • I have to hurry up and finish my school diorama on Leonardo Da Vinci by tomorrow because that day is extraordinary open house at my school, but I definitely don't have that much left to complete the splendid scene.

    • My sister Tabby felt completely feverish because she had a horrible cold and a temperature of 104˚, so when she had the beastly flue, I quietly snuck into her room and stole three of her priceless diamonds, one of her American Girl Doll's inestimable shoes, and two of her prized silly bands.

    • I am really unselfish when I am playing games on my dad Gregg's priceless I phone because I always let my sister Tabby have a turn playing the amusing games on the delightful device.

    • When I joyfully tickle my sister Tabby, she usually laughs, grabs my hand, shoves it away, and says,"Stop!", but she will never admit that she is actually ticklish even though she really is.


  27. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Battle is one of my favorite parts about school. I really like judging! Here are some TIPS:

    *take your time

    *be specific

    *use compound sentences and dependent clauses

    *use high level words

    Now for my sentences:

    On an airplane, I saw an undercover cop drop his gold colored badge by mistake.

    When I went to Mexico on my cruise, it was tricky to understand what they were saying!

    Hope you enjoyed them!

    Your student,

    P.S. please don't publish until tomorrow

  28. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Here are my splendid sentences:

    ♥ When I play Real So Cal Club Soccer I transport around California, but my dad forces me to wear an uncomfortable, itchy, and thick undershirt.

    ∆ I only see potato bugs at school, so a classmate, Jacob, brought it down to Mr. Detamore's classroom where it went underneath the compost.

    Ω As the undertow sucked me in the ocean I met the ocean shelf, so my dad sent out a troop of lifeguards to save me.

    © My friend, Kennedy, submerged underwater in her cold pool with her regular clothes on, so I dived into the water to rescue her.

    @ When I arrived at Sydney's Fancy birthday party I was wearing flip-flops, a tank-top, and ,Levi Jeans, so I ran back home (which was only a block away) to change into a plain brown fluffy dress with white shoes, a yellow headband, and a bracelet made out of white pearls so I wasn't underdressed.


  29. Dear Mrs. Yollis

    Here are my sentences?

    My dad use to be a undercover police officer from 1994 to 1999.

    I do not like to wear a undershirt because it is uncomfortable.

    My aunt is a high quality doctor and her salary is underpaid.

    My new born cousin was born two pounds underweight.

    I could stay underwater more than sixty seconds.


  30. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Here are two more sentences:

    When I was underdressed at a tea party, I wore a undershirt and Leavi jeans instead of a ball gown.

    When my cat, Jasmine, was underweight,my mom and I had to take her to the vetrenarion for a check up.

    I had so much fun doing the battles, but sadly they have to go away along with the school year.

    Your blogging buddy,
    P.S. Don't publish.

  31. ᗬѢAcacia ӨᅧMay 31, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have some excellent sentences that I hope will win and here they are:

    This one is for underline.

    Mrs. Yollis always orates to underline factual data when needing assistance in the math or grammar word problems.

    This one is for undershirt.

    When I wear an undershirt , it helps me stay warm in the cold and harsh winter because outside it is below zero and I need to be warm or I will become ill.

    This one is for undercover.

    The sneaky spies went undercover to find out who was stealing the chocolate from See's candy store and discovered that the manager had been staying up all night devouring the delightful dessert.

    This one is for underpaid.

    When I was underpaid for vacuuming the entire house, I threw a humongous hissy fit because I wasn't paid enough money.

    I hope you favored my spectacular sentences!


  32. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Here are my two sentences that I wrote.

    My brother was wearing a white t-shirt and
    blue jeans, so he was underdressed when he went to the Bar Mitzvah.

    Everyday I wear a Justice tank top as an undershirt, but I wear a different color everyday of the week.

    I hope one of my sentences win the battle.



    P.S. Please do not publish.

  33. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    For tonight's grammar worksheet, I am going to put my sentences on here so I will not reveal my quality sentences. Please Mrs. Yollis, DO NOT publish this comment till the morning!

    The words I am using are underneath, and underground . Here they are:

    ∆ When I looked underneath my old, rickety closet from when I was a young pupil, I detected my elementary yearbook when I was in Mrs. Yollis' third grade class which was my most luckiest, priceless year I have ever endured because I had the most marvelous teacher, Mrs. Yollis.

    ∆ Harriet Tubman invented the underground railroad to free harassed, black people, and recreated their lives in a whole new way.


  34. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Still I have never lost a battle. I hope today I get five stickers since this will be the end of battle.

    The grammar tonight was divided up into two parts. One part was twelve sentences that you had to fill-in, and the other part was battle.

    Here are the sentences in the first part:

    1. At the fancy restaurant, I felt very underdressed in my jeans.

    2. Stacy's work is easily worth $10 per hour, but she is underpaid at $7 an hour.

    3. The juice soaked through his dress shirt and stained his undershirt too.

    4. Please underline the name of the recipe you'd like to borrow from this list.

    5. I'm not so sure that I understood what Ryan meant.

    6. Studying underwater animals always interested Matt.

    7. No one swims there due to the strong undertow which can pull people under.

    8. We pushed aside the underbrush and went deeper into the forest.

    9. The doctor said that Shannon was underweight and needed to gain about 10 pounds.

    10. The undercover police officer was on a stake-out near the mall.

    11. The money is hidden in a box she keeps underneath her bed.

    12. The underlying problem is a lack of time.

    Today we will battle with the prefix under-. It is harder to compete because you can only compete with a dependent clause or a compound sentence. I am using understood, underpaid, underdressed, underneath, and underwater. Here are my sentences:

    • I could barely understand the muffed noise of the loudspeaker in the rocky subway station under the tremendous, white mall, but when I traveled towards the speaker on the wall right above a staircase near the mall entrance, I understood the voice better.

    • When my sister Tabby completed an exhausting task and was paid with one dollar, she knew she had been tricked and underpaid, so she threw a colossal fit and started to wail and bawl.

    • At 5:30, Samuel was definitely underdressed in shorts and a t-shirt at the fancy restaurant, The Melting Pot, so he finally decided to change his reservation to 6:30, go home, and get changed into something that fits the elegant restaurant.

    Underneath my blue bed, there is a totally secret chest, and inside that chest are 50 gleaming jewels and 10 glistening diamonds.

    • Mathew and his friend Ryan were violently fighting in the pool, and their goal was to submerge the other person underwater.


    P.S. Please do not publish yet.

  35. Dear class,

    Who can beat me in these five sentences?;underline, underdressed, undercover, underneath, and undershirt?

    * Don't forget to underline your story title at the beginning of your page.
    * When we went to my mum's cousins wedding, we were a little underdressed in shorts and a golf shirt.
    * I want to be the most amazing undercover agent when I finish college.
    * My dog loves to be underneath the dining room table when we eat, so he can catch the food we drop.
    * My dad always tells me to wear an undershirt with a long sleeved button down shirt and tie.




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