Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Show Don't Tell


Good writing tends to draw an image in the reader’s mind instead of just telling the reader what to think or believe. Readers are smart! We can read through the lines! Give us some credit!

Today, I issued a challenge to my students: Jazz up one of the sentences below by drawing an image to let the reader "see" the passage.

Grandma was angry.
Alex was tired.
The dog was happy.

Check out these student samples! Would you rather read a story with the (boring) sentences above, or with the vivid details below?

Grandma barged down the hall. She was beat red in the face and I could almost see the steam coming out of her ears. I cowered as she came up to me. Her bent stature seemed two times taller than before as she glared down at me. Gripping my ear, she pulled me back down the hall.        ~By Andrew

Alex slowly pushed the warm blanket off from over his body. He swung his feet over the edge of his bed and let them land lightly on the floor. His eyelids weighed down almost so that he couldn't see. He worked up enough strength to drag his feet along the floor as he sluggishly made it to breakfast.   ~ By Sterling

Before I entered through the door I could hear the whining and the tail knocking things over. I could hear her claws hitting the hard wood as she jumped to look at the window to see if I was coming. She started to lick the windows as she was whining at me to say hello. She jumped and put her paws on my chest, pushed me over and started to lick my face with her big slobbery tongue.      ~ By Dayzi

Click here to watch our Show (Don't Tell) lesson online.

Nicely done kids!


Daniel November 10, 2011 at 7:41 AM

Staggering to his feet once more, he quickly realized this would without a doubt be his last stand and he would not live to see the sun rise, he thought to himself as he plucked out another wickedly curved shaft from his bloodied chest. Looking over his shoulder and far to the east, he thought of his home and the oak and maple trees that surrounded it and that were yet to blossom in the up coming spring. His mind also raced back to his beautiful wife who was with child. The child that he would not live to see. He was then brought back to the present by yet another enemy wave charging up the hill. Rallying what men he had left, he raised his sword and gave the signal, the signal which he knew would sign his death warrant. He gritted his teeth and charged down the hill knowing that freedom has a price.

Kyrene November 15, 2011 at 10:55 AM

These are amazing! Good job Dayzi, Andrew, and Sterling! And Daniel! You are all very good at writing! :D Good Job!!!

Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 9:03 PM

WOW! you are all such amazing writers. Great job putting your words out there. Have you all heard about nanowrite? My mom is doing that this month. Dustyn

Kyrene November 22, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Dustyn, what is a nanowrite?

Anonymous November 29, 2011 at 10:55 AM

I liked Andrew Story I thought was really funny and cool

Sam Clark December 29, 2011 at 11:50 PM

Can a dog tell us something? Rockey, our ten year old German shephard, and Sage, an unknown aged unknown mixed breed hyper dog, immediately stood to their feet stretching their long front legs with a high pitched whine in anticipation of mom and I putting on our hiking shoes. As I grabbed the leashes, the confirmation of their hope to chase wild things and do their business in the woods was affirmed. Their tails wagged from side to side as they pranced around our feet making it difficult to get out the door. No words were said by the dogs, only excited whines and wagging tails to explain their happiness as we loaded the car with our pack of family and drove to the trail.

Sterling Hebert January 29, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Alex stomped his little six-year-old feet as he stormed down the hallway. He slammed the door and screamed. Its not fair that Billy got the toy. It was his toy! He then began to cry tears of rage and promised never to play with Billy again, at least not until their play-date next week.

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