Friday, September 4: Show, Not Tell

  1. Students turned in their characterization homework.
  2. Next, we selected what full length memoirs students wanted to read. They will get these books next week!
  3. Students then read “The Power of Detail”  from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. After reading “The Power of Detail,” students wrote down a sentence they responded most strongly to. Then, we wrote for 5 minutes about what that sentence means and how it relates to their own writing. Then, we snaked around the room, sharing the sentence we picked and talked to our partners about why we chose it.
  4. Next, students quickly answered five questions in their notebooks to get them to think about the power of details to communicate feeling:
    1.What is the saddest make and model of a car?
    2.What is the most depressing flower?
    3.What is the happiest tree?
    4.What is the most adventurous writing utensil?
    5.What is the most romantic cereal?

    Then, we shared our answers, marveling at the specificity we could come up with!

  5. Then, we played the Show Not Tell game, where Ms. Garvoille gave really obvious “Telling” descriptions (“She was wearing too much make-up”) and students had to rewrite the sentence on whiteboards with “Showing” sentences. Here is the powerpoint: Show not Tell.
  6. Finally, we learned about the power of body language to communicate feeling. We took notes on W5: Reading Body Language, as a student acted out some basic body language cues. If you missed class, read up on it here: Body Language Examples.

HW: Write one scene from your memoir using all of the techniques we learned this week! Include slanted imagery, indirect characterization, and body language.