Teaching Strategies

Phrases in Apposition

Apposition

In academic writing words or phrases are often defined, or extra information is given, in apposition. For example: Overfishing, which the government has turned a blind eye to, will have serious consequences for the economy.

Definition Task: As a prerequisite to the phrases in apposition task, model writing a definition for junk food: "Junk food is high in fat, sugar and salt."

Ask for other words that could signal a definition. Record these on the whiteboard.

refers to    as defined by    is known as

Students rewrite the definition three more times using the examples above. Roam to check students' answers.

Answers:
Junk food refers to food high in fat, sugar and salt.
Junk food is defined as food high in fat, sugar or salt.
Food that is high in fat, sugar or salt is known as junk food.

Further practice:
Cholesterol is a fatty deposit that clogs the arteries.

Answers:
Cholesterol refers to a fatty deposit that clogs the arteries.
Cholesterol is defined as a fatty deposit that clogs the arteries.
The fatty deposit that clogs the arteries is known as cholesterol.

Model and explicitly teach concise writing by transforming definitions into phrases in apposition.
Junk food is food that is high in fat, sugar and salt. It should not be sold in the school canteen.

Students practise writing examples:

Mrs (insert your name) is our English teacher. She is teaching us how to write better sentences.
My computer which is a laptop has crashed.
The red car is not fully paid for. It should be driven carefully.

Answers:
Mrs (your name), our English teacher, is teaching us how to write better sentences.
My computer, a laptop, has crashed.
The red car, not fully paid for, should be driven carefully.

Students practise appositions in free writing.