Today we began studying Show-Not-Tell writing. This is a standards-aligned skill to help students add details to their narrative writing. Click on Show Not Tell to see the techniques we’re using. (I’ll have a higher image quality by the end of this week. Sorry! 🙁 )
You can see the standards for yourself below
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
Students were given a “boring sentence” to work with: “It was really cold.”
We split into two groups, those who wanted to add more Sh0w-not-tell on their own in class to this sentence and those who wanted to take a brief “boring scenario” based on the boring sentence and add more show-not-tell to it.
ALL students need to craft their own first attempt at Show-not-tell writing tonight using either the boring sentence or the boring scenario as a starting point.
Click HERE to get a Google Doc with the boring and revised scenario that one group and I worked on together in class.
I’ll also copy/paste the boring scenario and revised version below:
It was such a cold day. When I went outside it felt super cold. I had to wear a jacket and gloves and scarf and heavy boots. I almost froze waiting for my carpool driver to pick me up. They were late. Finally when my ride came, I got inside the car. The heater was on, and I got warm quickly.
REVISED (NOT YET FINISHED)
I had to push with all my strength to move the door. When it finally crunched open with a loud creak, a pile of snow fell off the roof and nearly trapped me in an avalanche.
“Man,” I thought to myself, “even Frosty the Snowman can’t handle this kind of weather!”
I looked out and didn’t see my neighborhood or a winter wonderland…I saw a barren wasteland of snow! Cars were lumpy white hills. Houses looked more like igloos than homes. The streets looked like long, rectangular, dirty ice rinks.
I didn’t see my carpool anywhere. Every second I waited outside felt like a year.
The first breath I took in through my nostrils smelled like frozen steel. The air felt like needles poking at my skin. When I exhaled, a giant, cloud of steam formed. It looked like the smoke from a giant forest fire. The air on my tongue tasted like icicles.
I tried to find the sidewalk by stepping off my porch, but I slipped on ice and fell into deep snow. I had to dig my way back to the surface like a swimmer trying not to drown.
“Whew. This is some SERIOUS snow,” I swore beneath my breath.