Happy Chyck posted this great idea in her post, Squeezing Good Writing Out of Them. It seems like a good one to try during these squirrely-before-break days.
So here is the idea:
Assign your students to write a six-sentence paragraph with no repeating words.
Great for coming up with creative alternatives, and great for thesurus use. And as Happy Chyck noted, students seem to enjoy having the assignment presented as a challenge.